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BU Grad Students Protest for Equal Pay and Representation Outside Meeting

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Binghamton University Grad School workers protested Friday for equal pay and representation outside of a meeting hosted by administration in the college's Event Center.

Protesters told FOX 40 that starting in Fall of 2016 incoming graduate student employees, who hold positions such as teaching assistants, will earn as much as $5,000 more than current employees who will return next year at their lower rate.

They say that Friday's meeting, which they believe discussed graduate issues, lacked adequate grad student representation. According to protesters, grad students were given five minutes to speak in the beginning of the meeting and then had to leave.

"First they tried to give the facade that they were interested in working with us. But now it's clear, that when it comes to the real, nitty-gritty, the nuts and bolts; were locked out of a meeting. All of the meetings that have been with us have been for show," said Shehryar Qazi, a member of the Graduate Student Employees Union.

In a statement, BU said that the process to develop the proposal to increase graduate stipends was inclusive and transparent. It says all proposals are reviewed by a committee that includes graduate and undergraduate representation.