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Government in brief

Laura McCrystal | Wednesday, December 9, 2009

 Graduate Student Union plans Christmas party

The Graduate Student Union (GSU) organized a number of events this fall to provide social interaction and professional development for the entire graduate student community, GSU president Andrew Bramsen said.

“We see ourselves as providing constituent service to the grad students,” he said.

This fall, the GSU co-sponsored a Halloween party with a student group at the Law School, Bramsen said. 

In December, the GSU will host a family Christmas party as well as a dinner and reflection for married graduate students about balancing faith, family and academia, he said.

Bramsen said a continuing challenge for the GSU is to attract students to its events and programs. He said graduate students tend to be involved in their own departments, but disconnected from a larger campus community, especially compared to undergraduate students.

FMB approves funds for new Transpo route

The Financial Management Board (FMB) has approved the allocation and redistribution of funds to student groups and the distribution of funds for The Shirt Charity Fund this fall, Student Union Treasurer Nick Danna said. 

Danna said in early September, FMB approved the redistribution of funds to pay for the new late night Transpo route.

“We must approve any changes in the use of money allocated to student groups,” he said.

Student groups looking to spend more than $5,000 for an event must seek approval through FMB, Danna said. The Irish dance team’s trip to Ireland, the Liturgical Choir tour and the Iron Sharpens Iron fall retreat have been among the student groups group events approved by FMB this fall.

Danna said FMB oversees The Shirt Charity Fund, which uses a percentage of the profit from the sale of The Shirt every year to provide financial relief to students with extraordinary circumstances, such as an illness for which they cannot pay medical expenses.

Club Coordination Council distributes funds

The Club Coordination Council (CCC) has allocated money to clubs for events this semester and will organize a winter reallocation of funds to student clubs for the spring semester, CCC president Cameron Shane said.

Shane said all student clubs receive money for the year at the end of the spring semester, but they can appeal for more funds for unexpected events.

CCC has $20,000 each year to offer to clubs that appeal for more funds, Shane said.

At the start of spring semester, Shane said student clubs will be able to apply for additional funds, which are given based on merit or the success of the group during the fall semester. 

“It’s basically a smaller version of the spring allocation,” he said. “We’re looking for a group of officers who have basically already proven themselves to give a couple extra hundred dollars or a couple thousand dollars to really shine.”

Hall Presidents’ Council promotes pep rallies

Hall Presidents Council (HPC) helped plan the student-only pep rally in Stepan Center before this season’s football game at Michigan and continued its normal duty of advising and overseeing dorm events and the presidents of each dorm, HPC co-chair Brendan McQueeney said. 

Members of HPC met with student body president Grant Schmidt and vice president Cynthia Weber to plan the Sept. 10 Stepan Center Pep rally, McQueeney said. The hall presidents advertised the pep rally through their dorms, he said.

When pep rallies were held in the JACC in previous years, HPC planned the dorm sponsorship and activities before the official pep rally began, McQueeney said. When the pep rallies moved to Irish Green this year, HPC played less of a role, but they did plan the all-student pep rally.

McQueeney said HPC also oversees and allocates funds for dorms’ signature events. 

“We’re an oversight for the hall presidents and the guiding force behind them,” he said of HPC’s role. “Our group of people is kind of like a sounding board.”