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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Grads want more benefits

    Joshua Scott, Graduate and Professional Student Council treasurer and a mechanical engineering graduate student, asks questions about Student Recreation Center fees for graduate students yesterday during a GPSC meeting at the Student Union Memorial Center yesterday.
    Joshua Scott, Graduate and Professional Student Council treasurer and a mechanical engineering graduate student, asks questions about Student Recreation Center fees for graduate students yesterday during a GPSC meeting at the Student Union Memorial Center yesterday.

    Free summer use of the Student Recreation Center, a better dental plan and less time spent studying for finals. Those are the issues that top graduate students’ wish lists.

    These and other concerns were brought up at the Graduate and Professional Student Council’s open discussion with UA administrators yesterday. All students were welcome at the forum.

    Students said the $56 in Rec Center fees, which is paid for them during the academic year, should also apply to summer. Currently, students pay an addition $28 for summer use.

    But the Rec Center runs on a small budget that already has a deficit, said Beata Blachuta, chair of the Recreation Advisory Committee and a graduate student in molecular biology.

    The summer recreation fee is necessary to pay for the building’s mortgage and equipment replacement, Blachuta said.

    She added that it is not necessary to be enrolled in a summer course to pay $28 as long as the student was enrolled the previous spring semester and the upcoming fall semester.

    Students also discussed the need to end the academic minor requirement.

    “”Maybe the requirement could benefit from re-examination,”” said Nicole Baugh, a graduate student in planetary sciences.

    Dianne Horgan, associate dean of the Graduate College, said she would like to loosen minor requirements so students can pick classes and put them under a new minor title.

    “”We need to get the department to articulate exactly what is expected, because it is very confusing,”” Horgan said.

    The minor requirement was put in place to encourage interdisciplinary research and broaden education for teaching purposes, Horgan said.

    Students also requested a better dental plan, especially for teacher’s assistants.

    “”It’s something that needs to be taken care of,”” said GPSC President Paul Thorn.

    Adding benefits for T.A.s has met faculty resistance, however, because student-teacher benefits are as expensive to the university as faculty benefits, said Kris Kreutz, administrative services director at Campus Health.

    “”We don’t know if the graduate programs can afford it,”” Kreutz said.

    Other issues discussed included graduate students missing too much work to study for finals, the need for more OSCR assistance to create Web sites and the lack of parking near the library on football and basketball game days.

    “”We have that issue just for our staff trying to get to work,”” said Robyn Huff-Eibl, a representative from the UA Main Library.

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