Indiana University announced Thursday morning that starting in the fall of 2020, graduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences will no longer be required to pay unremittable fees. The announcement comes just one week after the Graduate Workers Coalition gathered to discuss protesting mandatory graduate student fees.
In response to this announcement, the Graduate Workers Coalition had a press conference Friday outside Owen Hall. More than 75 graduate students gathered to show their support.
“We celebrate a half-step out of a system that requires us to pay for our poverty,” member Nathan Schmidt yelled through a megaphone.
Unremittable fees are those graduate workers pay as a portion of their tuition, totaling about 5% or $1,200 a year. IU is the only university in the Big Ten that requires students to pay unremittable fees, according to a press release from the graduate workers’ public relations representative Elizabeth Williams.
These fees are not the ones the Coalition has been protesting. They are protesting against mandatory fees, which cost over $1,300 each year and an additional $700 a year for international graduate students, according to the press release.
This reprieve from unremittable fees will only apply to students enrolled in programs through the College of Arts and Sciences. The Coalition stated it will not rest until no graduate student worker is required to pay mandatory or international student fees.
“We will not rest until Indiana University shines, not for keeping up with the norm, but as a beacon of excellence in compensating and recognizing the centrality of graduate labor,” Schmidt said.
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