News : Graduate Students


Film and Media Studies Faculty Statement in Support of Graduate Student Workers

The Faculty in the UCSB Department of Film and Media Studies would like to voice our strong support for our teaching assistants and associates, currently on strike. In addition, we also want to express our solidarity with lecturers whose contract disallows more active involvement in the strike. We base our support on the dual recognition that (i) graduate students are fundamental to the department’s research and teaching mission; and (ii) their demands are just and in the best interest of our campus community. We are concerned about economic insecurity among our graduate students. Salaries have failed to keep pace with inflation and rising rents in our area. We recognize that the rising cost of living in Santa Barbara disproportionately impacts rent burdened graduate students.

All workers on our campus deserve a living wage. We affirm the right of student workers to engage in lawful strike activity, which may include picketing, cancellation of sections, and stopping grading. Likewise, we uphold the right of instructors, except for lecturers who have a no-strike clause in their contract, to support the strike by withholding their labor, including not doing the work of posting grades. We will not inquire about whether graduate students under our direct supervision have elected to strike. Further, we will not interrupt our teaching and mentoring of graduate students regardless of their position on the strike. We urge the university to take all measures to protect international students and we will ourselves take all measures in our power to protect our international students. We reject attempts to turn undergraduates against graduate students, and stand united with our graduate students in their demands for a living wage.

In sum, we support the teaching assistants and associates in their current negotiations for a fair contract and urge the university to work towards a meaningful solution.

This statement was unanimously endorsed by the Senate Faculty in the Department of Film and Media Studies on November 23, 2022.