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Cuts stir IU protest talk

– Indiana University students concerned about reductions in state funding for higher education and IU’s management of programs are calling for an all-campus strike in April in protest.

A group called Student Power IU has been meeting to discuss concerns and is urging the action during the university trustees’ meeting in Bloomington on April 11-12.

Student Nick Greven told the Herald-Times that the university community needs to make it clear to state lawmakers that IU can’t sustain itself as a high-quality institution if state funding for higher education continues to drop.

Student Power’s blog site says the proposed strike is a response to rising tuition, racism on campus and “attacks on working conditions” for IU staff and faculty.

IU spokesman Mark Land said the university was aware of the group’s meetings but declined further comment.

Peter Kaczmarczyk, past president of the Communications Workers of America Local 4730, said the group was monitoring the strike.

“While we support attempts to get the university to take a more progressive stance on issues, to better pay its staff, better treat its students, and to focus on education rather than the financial bottom line, we (support staff) are prohibited from striking or discussion (of) or planning a strike,” he said.

He said the union has told its members that they risk being fired if they participate in any meetings to discuss a possible strike.