Widgets Magazine

GSC talks coterm housing, Diversity and Advocacy open meeting

In its Wednesday night meeting, the Graduate Student Council (GSC) discussed its open meeting addressing university policies to improve conditions for graduate students.

The meeting was jointly hosted by the GSC and Diversity and Advocacy Committee in collaboration with the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education on Tuesday evening. The open meeting emphasized issues such as healthcare and housing. It also presented results of the 2017 Graduate Student Council survey. The survey addressed topics surrounding graduate life such as stipends and housing, as well as featured student concerns about lack of diversity, healthcare and childcare.

“In my opinion, the most impactful issue discussed was the struggle for student parents to afford housing and child care,” said Rosie Nelson, a Ph.D. Candidate in the Graduate School of Education, GSC co-chair and current ASSU Executive candidate. “One recommendation is to provide additional need-based funds for student families to help defray costs, which will be an important first step while Stanford explores other long-term solutions.”

Kari Barclay, a second-year Ph.D. candidate in Theater and Performance Studies, said that the event was a good way to “strengthen the graduate voice” and brought the administration’s attention to graduate students’ concerns.

Nelson also discussed changes in housing from the Graduate Housing Advisory Committee (GHAC). According to Nelson, coterms will now receive “low priority” for housing as opposed to the previous “no priority” status, while Schwab Residential Center enacted pricing reductions to incentivize students from the Graduate School of Business (GSB) to live in the facility.

In addition, Nelson said that there will be significant changes to “flex spaces” that Residential and Dining Enterprises (R&DE) maintains to accommodate incoming graduate students in the fall while undergraduate students are abroad. According to Nelson, there will be more undergraduate students needing housing in the coming school year. GHAC and R&DE are currently trying to find 20 new flex spaces on campus.

“They will be trying to keep undergraduates together as much as possible to keep a sense of community and will not pair [undergraduate] and [graduate] students in the same apartment,” Nelson said.

The GSC also had a closed session in the beginning before the regular meeting where they discussed a bill currently inaccessible to the public.

Later in the meeting, the GSC discussed their plans for the annual Grad Formal event, which is scheduled to take place on May 4th, as well as approved funding for the Italy’s Liberation Day Celebration held by the Stanford Italian Society.

Election results for next year’s GSC will be announced on April 14. Council members briefly discussed potential future changes to the online ballot, and some voiced concerns about the current interface.

 

Contact Karen Kurosawa at karen16 ‘at’ stanford.edu.