Student marchers deliver financial aid petition
More than 60 students marched from Dwight Hall to Woodbridge Hall Friday afternoon to deliver a petition calling on University President Richard Levin to reverse the recent increase of the student term-time contribution by $400.
The petition — which contained more than 1,250 signatures — comes after the University Organizing Committee hosted a financial aid forum for students last Wednesday, where students receiving financial aid voiced their concerns about how the $400 increase would restrict their ability to participate in extracurricular activities and meet academic commitments.
Waving placards that read “classism is not classy” and “the recession has hit Yale hard, but is has hit me harder,” students stood outside Woodbridge Hall calling for immediate reforms. The petition also calls on the University to reinstate the two-week preferential hiring period for students on financial aid.
“We are not just going to let this happen,” Sarah Eidelson ’12, a member of the UOC, told the crowd.
Chris Pagliarella’12 said he joined today’s march because he has had to change summer job plans in order to pay for the increase in the student term-time contribution. He added that he knows friends who must juggle their class schedules to match work commitments while others cannot find jobs at all.
Nina Glickson, assistant to the president, collected the petition on Levin’s behalf. She did not issue any comment.
Caesar Storlazzi, director of student financial services, said in an e-mail Tuesday that he and other administrators thought requiring students to work just over one more hour per week would not be a “terrible burden.”
“This has been a very difficult few years for the economy, both nationally and here at Yale,” Storlazzi said. “We have had to make very difficult decisions regarding employment of individuals at the University, and about support for programs.”
In a recent interview, Levin said he does not anticipate any changes to financial aid for next year but that the University will consider the UOC’s concerns in long-term policy plans.
The new policy is expected to raise an additional $1.1 million in revenue and is part of the University’s efforts to close its the $100 million budget gap.
Yale students on financial aid are currently expected to contribute $3,000 during the academic year toward their education. The student term-time contributions for Harvard and Princeton are $2,500 and $2,345 respectively.