In its third meeting of the quarter, the Graduate Student Council (GSC) discussed advocating for diversity, clarifying the Council’s election guidelines and improving financial literacy among graduate students.
The sole bill voted on during the session proposed a funding increase for the Diversity Advocacy Committee (DAC), an autonomous subcommittee of the GSC that focuses on supporting and raising awareness for underrepresented communities within the larger graduate student body.
The DAC requested an increase in funding for the 2017-18 academic year to support events, such as an upcoming conference on the rise in hate crimes occurring nationally.
The bill passed unanimously after council members asked clarifying questions and discussed possible improvements, one of which would synchronize the DAC calendar into the GSC calendar.
During open session, the GSC discussed an effort to set clear guidelines for its elections. Council member and Ph.D. student Isa Rosa had expressed concern earlier about difficulties in the previous election, which resulting in the GSC resending some ballots. The council expressed a desire to clarify the GSC’s election expectations and policies and update them online.
In his presentation to the council, alumnus Grant Means ’16 introduced Mind Over Money, a program that aims to improve students’ financial literacy. Means spoke of a newsletter addressing financial queries that would be distributed online to those interested in gaining insight on personal finance. The council suggested improvements to the presentation of the newsletter and also encouraged Means to address the structural elements that contribute to graduate students’ financial difficulties, such as high rent.
When asked about the council’s goals for the quarter, chairwoman Rosie Nelson, a Ph.D. student, said that one of the council’s primary objectives is to complete its analysis of a survey distributed to the graduate student body in June.
“That can help guide some of the initiatives that [the GSC will] have in the future,” she said.
Nelson also mentioned the GSC’s role in funding student organizations and remaining attentive to housing-related issues.
Next week, the GSC will vote on two bills introduced at this week’s meeting. One seeks to reconstitute a Joint Legislative Committee on Sexual Violence with the Undergraduate Senate. The other seeks confirmation of assistant election commissioners for the ASSU Elections Commission.
Contact Sean Chen at kxsean ‘at’ stanford.edu.