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Petition for Musicology/Ethnomusicology Division Stipend Raise

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The signees of this petition request that funds supplied by the Butler School of Music to the Musicology/Ethnomusicology Division for fellowships, student support, and recruitment be used primarily to supplement teaching assistant and assistant instructor stipends.

Graduate student salaries in the Butler School of Music have increased two percent each year for the past two years, resulting in a net increase of about forty dollars per month for student instructors. While such efforts are appreciated, the additional funds are far surpassed by increases in the cost of living in Austin. Recent studies show that Austin rents rose seven-and-a-half percent over the last year alone and are predicted to go up another six percent by the end of this year. Over the past decade they have increased by over seventy percent. A one-bedroom apartment in Austin now costs an average of one thousand dollars per month while teaching assistants receive less than eleven hundred dollars per month after taxes and insurance fees are withheld. In order for the University of Texas at Austin to remain a desirable destination for the graduate study of musicology and ethnomusicology, student funding must remain competitive with similar programs and be scaled to the local cost of living. Therefore, we request help from the faculty by bolstering student TA/AI stipends with other available funds. We understand that this may necessitate inviting fewer students into the program, but we consider it the only viable option going forward unless TA/AI stipends are raised to a more competitive level by the dean’s office or other university administrators.

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