Campus Education Graduate Student Senate talks health care, PROSPER Act and more at Tuesday meeting By Max Ramsey Posted on March 28, 2018 5 min read 0 0 258 Members said that 800 graduate students who use Ohio U health care would benefit from increased subsidies. Photo by Max Ramsey. Members said that 800 graduate students who use Ohio U health care would benefit from increased subsidies. Ohio University Graduate Student Senate discussed potential changes to graduate university health care and passed two resolutions at its Tuesday night meeting. GSS previously met with Graduate College Dean Joseph Shields to discuss a resolution passed at the Feb. 20th meeting, which asked the university to subsidize 89 percent of graduate students’ health insurance. The body wants to further examine this request before any major decisions are made. “We want to come up with a road map for what it would look like in the next five years,” GSS President Maria Modayil said. Members said that 800 graduate students who use Ohio U health care would benefit from increased subsidies. Shields and other Ohio U faculty are considering changes to stipends or a general fee buy-down that would potentially lower health insurance costs to graduate students. Currently, faculty is examining how Ohio U will pay for changes to the subsidization to healthcare. “We are still in a larger budget discussion with the University which will affect this,” Shields said. Health care was not the only topic discussed at the meeting. Sen. Daniel Williams of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs talked about his trip with two other graduate students to Washington, D.C. Williams said they met with legislative aides of Ohio officials to discuss the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act and the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act. PROSPER aims to overhaul the current system of funding for higher education and focuses on how colleges are kept accountable. FASTR would make articles that report on publicly funded research free to access online. The legislation was discussed with six aides, including those of Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, and Rep. Sen. Rob Portman, R-OH. “There were things in the PROSPER Act that were terrible,” Williams said. “We were saying that these things need to not be in the legislation.” Concerns with how federal funding for graduate students will be affected is a primary concern of Ohio U’s graduate student representatives that traveled to Washington D.C. “With FASTR almost everything was good because it’s about making science cheaper. It’s about not paying for the same research multiple times,” Williams said. Of the two resolutions passed, one appointed new members to GSS and the second approved a budget for popcorn at an upcoming showing of Awake, A Dream From Standing Rock. The movie is about the 2016 resistance at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota that opposed construction of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline. The decision to spend $62.50 for popcorn at the Athena Cinema for an April 4 showing is in association with Ohio U Student Senate as part of Environmental Justice week.