Grad students protest tax proposal with sit-in at Hollingsworth's office


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WTHR) - Some IU graduate students took the battle over federal taxes directly to Congressman Trey Hollingsworth.

They held a sit-in in his Greenwood office on Monday.

About a dozen IU grad students took over the third floor outer office of Congressman Hollingsworth.

They vowed to stay until the 9th District Republican changes his support of President Trump’s tax plan, or they are arrested and hauled off to jail.

The students claim that if either bill is passed as is, it may force them out of grad school.

They receive a small pay checks for teaching, doing research and helping professors. They also get tens of thousands of dollars in free tuition. The GOP proposal would tax those benefits.

Amanda Waterhouse, who earns about $16,000 a year, figures her taxes could come to about $14,000.

“The issue is we simply cannot afford to pay this taxation that would be levied against our tuition remission,” Waterhouse said. “We would have to drop out of graduate schools and there would be no graduate school labor force that could run the public education system in this country."

The students stayed at Hollingsworth's office well into the night and live streamed several portions of their protest on the Campus Action for Democracy Facebook page. In those videos, you can see an officer tell them they either had to leave or be arrested. Several of them did leave, but some stayed behind.

In the video, one protester who left could be heard relaying a message from one of the protesters who stayed inside. They claimed the building's landlord told police the protesters could stay inside Hollingsworth's office but if they stepped foot outside into the hallway, the landlord wanted them arrested.

A spokesperson with Greenwood Police confirmed to Tuesday morning that no arrests were made.