(BrightPress.org) – Harvard is encouraging their impoverished graduate students to apply for food stamps as a supplemental measure to their meager salaries. The irony of Harvard having the single largest endowment in the entire world, an astounding sum of $53 billion, was lost on the officials who made the suggestion.
The Harvard Graduate Students Union (HGSU) has been pushing for a $20,000 increase to the standard salary of $40,000/year for graduate students. The 50% boost would be enough to allow students to afford groceries without requiring governmental assistance while they work to become leaders across multiple sectors.
A flyer from Harvard’s Health Services office informed students that they may qualify for SNAP benefits and encouraged them to apply while the university sits on the largest endowment in the world. The money is generally used to fund programs, scholarships, and research projects. It would not be outside the range of what it is generally used for to supplement student income as they continue to perform research for the university and its professors.
Many graduate students are also not U.S. citizens, making them ineligible for food stamps. The HGSU has been on strike twice over the last few years, with a large chunk of that having to do with dissatisfaction over salaries.
A representative for the university said the event advertised was solely to inform students about available support should they require it. They did not address the salary issue or irony of the richest university on the planet having to fund their graduate students with programs funded by taxpayers.
The high cost of living in the city of Boston contributes to the expense of living and working at Harvard. While it isn’t the most expensive city, it’s certainly up there with other major cities and much higher than suburban or rural areas. The city has a strong pull for technology wizards and business acolytes, some of the world’s highest earners, and yet the university won’t pay them a living wage despite tens of billions in endowments and a “liberal” reputation.
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