My mathematics department apparently gets pressured by the university to have more people take courses during the summer. We are also encouraged to take on TA responsibilities to make extra cash during the summer which is great.... except that they have this rule that if we want to teach/grade (or do any paid work during the summer) we have to enroll in courses. The options are slim and so is the stipend; I'm a grad student currently trying to prepare for my final prelim exam and do some research during the summer; I'd like to make a little extra cash.... but I crunched the numbers and it looks like I'll net about $600 for an entire summer, not exactly a living wage.
I should also add that our department (mathematics) brings more funds (in course work and its associated tuition) than any other department (I'm sure biology/chemistry pulls more in research grants), .... so it seems very tawdry of them to "get money back" by forcing us to enroll in classes.
So my question is: Is this normal? I've spoken with some of my professors and they said it is not; but just curious what this community has to say and if this is ethical or are there any statistics on this sort of thing.