Campus Law Here’s how Graduate Student Senate will help feed the hungry By William Meyer Posted on October 31, 2018 6 min read 0 0 198 The University Office of Sustainability will be splitting into three departments. Photo from The New Political archive. The Senate also discussed various initiatives that they hope to get funding for to improve graduate students’ lives at Ohio University. Graduate Student Senate approved a resolution Tuesday that will allocate money to buy, package, and donate food to the Baker Center Food Pantry, a resource used by individuals who struggle financially. According to the resolution, the Senate will put together meals comprised of dry goods. The Senate hopes to create nutritional meals by following two recipes: a Spanish rice mix and a spicy black bean soup. The meals will be packaged in plastic bags. “If you go to the pantry, you’ll see that there’s usually processed food — boxes and cans and all of that — so the idea was to get something a little bit less processed,” Vice President of Communications Claudia Cisneros, the resolution’s primary sponsor, said. Cisneros said the aforementioned recipes are the only two GSS will use for now, but the Senate is looking to add others. The Senate first wants to determine how many meals it can prepare with the $200 allocation, as designated by the resolution. Senate President Maria Modayil, a sponsor of the resolution, believes it will benefit the entire community. The food pantry, located on the third floor of Baker Center, is open to all. Members of the community can make donations on the second floor. Improving the lives of graduate students GSS also held a presentation on the current concerns of graduate students and future GSS initiatives. Modayil said the goal of the presentation was to demonstrate to Ohio University administrators the need for increased funding to improve graduate students’ lives. The report is a culmination of issues and initiatives the body has discussed. Some of the initiatives GSS hopes to work on include health insurance design, improved alumni relations, and an initiative to reduce the amount of plastic consumed on campus. Representative for Accountancy Jack Nece said it’s important to have the plethora of initiatives, but he is worried the Senate will stretch itself too thin in trying to work on all of them. “Obviously, there’s only so many of us, and a lot of us are busy as it is,” Nece said. “I think it would be smarter to streamline the process and pick out the first five we should approach and go full out on those five so we can at least chip something away instead of doing a little bit of bias reporting, a little bit of orientation, and then year-end comes and nothing is done.” According to the surveys conducted by the Senate, graduate students are most concerned about health care, followed by compensation and funding. GSS also met with Anna Casteel, the student health insurance administrator, to discuss the results of a student health care survey. The survey will be used to determine how students would feel about potential changes in Ohio U’s student health care, such as increased or decreased copays and the inclusion of dental insurance. Both Casteel and Modayil were disappointed by the lack of responses on the survey. Unfortunately, the administration has to assume the survey represents the student population despite a low response rate, they said. “I was disappointed in the numbers because it was such a big conversation among graduate students about health insurance, and I was disappointed that not many people took part in this,” Modayil said.