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Alexandra A. Adams, Star-Ledger Guest Columnist

Although we narrowly avoided going on a teaching strike at Rutgers University, it has become clear that central administration does not recognize the tremendous value that teaching assistants like me — and graduate workers in general — actually bring to students and the future of the institution. I find it incredibly saddening that the opportunity to provide a public service in research and education is typically accompanied by incurring a tremendous amount of debt and— at least in my case — going bankrupt.

It may not be possible for future scientists and educators to pursue what should be meaningful careers if they are not offered living wages. Individuals who enter an academic career are deeply passionate about our work. But if it is fiscally impossible, the future of academia is bleak.

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