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Student Association Senate tackles graduate funding complaints

Alex Mizenko, SPHHS-U, and incoming chair of the Student Association Finance Committee, sponsored a bill outlining changes to graduate student organizations' funding policies at the group's final meeting of the year Monday. Francis Rivera | Assistant Photo Editor.

This post was written by Hatchet reporters Kaya Yurieff and Kierran Petersen 

The Student Association Senate approved new funding policies for student groups at its last meeting of the year – an attempt to make the funding process more fair for graduate organizations.

Graduate students claimed this year they were shortchanged by a policy that combined cash from student fees into a campus-wide pool.

The new policy was written by incoming finance chair Alex Mizenko, SPHHS-U. The bill, which was approved by a two-thirds vote Monday, will direct funds graduate students pay each year through the student fee back to graduate groups.

“It was something we talked about all year,” finance chair John Bennett, U-At-Large, said. “Most grad students are pretty much disconnected from undergrad programs. They don’t go to undergrad events.”

The policy will go into effect during fall allocations for GW’s five graduate student umbrella groups: the Student Bar Association, the  Medical Center Student Council, the MBA Association, the Graduate School of Education and Human Development Student Association and the Trachtenberg Student Organization.

Senator Will Rone, SEAS-G, said after the meeting that he will offer an amendment to the bill to funnel about 5 percent of graduate student fee money into the campus-wide pool to account for large-scale programming events. Rone will return as a senator next year.Executive Vice President Ted Costigan lauded the organization for lobbying for cost of attendance and streamlining the student organization funding process. He credited Bennett’s leadership for clarifying the financial process and making the allocations process as transparent as possible.

“We’ve done that better than anyone ever has allocating funds,” Costigan said.

The senate also passed a resolution spearheaded by Elizabeth Kennedy, ESIA-U, that would make Greek merchandise available for purchase at the GW bookstore during a fall fair.

Kennedy said Greek life students have to travel to the University of Maryland to purchase merchandise, which Kennedy said is a “long and relatively dangerous commute.”

The Student Association Senate-elect met for the first time last week, and will officially take over May 4.

This post was updated on April 17, 2012 to reflect this change:
Due to a reporting error, The Hatchet incorrectly said this policy change would affect the amount of money slated for undergraduates.

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