NYU graduate workers demand a universal extension!

We are currently seeking endorsements on this campaign from other campus members, organizations, and unions. Please endorse through this form.

Our demands: 

  1. Provide a one-year extension of funding & time-to-degree deadlines for all graduate students. This includes: 
    1. An additional year for all doctoral and master’s students with current NYU funding packages, and a commitment to provide funding for all currently matriculated doctoral students for the 2020-2021 AY who do not have funding secured.
    2. No additional tuition for master’s students who opt-in to degree extensions.
    3. Maintenance of matriculation, registration & services, and health care fee waivers for one additional year for all graduate students. 
  2. Provide three-month emergency summer funding proportionate to the AY fellowship amount.
  3. Extend I-20/DS-2019 and provide needed funding to all international and immigrant students so that they may maintain their immigration status.
  4. We make these demands in solidarity with the NYU COVID Coalition demands.

Our principles:

  1. Funding for all! Any funding extension plan must be universal, with no department, cohort, or student excluded. All graduate students and cohorts have been deeply affected by COVID. As the testimonials of students at various stages of graduate work make clear, all of us have faced and will continue to face serious impediments to the normal completion of our work. We are expected to continue to perform teaching and research labor in the university. We are asking to be paid a living wage for this labor. 
  2. No passing the buck! Any doctoral funding extension plan must be funded at a university-wide level, not from school or department budgets. Recently announced plans for (partial) extensions put the onus on individual schools and departments. This will inevitably lead to an unfair, uneven implementation in which only schools and departments that are larger, better funded, and/or sympathetic to student demands will extend funding packages. We reject any plan which is not universal, and which pits schools, departments, and cohorts against each other. In order to ensure a minimum living wage for all, NYU must redistribute funds.
  3. No admissions cuts! We oppose admissions cuts because they displace the burden of the crisis onto future graduate students. Following the 2008 recession several departments cut admissions to fund current students. Those funding lines permanently disappeared. If current funding extensions are financed by reducing graduate enrollment, departments lose these PhD lines forever, which in turn will lead to cuts in teaching jobs. Smaller departments may collapse entirely. Finally, as with all other austerity measures, admissions cuts allow NYU to extend funding packages without restructuring its finances according to the needs of its community members.
  4. NYU can afford it! We reject the austerity measures outlined by NYU’s administration. The university administration has indicated that meeting our demands would necessitate the mass furloughing of other employees. We strongly reject this claim, and the tired managerial tactic of pitting workers against each other. NYU can afford to pay its graduate student workers and other campus workers. NYU can finance these extensions by using its endowment, reallocating the capital expansion funds, and by cutting top administrator salaries (see the proposals in NYU Can Afford It). We know that the barriers to using those resources are a matter of will rather than ability. NYU has repeatedly forked out the money to finance its development projects and loans to faculty.
  5. Protect all of us! We recognize that some of us are affected more than others. Graduate students of color, women, LGBTQ students, international and immigrant students, and those with dependents have always been more disadvantaged in terms of the ability to dip into savings or turn to rich family members, and are discriminated against in the housing market and in the external funding market. Additionally, NYU is a global institution enriched by its large international student population. At a time when the federal government is using the pandemic to further its anti-immigrant agenda, NYU has a larger responsibility to protect international students by ensuring that they have adequate funding to remain in the USA. A universal extension will ensure that these inequities are not further exacerbated.