Hundreds of graduate students at USC, UCLA and Caltech joined national protests Wednesday against the House Republican tax bill passed this month, saying it contains changes that would significantly increase their taxes and make it difficult for many to continue their research.
At USC, more than 100 students and professors gathered at the Tommy Trojan statue to urge peers to call their lawmakers and fight the changes. Many held colorful signs describing how their research benefits society: “Graduate students study food safety,” “Graduate students design highways.”
USC student Hannah Khoddam and a handful of classmates began organizing the walkout this month, then joined forces with students from a group of six East Coast colleges to sponsor a national “day of action” that drew thousands of participants at nearly 60 campuses in 33 states.
Graduate students at USC, UCLA and Caltech plan to join national protests Wednesday against the House Republican tax bill passed this month, which analysts say makes changes that would significantly boost the taxes of many of the nation’s young researchers.
USC student Hannah Khoddam and a handful of classmates began organizing a walkout this month, then joined forces with students from a group of six East Coast colleges to sponsor a national “day of action” expected to draw thousands of participants at about 50 campuses in 32 states.
The House tax bill slashes $65 billion in tax benefits for higher education over 10 years, according to Steven Bloom, the American Council on Education’s director of government relations. Graduate students would be hit hard by a repeal of a decades-old provision that shields from taxation their tuition — which is waived by universities in exchange for their work as teaching assistants and researchers.
Johnny Phommathep was driving home to Rancho Tehama from a quick trip to Sacramento on Tuesday morning when he got a text message from his wife, Tiffany, telling him she was dropping their three youngest sons off at school.
He texted her back to ask if she wanted something to eat. When he got no response, Phommathep called. No answer. He called again. Nothing. Again and again he called without a word back from his wife.
A few minutes later, a colleague called to tell Phommathep that there had been a shooting at Rancho Tehama Elementary School.
Mirabelle Chernick, a senior at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, explains why she stands to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each morning, even though most others in her classroom do not.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America…”
These 12 words, recited so patriotically for previous centuries, have now become synonymous with the contentious political climate of today. To me, this is where the real issue stems from. The Pledge of Allegiance is a declaration in support of liberty.