Faculty Senate Executive Committee passes new resolution on graduate stipends

Graduate students present at meeting, stage walkout in response


The Faculty Senate Executive Committee passed a resolution to create a Living Stipend Solutions Committee. 

The resolution –– which members proposed during the FSEC meeting on Wednesday afternoon –– will include representation from faculty, administration and members of the graduate student body, and will discuss how stipends for graduate teaching assistants can be increased. 

Committee member Lewis Powell, who was the senior author of the resolution, explained the resolution. 

“This would both determine a specific plan of action to take to resolve it so students are not being paid below subsistence wage while also ensuring all the interests in the group are being expressed,” Powell said. 

But members of the Living Stipend Movement were unsatisfied with the resolution. 

“We didn’t ask for a committee, we asked for a living wage,” said Willis McCumber, the media coordinator for LSM. FSEC chair Philip Glick allowed McCumber to speak at the meeting for two minutes. 

“We're deeply concerned, deeply disappointed, that we've come to the formation of a committee rather than any kind of direct action on our basic demand,” McCumber said. 

FSEC members strongly supported the resolution, with 18 voting in favor of it and one voting against. Members of the LSM who attended the meeting walked out before FSEC voted on the resolution. 

FSEC members, such as Susan Dow, said they believe the representation of all involved parties in the committee will lead to better solutions.

“One of the missing parties during these discussions have been the chairs of the deans. And since it appears from conversations we had that they are going to control the distribution, we can bring them to the table,” Dow said during the meeting. “So they can actually be privy to the arguments and the concerns that we've heard expressed here.” 

Members of LSM said while they do not agree with the resolution, they will still consider participating in it. 

“This is not to say we wouldn’t take part, depending on how the committee is formed,” McCumber said. “But we’re here to express our disapproval of this basically.”

Glick offered an amendment to part of the resolution, which said the committee would involve members of the Graduate Student Employees Union. Glick said GSEU should be removed.

“This could be construed as a condition of employment, which we have no authority to be involved in,” Glick said. 

FSEC passed the amendment and the resolution will be carried to the Faculty Senate on the April 16 meeting.

Correction: McCumber used the word "committee" when discussing his concern.

Tanveen Vohra is a co-senior news editor and can be reached at Tanveen.Vohra@ubspectrum.com and on Twitter @TanveenUBSpec. 


Tanveen Vohra is a former senior news editor and covered international relations and graduate student protests.