(WatchDogReport.org) – Harvard is the wealthiest school in the world, with an endowment of around $53 billion, and receives hundreds of millions of dollars in government funding each year. Despite this, the prestigious institution is asking its students to do something strange — apply for food stamp benefits.
Graduate students are currently paid $40,000 per year, but claim more is needed. The Harvard Graduate School Union (HGSU) has gone on strike twice in recent years, demanding a more “livable wage” for graduate students. HGSU wants the $40,000 salary for graduate students to be increased to $60,000 annually.
Harvard University Health Services held an event for students earlier this year, during which graduate students were “reminded” that they may be able to receive SNAP benefits for food to “fuel their bodies and stock their pantries.” The HGSU says that if the salary were increased as requested, students wouldn’t need to apply for government benefits to feed themselves. The HGSU also voiced concern for the 30% of students that are not eligible for SNAP benefits since they attend the university from other countries.
The thought that Harvard University Students should apply for food stamp assistance has caused heightened emotions among many who are also struggling across the country. Most seem to believe the school should use the already available funding to feed graduate students if they can’t feed themselves on their regular salary.
The backlash from this debacle follows another Harvard University controversy. Harvard was involved in a Supreme Court case, Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard. The court ruled that Harvard, along with all other higher education institutions, could no longer accept applicants solely on their race. Harvard considered this practice “affirmative action” and decided instead to try and determine an applicant’s race based on personal essays submitted with college applications. The paper should discuss how the student’s life has been influenced by race in ways such as discrimination or inspiration.
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