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GSU discusses plan

Paul Spadafora | Thursday, September 9, 2004

During the first Graduate Student Union meeting of the 2004-2005 academic year, debate focused on both involvement with the First Year Studies students and their voter education efforts and concerns over graduate student parking.

The office of the GSU approached the First Year Studies office with the suggestion they organize panels on voter issues with Notre Dame professors and graduate students.

“We’re trying to be involved with FYS in their voter education effort,” said President John Young. “We plan to invite current candidates for political office to campus this semester.”

Suggestions for the implementation of the voter panels program include keeping the focus on voter interest and trying to avoid political debates. Young also proposed that the events should be open to the public.

Graduate parking concerns were another top issue on the agenda. Due to the recent construction throughout campus, parking spaces for 300 graduate students were replaced by faculty parking.

In order to alleviate the difficulty some students have expressed concerning parking problems, a survey was discussed to assess graduate student satisfaction with the current parking arrangements. Possible solutions to the problems were also debated.

Quality of Life committee chair Brandy Ellison said the University feels faculty and staff come first for parking, “[but] graduate students are, in a way, staff. We do research, and we do work.”

Ellison said graduate students should be given consideration in distribution of all student parking spaces.

In other GSU news:

u Modifications of the GSU budget were looked at, with a spending cap of $3,000 per year set on all funds not needing council approval to distribute.

u The Travel Grant program has been modified for the coming year. In past years, graduate students have been able to file for expenses accumulated while on trips of an academic nature. Due to a larger number of applications this year, the fund has been expanded to $50,000 and the total lifetime request of each applicant has been reduced to $1,000. In addition, each applicant is limited to one application per year, for a maximum amount of $250 dollars per application.