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GSC seeks to improve community, dining options

Annie Chang/The Stanford Daily

At Wednesday’s Graduate Student Council (GSC) meeting, members continued to discuss concerns about the lack of dining options for graduate students. GSC co-chair Yiqing Ding put particular emphasis on how many graduate students feel that they are overlooked by Residential and Dining Enterprises (R&DE).

“Graduate students were upset about the change in dining hall plans and want to talk to R&DE,” Ding said.

In response to the lack of dining hall options for graduate students, GSC members came up with several potential solutions, including a shuttle that quickly takes students to Arrillaga Dining, improving the dining experience at Ricker Dining and opening up Lakeside Dining to graduate students.  

During the discussion, GSC members said convenience, affordability and healthiness of dining options are priorities. The 24-hour salad bar at Munger Market was mentioned as one example of a convenient dining option, but Munger is accessible only to those with key card access, a subset of all graduate students.

The consensus at the meeting was to stage a consultation with graduate students to collect their thoughts on dining options. The GSC stressed its desire to be open to any R&DE suggestions.

During the meeting, GSC also discussed the Mental Health Advocacy Meeting on Oct. 15 and an upcoming meeting with the School of Engineering to discuss mental health and well-being. GSC members brought up the issue of minimum stipends and how the ability to acquire funding may affect well-being among graduate students. Graduate student social events such as the fall welcome-back party, Halloween Party and Grad Formal were briefly discussed as well.

The GSC then discussed funding requests of various voluntary student organizations at Stanford. The German Students Association’s funding request for OctoberFest, a barbecue event on Nov. 3 that 800 graduate students are expected to attend, was approved. The Polish Students Association’s request for a Welcome Bonfire at Lake Lagunita was also approved. A representative from the Association stressed its desire for attendees to bring their own silverware and plates to reduce waste.

Stanford Science Penpals, which partners with schools across the world to encourage high school students to pursue STEM, had its motion for funding its year-long budget and an information session for graduate students to promote awareness of the organization approved.

The meeting was adjourned after passing a motion to invite an ASSU executive to each GSC meeting in the future, as done with the Undergraduate Senate.

The GSC will next meet on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

 

Contact Annie Chang at annette.chang ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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