MU graduate students prepare for walk-out Wednesday

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COLUMBIA - An MU graduate student organization, Forum on Graduate Rights, presented demands to MU administration regarding finances, housing and healthcare for graduate students.

If MU fails to meet the demands presented by the Forum on Graduate Rights, MU graduate students will participate in a walk-out Wednesday from 12-1 p.m. on Francis Quadrangle. A representative from the MU News Bureau said MU administration is currently reviewing these demands, but did not make further comment.

These demands follow the reinstatement of the graduate student health insurance subsidies for the 2015-2016 school year. The reinstatement of the subsidies violates a provision of the Affordable Care Act. Through this violation, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said the IRS could charge the university $100 per student per day. 

The Forum on Graduate Rights demands include better wages and tuition wavers for graduate students, more affordable graduate student housing near campus after the demolition of University Village and a childcare center for graduate students because the old one was demolished along with University Village. 

"This isn't simply about the health insurance. This isn't simply just about wages. It's about making sure the graduate students have a voice at the university that's commensurate with their role in the university," MU graduate student David Criger said. 

KOMU received a tip that some MU undergraduate courses could be cancelled due to the walkout. Criger said that the sociology department told its graduate students to notify the students about any effect the walk-out would have on courses.