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Graduate Student Senate plans to ask Ohio U for $10 tuition decrease

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Joy Kostansek speaks at GSS. Photo by Eric Boll.

Graduate Student Senate passed a resolution Tuesday night to request that the Ohio University administration lower graduate student tuition fees by $10.

The legislation was sponsored by Brett Fredericksen, department representative for environmental and plant biology, who created a five-year plan to decrease the $628 “general fee” graduate students without assistantships — or teaching assistant positions — must pay as part of their tuition.

The $10 decrease in tuition, if approved by the university, would only apply to those with assistantships.

Previously, the university approved a nearly $200 decrease in tuition fees for graduate students with assistantships, Fredricksen said. He indicated that the university is open to working with GSS concerning tuition pricing.

“We should take every angle we can to support the needs of graduate students,” said Department Representative for Physics and Astronomy Kaelyn Ferris, who also sponsored the resolution.

Despite the ongoing university-wide budget crisis at Ohio U, Fredricksen thinks a $10 decrease in tuition is reasonable.

The body also proposed a resolution — sponsored by GSS President Dareen Tadros and Vice President Samantha Stewart — to create an award for a graduate student to receive at the Student Research and Creative Activity Expo, an annual event where Ohio U students present their work. 

There is currently no graduate student award presented at the expo. Members of the body suggested the award could be money, chocolate or a “goodie basket.” The resolution passed unanimously.

GSS also passed a resolution to announce their support for the Farm to OHIO Working Group and the OHIO Student Farm. The Farm to OHIO Working Group was created by faculty member Theresa Moran and is focused on sustainability.

The student farm consists of two acres and student gardens located on West State Street. The farm is used by some Ohio U classes.

Notably, this resolution was introduced at a previous GSS meeting when Joy Kostansek, a graduate student who is not a member of the body, spoke during the meeting’s “student speak out” segment.

Fredricksen expressed his support for the resolution following Tuesday night’s meeting. 

“(Kostansek) did the bulk of the research and writing; I just made sure it was up to our guidelines and formatting. I’m glad to see someone outside of GSS get interested in what we do,” Fredricksen said.

The legislation, which passed unanimously, was sponsored by Fredricksen, Stewart, Tadros and Department Representative for Educational Studies Amie Musselman.

In Other Business:

  • LGBT Affairs Commissioner Remington Burwell discussed the Ohio U LGBT Center’s search for a new director.
    • Micah McCarey, a potential candidate for director, will be in Baker 231 on Nov. 20 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. to interact with students. 
    • Nicolas Franco, another potential director, will do the same Nov. 21 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at 31 S. Court St. Room 006.
    • Kerr Mesner, a third potential director, will be available Nov. 22 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at 31 S. Court St. Room 006.
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