The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



GSU modifies graduate grants

Amanda Michaels | Wednesday, October 15, 2003

In just one of many budgetary decisions made during Tuesday’s Graduate Student Union meeting, members passed the motion to adjust funding for the Gordon Conference Presentation Grant, changing the amount of money graduate students can receive from the GSU to cover travel expenses.

Rather than allow each student to apply for a $500 grant – a policy that led to a shortage of funds in years past – the GSU will now pay 50 percent of the individual’s expenses, up to $350. The departments will be expected to pick up the rest of the cost.

“Because of University policy, it comes across poorly that currently the departments have to fund [student travel] first before we give out grant, so the graduate school budget director suggested we come up with some way to avoid the ‘last resort policy,'” said Tim Dale, chair of academic affairs. “This is it.”

The lifetime cap of $1,500 per graduate student will remain, but allowances for daily lodging and food expenses have increased to $125 and $40 respectively, in response to comments that the current numbers were too low.

Another major issue discussed was the availability and security of parking for graduate students. According to Erika Benavides, the already limited number of parking spaces available in the library lot will decrease further next year when the faculty lot closes to make way for construction. An ad-hoc parking committee was formed to deal with the problem along with the Parking Services department; it will also address the shortage of emergency phones on certain parts of campus, specifically by the Joyce Center.

In other GSU business:

– A request for $500 by the Chinese Cultural and Art Exhibition was unanimously approved. The event, to be held Oct. 17 and 18, is the first of its kind on campus and will benefit economically disadvantaged children who seek to return to school in China.

– The GSU will continue its association with “Evenings of Prayer from Around the World,” a forum established by former GSU orientation committee chair Mignon Montpetit last year.

– Issues surrounding the printing quota have been resolved, and the allotted amount for each student will return to $300 within a few weeks. The error occurred when the new computer system was implemented over the summer.

– The new GSU server approved at the last meeting has arrived and is currently being installed. A new, more functional graduate student website is also being designed.