GPSA considers alternative options for UREC fees

Students talk Chinook access, strained budget, funding for members



GPSA Vice President David Silva speaks to members in attendance about their thoughts on events at the GPSA meeting Monday night in Butch’s Den.

CHERYL AARNIO, Evergreen reporter

A proposal to let graduate students use the Chinook Student Center, budget cuts and grants were discussed at Monday night’s GPSA meeting.

Student Recreation Center and Chinook access

GPSA is considering a proposal to allow graduate students to pay $157 for access to their choice of the Student Recreation Center or the Chinook.

Currently, graduate student fees include a $157 charge for access to the SRC. However, because graduate students are not required to pay fees for the Chinook, they must pay an extra $98 for access.

The proposal was discussed with WSU President Kirk Schulz and Mary Jo Gonzales, WSU vice president of student affairs. Both of them supported it, GPSA Vice President David Silva said.

The idea has been proposed to the University Recreation Board already, but GPSA will have to bring the board concrete proposals on Dec. 6, he said.

GPSA is looking to learn more about the budget breakdown of current SRC payments before the December meeting, Silva said.

He said they would also like to know how this proposal, if it were implemented, would affect UREC’s bottom line.

“That way we’d be informed on what position they’d be in if this policy did go forward,” Silva said.

Services and activities

The money GPSA received from services and activities fees is running out, GPSA President Amir Gilmore said.

“That fund is going dry,” Gilmore said. “We’re broke, basically. We’re like MC Hammer broke.”

He said that considering last year’s budget cuts, he expects more to continue in the 2019 school year.

“If we just never increase [the funding for] S&A, we’ll always be at a deficit because things always increase,” Gilmore said.

GPSA is allocated a certain amount of money from S&A fees which is then split into each of its departments, he said.

“They provide services like travel grants, child care [and] programming events,” Gilmore said.


Members also discussed the amount of money given to graduate and professional students since the beginning of the fiscal year in July.

“We’ve awarded close to $48,000 in funding out of $60,000 in requests,” GPSA Director of Grants Miles Sari said.

Graduate students received $45,552.52 and professional students received $2,035.49, he said.

Sari said he thinks the discrepancy may be caused by preferential treatment given to research projects by the university.

“We tend to favor graduate and professional students who present research at a conference because it aligns with the Drive to 25 campaign,” he said.

Many professional students do not do as much research as graduate students, he said.

Professional and graduate students who do not present research have a cap of $250, compared to higher caps for those who do, he said.