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GSC discusses mental health, budget, new election commissioners

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In its Wednesday meeting, the Graduate Student Council (GSC) discussed plans to push for improved graduate student healthcare, including plans to question members of University administration on the treatment of students facing mental health issues.

Co-chair and PhD candidate Amy Tarangelo sent a list of potential questions for the administrators to her fellow council members, who expressed concern over mentioning specific students’ struggles in the meeting. The Council members also proposed changes to questions in order to ensure that administrators can provide information.

Second-year PhD candidate Kari Barclay gave the Diversity & Advocacy Committee (DAC) update, focusing on healthcare and mental healthcare. He mentioned that although last year’s GSC decided not to take a stance on the fees for Stanford Healthcare, the discussion led the DAC to compare the prices and benefits of graduate healthcare to those of undergraduate healthcare.

Barclay presented on the DAC’s draft “healthcare Bill of Rights” for graduate students, consisting of requests regarding mental health and parents’ healthcare, specifically. He said he hopes for a petition on the bill to reach the general student body in fall of the 2018-19 school year.

Barclay also argued that there should be a better platform for undergraduates interested in graduate students’ mental health. He noted that he doubts the Graduate Student Council’s DAC survey report, including policy recommendations from one-fifth of the graduate community, will be addressed by the end of the school year.

“[The discussion has] kind of devolved into a black box where we don’t know exactly what is happening on [the administrators’ end],” Barclay said.

The GSC then voted 9-0, with one abstainee, to confirm the nominees for ASSU election commissioner and assistant election commissioner, Jacob Randolph ’19 and Hanna Yohannes ’20, respectively.

“As we all know, the graduate student turnout has not been as great as we want it to be,” Randolph said.

Caleb Smith ’17 M.A. ’18, who is also a Daily staffer, voted to confirm the nominees but voiced disagreement with Randolph’s stated goal to allow voters to skip certain sections of the ballot and jump to vote on the issues they care about.

Tarangelo said the budget would be decided in a closed session next week since ASSU Financial Officer Jelani Munroe ’16 shared the budget proposal with her shortly before the meeting.

However, Smith made a motion for the senate to hold a brief closed session to discuss which parts of the budget could be publicly discussed and then to open the session for those discussions. He also asked that the Council request Munroe’s presence at the closed session.

The motion passed in a 9-0 vote with one abstainee.

Smith withdrew both his proposed General Use Permit bill and his proposed bill to reform the ASSU Constitution from the agenda. Each of these measures were rejected in Tuesday night’s Undergraduate Senate meeting. 

The Council confirmed former GSC Co-chair Pau Guinart PhD ’18 as the new Faculty Senate liaison in a 9-0 vote with one abstainee.

 

Contact Holden Foreman at hs4man21 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

 

Holden Foreman '21 is The Daily's Executive Editor. He hails from the city of St. Louis, Missouri and is studying electrical engineering, computer science and economics. Contact him at hs4man21 'at' stanford.edu.