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Thousands rally across U.S. in favor of 'higher education for public good'

Staff Writer |
Across the country, thousands of adjunct professors, students, other working people and allies are gathering on college and university campuses in a national day of action under the banner of #CampusResistance.

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From Boston to Seattle and Chicago to St. Louis, on dozens of campuses, faculty, students and others are protesting President Donald Trump's "corporate-driven, deeply divisive agenda and uniting to reclaim institutions of higher education as essential to our communities and our democracy."

"We already knew higher education was in crisis: families can't afford college, student debt is skyrocketing, adjunct faculty and graduate workers are underpaid," said Scott Patrick, a Ph.D. student in political science at American University in Washington, D.C.

"Now, added to that, there's anti-immigrant rhetoric forcing students to seek sanctuary, and science, the arts and intellectual freedom are under attack. All of this is sparking a resistance movement on campus." Patrick is part of the movement of graduate student workers seeking to join together in a union.

"It's important that we resist and oppose the corporate Trump agenda, but what we are doing is more than protesting Trump," said Jason Grunebaum, who has been a contingent professor of Hindi at the University of Chicago for 12 years.

"Faculty and students are rising up to stress that a strong higher education system is essential to the well-being of our nation. Americans deserve—and need—colleges that are gateways to a lifetime of opportunity."

Grunebaum and colleagues have joined together in a union through Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73.

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