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GSC approves ASSU budget, talks orientation events

Graduate Student Council discusses how to give incoming graduate students a good start

SEAN CHEN/The Stanford Daily

The Graduate Student Council (GSC) approved the 2018-19 ASSU operational budget and discussed preparations for the new graduate student orientation in yesterday’s meeting.

Following a closed session presentation by ASSU financial manager Jelani Munroe ’16 M.A. ’17, during which GSC members received breakdowns of past years’ ASSU expenses and revenues as well as the amount of student fees collected, the Council passed the ASSU operational budget for the coming academic year.

Biophysics Ph.D. candidate Melanie Malinas had expressed concerns about the lack of specificity in Munroe’s budget presentation to the GSC at an earlier meeting. She said that Munroe’s presentation on Wednesday cleared up her queries.

“We were presented with specific numbers … and I was able to ask questions about changes in numbers for the budget,” Malinas said. “So I feel like my concerns were addressed.”

Though the 2018-19 ASSU operational budget was originally supposed to be passed by the outgoing 2017-18 GSC, its approval was delayed because the Council was focused on other issues, such as long-range planning.

While the New Graduate Student Orientation (NSGO) will not occur until September, councillors at the GSC have begun discussing plans for events during that time.

Diversity & Advocacy Committee (DAC) liaison and aeronautics and astronautics engineering Ph.D. candidate Ana Tarano proposed a community center crawl, during which students would be introduced to the different resources available to them.

Social chair and Division of Literature, Culture and Languages Ph.D. student Gabby Badica mentioned a mock GSC meeting to provide incoming students with an impression of student government’s functions as well as presentations on financial issues faced by graduate students.

Badica also mentioned plans for a catered graduate social event during the first week of August.

“Graduate students are like a quiet constant presence [over the summer] so we’ve got to do stuff for them,” Badica said.

The Council anticipates a graduate mental health panel at its next meeting on July 25.  The panel will feature eight University representatives from the Graduate Life Office, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs, Financial Aid Office and other administrative bodies.

According to co-chair and biology Ph.D. candidate Amy Tarangelo, the GSC plans to learn more about University policies regarding mental health issues and ways in which they can be improved. The results of the discussion will be incorporated into planning for a graduate mental health town hall in the fall.

 

Contact Sean Chen at kxsean ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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