Following a tight race, Alfonso Sintjago was elected Friday night to lead the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly next year. The current executive vice president for GAPSA won just over half of the votes in last week’s election, narrowly defeating Council of Graduate Students Vice President of University Relations Scott Petty, who received 39.1 percent of the vote. “I think it’ll be a good year,” Sintjago said. “Hopefully we can have a better GAPSA next year.”
On Friday night, University of Minnesota students chose Joelle Stangler as the 2014-15 undergraduate student body president and Alfonso Sintjago as the next graduate and professional student body president. Stangler, current intern coordinator for the Minnesota Student Association and a representative to the Board of Regents, will lead MSA along with her vice president, John Reichl. The pair swept the election with 75.8 percent of the vote.
Come fall, University of Minnesota graduate students will be among the first in the nation to take part in a survey measuring their experience at research institutions. In an effort to better understand graduate students’ issues, outcomes and overall experience, the University will pilot a graduate-level version of the Student Experience in the Research University, or SERU, which was previously available only to undergraduates.
More than a 150 students from the University of Minnesota campuses flooded the state Capitol on Thursday to advocate for the school’s 2014 capital request. Many of the students were in the sciences, there to support the University’s requests for money to build and renovate science buildings and laboratories, including a $56.7 million renovation of the Tate Laboratory of Physics. “We need to have the facilities to complement the students and the faculty that utilize those facilities,” biology freshman Mitchell Fuller said.
The Student Services Fees Committee released its final recommendations Monday, marking one of the final points before next year’s funding for student groups and administrative units is finalized. Most of the final recommendations were consistent with the initial ones released last month, and groups are responding in different ways.
As candidates for president of the University of Minnesota’s Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, Alfonso Sintjago and Scott Petty are strategizing ways to restructure the assembly’s divided leadership. Both say GAPSA’s member councils aren’t effectively represented by its executive board, and they have similar goals for how to improve GAPSA and generate more collaboration among its members.
The Minnesota Student Association unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday urging the University of Minnesota’s University Dining Services to open all campus restaurants and dining halls as early as 6 a.m. Saturday during finals week. Final exams are scheduled Saturday, May 17, starting at 8 a.m. this semester, but no UDS locations will be open early enough for students to eat before their tests. Research has shown that breakfast boosts academic performance, so MSA’s resolution wants UDS to provide an option for early-morning meals.
Graduate student Josh Kielsmeier-Cook is working to support himself, his wife and their two-year-old daughter on his stipend as a University of Minnesota research assistant. A chunk of that stipend goes back to the University in student fees every semester, and graduate students are pushing to reduce some of those costs. Created last month, a Council of Graduate Students petition has gathered support from graduate students regarding fees they pay and obtained more than 180 signatures.
A group of graduate students is pushing the University of Minnesota Student Senate to guarantee seats for graduate and professional students. Current policy for the All-Campus Elections Commission makes senate elections open to all students, no matter their academic level. But a bylaw amendment proposed Thursday would set aside seats specifically for graduate and professional students, proportional to their numbers in the University student body.
University of Minnesota students came out in force at a hearing Friday to show their support for Northrop Concerts and Lectures, after the group received less than one-third of its $480,000 fees request in the Student Services Fees Committee‘s initial recommendations. The organization will provide programming and student meeting space at Northrop Auditorium when it opens in April. But without more student services fees funding, those offerings could be in jeopardy.
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