Nearly fifty University of Iowa graduate students rallied Monday asking administrators to cut their salaries instead of raising tuition and possibly cutting graduate assistant positions. The students chanted “Chop from the top” during the rally at the Old Capitol on the U-I campus. Tuition rally chant :12 MP3
Graduate assistant Kari Thompson says a tuition hike along with a cut in the number of teaching assistants at the school would mean a lower quality of education. “A tuition increase affects us as graduate students as well as the undergraduates who we serve, who we teach every day. We’re the ones who are on the front lines of those classrooms and so when they cut our jobs as T-A’s, they’re doing more than just cutting our source of revenue while we’re in graduate school, they’re actually cutting the quality of education for undergraduate students as well.”
Thompson says administration officials should take pay cuts to accommodate budget shortfalls. Thompson says:” What’s going to happen if they cut the T-A lines is that there are going to be larger class sizes. They’re not going to just do away with these classes so instead of trying to lead a discussion with twenty-five students, we’re going to be trying to do that with thirty students. It’s difficult enough to do that with 25 and it will be that much more impossible to do that with 30 students.” Thompson says the administrators can afford a cut more than the students can.
“We have a lot of administrators who make well over $200,000, and that’s really unnecessary in a city like Iowa City that has a really low cost of living,” Thompson says. The regents meet in Cedar Falls Thursday and will consider a one hundred dollar surcharge on students for next spring and a six-percent tuition hike for the Fall. Thompson says the burden of a bad economy should not be placed on students.