The Graduate Student Council (GSC) approved special fees at its last meetings. GSC members also discussed developing a housing affordability survey and set March 1 as the date for their elections information session.
Six voluntary student organizations (VSOs) including the Viennese Ball and Club Sports received special fees from the GSC. Each graduate student will pay approximately $26.32 next year to cover fees.
The new system, in contrast to the previous joint fees process, involves each VSO requesting funding from undergraduate and graduate pools separately. The portion that the graduate pool contributes to the fees request is proportional to the number of graduate students who would benefit from the VSO.
This means that some groups, such as Stanford Energy Club, received no funding from the graduate pool, while others, such as the Speakers Bureau and Club Sports, will be mostly funded by graduate students.
To decide the funding split for each VSO, the GSC funding committee worked in tandem with the Undergraduate Senate’s appropriations committee.
Doctoral student in geophysics and Funding Committee Chair Tianze Liu explained that the portion from each pool was only roughly estimated for this fees cycle. Additionally, groups whom the committee felt could obtain outside funding received a smaller portion from the pool.
Jelani Munroe ʼ16, CEO of Stanford Student Enterprises, said that groups would receive clarification on how the funding split was decided. If a VSO decides to petition for more money, they will need 1,100 graduate signatures. However, low graduate voter turnout was one of the GSC’s main reasons for switching to the new fees process.
Third-year doctoral candidate in anthropology John Moran presented the results of a housing affordability survey conducted within his department. With a sample size of 32 graduates students, the survey found that 60 percent were spending more than half their annual income on housing. In contrast, the financial aid office recommends spending slightly less than half. The GSC will be developing its own survey for the entire graduate community.
Additionally, the GSC will be holding a public meeting with Provost Persis Drell at a future date.
Contact Miguel Samano at msamano ‘at’ stanford.edu.