Graduate students call for administration to act on financial crisis

Thursday, December 10, 2020


Graphic: Robyn De Leon

Graduate students call for administration to act on financial crisis

By Robyn De Leon

On Nov. 19, the Graduate Students of LMU (GSLMU) Executive Board released a statement  calling for LMU to acknowledge and alleviate the financial burden of graduate students perpetuated by the effects of COVID-19. The university has not responded or fulfilled this request at the time of writing this.

“We express an ongoing concern that a tuition increase reflects a blatant lack of acknowledgment for the precarious financial situation graduate students face in an uncertain job market and waning access to resources,” the letter states.

In the latest message from the Provost Office on Dec. 2, LMU made no statement of acknowledgment toward the letter issued by GSLMU’s executive board nor did the Provost allude to any sort of financial plan that would reflect an adjustment from in-person attendance to online education. 

“LMU has greater capacity to take on the brunt of this financial crisis compared to individual students,” GSLMU’s letter reads.

The executive board’s letter also clarifies that their call to action does not advocate for LMU to consider compromising their commitment toward paying faculty and staff to relieve students.

“Our mission as GSLMU is to identify subpopulations of students who are disproportionately burdened by recent and ongoing changes,” said GSLMU. 

At the time of writing this, the actions taken by the administration toward easing the financial burden from students was enacted in March at the start of quarantine when LMU refunded students for housing, parking, meal plans, and recreation fees. The Dean of Students also established the Lion Emergency Fund from where students could request a max of $500. However, tuition was not adjusted last semester nor this current semester. 

GSLMU did not respond to Agency’s request for comment.

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