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UCLA offers summer fellowships to graduate students in face of strikes

UCLA graduate students voted Thursday to go on strike this week, if they received approval from graduate students in at least 10 departments. UCLA announced Tuesday that they will provide summer fellowships for graduate students to allow them continue their studies and research over the summer. (Tanmay Shankar/Assistant Photo editor)

By Julia Shapero

March 10, 2020 3:52 pm

UCLA will offer summer fellowships to graduate students using funds from its Centennial Campaign, according to a university email to students Tuesday.

The fellowships will provide students with $2,500 a month for up to three months to continue their studies, research and other creative work over the summer, said Emily Carter, executive vice chancellor and provost, in the emailed statement. 

Graduate students at UCLA voted Thursday to go on strike this week, pending approval of graduate students in at least 10 departments. Graduate students would stop teaching and grading until their demands of higher wages and affordable housing are met.

The UCLA move also follows protests and strikes from graduate students across the University of California for a cost of living adjustment.

Graduate students at UC Santa Cruz first held a strike in December in which they refused to turn in fall grades, before striking again in February. At least 17 students were arrested during protests in February. UC Santa Cruz fired 54 students on Feb. 28 for continuing to refuse to turn in fall grades.

Carter said UCLA recognizes the rising costs, particularly of housing, that graduate students face in Los Angeles. While the fellowships are not a blanket resource for all graduate students, they will be available to students who do not have access to other opportunities for summer funding, she added.

“UCLA strives to provide robust financial support for graduate students, however, we recognize that more needs to be done, particularly for students lacking support during the summer months to continue their scholarly work uninterrupted from the academic year,” Carter said.

One of the goals of the fellowships is also to reduce time-to-degree, and allow students to graduate faster with less debt, Carter said.

UCLA is also working to create additional and lower-cost housing options for graduate students, with hundreds more living spaces that will become available in fall 2020 and fall 2022, she added. The university is also looking to purchase new facilities to increase graduate student housing, she said.

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Julia Shapero | Assistant News editor
Shapero is an assistant News editor in the National News & Higher Education beat. She was previously a contributor for the National News & Higher Education beat. Shapero is a third-year political science student who enjoys covering national and statewide news.
Shapero is an assistant News editor in the National News & Higher Education beat. She was previously a contributor for the National News & Higher Education beat. Shapero is a third-year political science student who enjoys covering national and statewide news.
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