Graduate students from the University of California Santa Cruz decided to withhold final grades during their strike to demand a higher salary. Meanwhile, they protested by taking over the dining hall where they refused to pay for their food and encouraged others to do the same.
According to a letter to the chancellor of UCSC sent by the strike organizers, the students are demanding a cost of living adjustment (COLA) of $1,400 per month for all graduate student workers at the university. Currently, graduate students make around $2,000 a month, to which the graduate students are asking for a 70 percent increase in pay, according to NBC Bay Area.
The group is demanding that all graduate students get a COLA, “regardless of residence, visa category, documentation, or funding and employment status.” In an effort to disrupt campus operations, the graduate student workers staged a protest at the Cowell/Stevenson Dining Hall on Dec. 11, according to a video on Reddit.
The video shows multiple students yelling at people entering the dining hall, saying “no swipe,” encouraging students not to swipe their meal card at the hall. One person commented on the video, saying it was a “beautiful event” and said that “hundreds of enthusiastic undergrads receive[d] free meals.”
“UCSC grad students just took over a dining hall and are opening it to anyone who’s hungry because the university is starving its students and workers,” explained one Twitter user who also posted a photo of information allegedly being passed out at the dining hall shut down.
“We are here to eat, because we cannot afford to pay rent and to pay for a meal plan. We are here to eat to build community. We have been so busy organizing to eat that we haven’t eaten. So we are here to eat. We are asking you to not interfere,” the handout in the tweeted photo reads.
At a Dec. 10 rally on campus, graduate students shouted “COLA in my bank account, cops off campus!” according to a tweet
Read the rest at: Free Food at college