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