On this page, you can find previous advocacy statements and announcements.

Information about Tax Bill (11/09/2017)

Dear fellow grads,

As you might already be aware, the Republicans are planning on counting tuition waivers as taxable income in their new tax bill. If this bill were to get through, graduate students receiving tuition waivers would have to pay significantly higher taxes. In addition to the large cut to our after-tax income, the quality of our education, research, and teaching would very likely be affected. Here are links to a few articles on the possible effects of the bill:

Inside Higher Ed: ‘Taxing a Coupon’

The Chronicle of Higher Education: How the GOP Tax Plan could Hurt Graduate Students

Washington Post: The House GOP Tax Bill would Raise the Cost of College

Forbes: The GOP Tax Plan will Destroy Graduate Education

NPR: GOP Tax Bill could Pass the House by Next Week

We just sent an email to the Provost’s Office to request information from JHU’s administration on the university’s plan before and in case the bill is passed.

We will meet for our next E-Board meeting on Monday and currently continue our discussion on possible steps the GRO could take to support our community members. If you have any suggestions or questions, please let us know via this form:

Best wishes,

GRO Statement: Executive Order on Visas and Immigration

GRO Statement: Executive Order on Visas and Immigration

Graduate Representative Organization logoOn January 27, 2017, Holocaust Remembrance Day, the President of the United States signed an executive order temporarily banning people from seven countries and all refugees from entering the United States. The GRO fully and emphatically condemns this executive order. Thousands of refugees, legal immigrants, and non-immigrants have not been able to come to the United States. Countless others have been forced to avoid traveling outside the United States, held hostage by the fact that they may not be able to reenter. These are people with valid documentation, including green card holders. Entering the United States as an immigrant or refugee is not an easy task and usually has to be prepared months, sometimes even more than a year, ahead.

For graduate students and other academics from the seven countries, the executive order has professional as well as personal consequences. Some of these professional restrictions are practical – academia relies on international exchange, and international travel is required for nearly all of us. Others are less direct – it is unreasonable to expect a person living under a government that treats them with open hostility to put their concern for their well-being aside and focus on their academic goals. The executive order and its plausible successors may also mean that we cannot receive any new graduate students from the affected nations, limiting the educational choices of these potential students and impoverishing our community.

President Daniels has made a clear statement that “the order stands in unambiguous opposition to our country’s long-cherished values and ideas” and that the “human impact of such an assault on these core values was immediate, including at Johns Hopkins” (

We are thankful for such clear words and we endorse President Daniels’s message.

The GRO’s purpose is to advocate for graduate students and we have taken a stand against this discriminatory act. Last week, we participated in the NAGPS action day and on Monday, we decided to support this rally. We do what the graduate student body asks for, so if you have ideas, please let the GRO General Council and Executive Board know. Apart from supporting and starting actions, we can help fellow graduate students navigate difficult situations. Although we cannot provide legal advice, we can direct you to resources and connect you with people on campus who specialize on particular questions and problems.

As the GRO, we condemn the executive order and any form of discrimination against refugees, visa holders, and visitors of the United States.

If you are affected by the executive order: you are welcome at JHU and we are proud that you are part of our community.