To the Editor:

L. David Peters’ referring to the 2,500 hardworking researchers and teaching fellows affiliated with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences as “an increasingly ridiculous set of ingrate graduate students” is insulting, and more importantly, inaccurate (“Fin. aid compels the rich to foot others’ bills,” 3/30). The graduate students at this university remain here for at least five and often six or seven years, producing the research that helps the institution maintain its name in higher education.

In addition to our own dissertations and research articles, we assist faculty members in producing their research, gathering their data and working in their laboratories. We also contribute to the University’s mission by serving as teaching fellows, indirectly contributing to faculty research by performing a substantial amount of the grading tasks for undergraduate courses.

Graduate students in the languages and mathematics also serve as part-time acting instructors, teaching up to five times a week in addition to being full-time researchers.

Graduate students receive the financial support that we do because our work is critical to the University’s core missions of research and teaching, and because we devote more than half a decade of our lives to these endeavors.

Julia Azari GRD ’08

March 30, 2006