Following accusations that leadership wasn’t transparent enough in its student services fees application, four Graduate and Professional Student Assembly members introduced a resolution Wednesday to regulate the process in future years.
After Northrop Concerts and Lectures was offered only one-third of its $480,000 fees request in the Student Services Fees Committee's initial recommendations, students came out to a public hearing Friday to show their support for the group, which will sponsor programming at Northrop Auditorium when it opens in April. Supporters have also collected more than 700 signatures on an online petition that says the group should receive its full fees request.
The Student Services Fees Committee released its initial funding recommendations for 2014-15, suggesting that University of Minnesota student groups receive only about two-thirds of the funds they requested. Dozens of student groups requested a total of about $3.37 million from the fees committee, but they allocated only about $2.055 million. Northrop Concerts and Lectures, which will provide programming when the auditorium reopens this spring, was recommended only about 31 percent of its $480,000 fees request.
The University of Minnesota Graduate School will establish learning outcomes for each of its more than 200 graduate programs, laying out for the first time what students are expected to learn in each program. Officials and students are now working to see how to best develop the outcomes for each program. Leaders hope to implement the learning outcomes in every graduate program by fall, but some students are at odds with this plan, saying the outcomes may not be helpful.
When Nicole Scott came to the University of Minnesota to start a graduate program in cognitive science, she turned to Craigslist to find housing. But Scott was skeptical to sign a lease with someone she didn’t know. “Locally, you can use Craigslist, but it may not be the safest way of doing it,” she said. Scott and other University Council of Graduate Students members found few ways to locate housing for graduate and professional students who are new to the University, so they took action.
Before coming to the University of Minnesota, Talia Saville took a year to study abroad in Belgium through a Rotary International program. By moving to a place where she didn’t speak any local languages, Saville said she learned new ways to communicate with others. “It completely changed how I look at the world and how I look at my relationships with other people,” she said. Now, the strategic communication junior is using what she learned as the newly elected president of the Panhellenic Council, which governs the University’s 14 sororities.
In attempts to combat rising smartphone theft across the nation, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is planning to introduce a bill requiring cellphone manufacturers to include a “kill switch” on their products.
The Council of Graduate Students is beginning to apply for its own student services fees after voting in November to split from the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, effective this summer. The council’s preliminary request asks the Student Services Fees Committee for about $124,000 in fees funding, most of it for travel grants. COGS recently sent its request to the University of Minnesota’s graduate student body for feedback.
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