Letter to the Editor: Undergraduate students must evaluate university statements, support graduate employees

General Opinion Graphic

Tali Ilkovitch

Undergraduates,

My name is Tali Ilkovitch, I am an undergraduate speaking in solidarity the Coalition of Graduate Employees. I wish to respond to the email addressed to all students on February 24 from Provost Feser and the university’s intentions to deceive and divide the student body.

After our interaction with the Provost last Wednesday in which he dismissed our concerns regarding the livelihoods of students and employees, who struggle with food, housing, and childcare insecurity as a result of shamefully minimal wages and benefits, we admit that we are satisfied with the university’s timely response—CGE is used to OSU ignoring students’ needs and not doing the jobs undergraduates handsomely pay them for. 

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That being said, we find Provost Feser’s email to be purposefully deceiving and fear-mongering in an effort to convince undergraduates that paying graduate workers a living wage requires tuition hikes. We find further exploitation of financially struggling undergraduates a preposterous solution coming from a man who makes $400,000 a year. Our petition, which he refused to sign, proposes that university salaries are capped at $186,000 and tuition and fees are frozen, which will combat wealth inequality at OSU. As the university attempts to isolate us from graduates, I urge undergraduates to critically evaluate this propaganda, support graduate employees, and demand that wealth be redistributed from immorally wealthy admin fairly to those who grade our papers and instruct our coursework. I invite undergrads to unionize with us and show OSU administration that this exploitation will end. 

Solidarity, 

Tali

Tali Ilkovitch

Natural Resources major