Call Scripts

Before you call, find your representatives, and watch a video of a sample conversation.

Sample conversation for a current TA or RA:

 

"Hello, my name is [Name], and I am a constituent of [Legislator]. I am calling to oppose the repeal of IRS code Section 117(d), proposed by the House version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which would repeal tuition waivers for graduate students who work as teaching or research assistants. I would encourage [Legislator] to ask committee members to ensure that this portion of the House bill is not included in the final legislation."

Briefly explain your research or area of study and why it is important. For example, "I am currently a second year grad student at [school]. My research is funded by the US Department of Transportation, and focuses on ways to make our roads safer and more efficient."

I currently make around [dollar amount], and receive a tuition waiver in the amount of [dollar amount]. If this repeal were to pass, my marginal tax rate would dramatically increase. It would make it much harder for myself and my peers to continue in the important research that we do. Most grad students are barely making it by at current levels of funding, and I believe this bill would significantly reduce the quality of the American educational system. Does [Legislator] have an opinion on this proposed repeal?

After their answer:

Again, I would strongly encourage [Legislator] to oppose repealing this tax increase on grad students. Thank you for your time, and have a great day!

Most Congressional offices will ask you for an address or zip code to ensure that you are a constituent.

Sample conversation for a Professor:

 

"Hello, my name is [Name], and I am a constituent of [Legislator]. I am calling to oppose the repeal of IRS code Section 117(d), proposed by the House version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which would repeal tuition waivers for graduate students who work as teaching or research assistants.I would encourage [Legislator] to ask committee members to ensure that this portion of the House bill is not included in the final legislation."

Briefly explain your research or area of study and why it is important. For example, "I am a professor at [university]. I teach sociology with a focus on mental health issues." 

I currently have [number of grad students] students, who each are paid around [dollar amount] and receive tuition waivers for around [dollar amount]. This bill would dramatically increase their tax burden. It would make it harder for me to recruit high quality students, especially those from socioeconomically diverse backgrounds. My students do not make much at current levels of funding, and I believe this bill would significantly reduce the quality of the American educational system. Does [Legislator] have an opinion on this proposed repeal?

After an their answer:

Again, I would strongly encourage [Legislator] to oppose repealing this tax increase on grad students. Thank you for your time, and have a great day!

Most Congressional offices will ask you for an address or zip code to ensure that you are a constituent.

Sample conversation for a concerned constituent

 

"Hello, my name is [Name], and I am a constituent of [Legislator]. I am calling to oppose the repeal of IRS code Section 117(d), proposed by the House version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which would repeal tuition waivers for graduate students who work as teaching or research assistants. I would encourage [Legislator] to ask committee members to ensure that this portion of the House bill is not included in the final legislation."

Although I am not myself a grad student, I think that a tax increase on grad students is a bad thing for our country. This bill will make it harder for current and future students to attend grad school. It will stifle innovation. I directly benefit from the work that grad students do, and so I oppose efforts to make grad school more expensive. I think that we should encourage, not discourage easy, cheap access to education in America.

Does [Legislator] have an opinion on this proposed repeal?

After an their answer:

Again, I would strongly encourage [Legislator] to oppose repealing this tax increase on grad students. Thank you for your time, and have a great day!

Most Congressional offices will ask you for an address or zip code to ensure that you are a constituent.