Columbia University announced a series of new benefits for graduate students this week. John H. Coatsworth, provost, wrote in an email to Ph.D. students that beginning in the fall, those eligible for funding get 12 weeks parental leave and an additional, optional unfunded semester away. Students may also receive a child care subsidy of $2,000 per year for children under five who are not enrolled in kindergarten. International students also will see their special services fee paid by their college or school.
“We remain committed to a continuing dialogue with you to enhance the overall experience of our graduate students,” Coatsworth wrote. The United Auto Workers Union, with which Columbia graduate students are affiliated, said in a statement that graduate workers had been calling on the university to help students with families care for them while maintaining their academic standing. They continue to seek formal union recognition.
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