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Health care, parking discussed by members

Justin Tardiff | Thursday, September 8, 2005

Bagpipe music came drifting through the window in the middle of the Graduate Student Union’s first meeting of the academic year Wednesday. The unexpected surprise did not seem to rattle president Misty Schieberle or any other representatives who were intent upon the agenda and issues of the 2005-2006 year.

Scheiberle welcomed all attending the meeting and thanked them for participating in such a “worthwhile endeavor.”

Union members unanimously approved the 2005-2006 budget and then outlined plans to tackle various issues this year. Graduate student health care/medical leave policy, improved parking for graduate students and support of the Higher Education Affordability and Equity Act topped the list of agenda issues.

Scheiberle distributed a report to meeting attendees which addressed health care, parking, social activities, graduate student orientation and travel grants.

“Better health care remains a core goal of the Graduate Student Union,” Schierberle said in the President’s Report. “We are continually in contact with Anne Kleva, Director of University Health Services to lobby for better insurance coverage and better family medical care. We are also revising and hoping to receive official approval for a medical leave policy.”

This initiative will also include a survey of married graduate students to determine the insurance coverage of graduate students with spouses and families.

“I hope to regularly meet with Anne Kleva to discuss relevant issues, and what seems to me to be disturbing patterns of growing costs and reduced benefits,” Michael DeGruccio said in a report of the Health Care Committee.

The Union also plans to send members to the Legislation Action Day of NAGPS on

Sept. 21. Heather Eisler of the Publicity and Procedures committee plans to attend and represent the Notre Dame Graduate Student Union in lobbying for the Higher Education Affordability and Equity Act (HEAEA).

“I have been monitoring plans by The National Association for Graduate and Professional Students to lobby for a bill that would make stipends used for living expenses tax-exempt, among other positive education-related reforms,” Schieberle said in the President’s Report.