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Here's what you missed at Tuesday's graduate student senate meeting

Treasurer of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation at UNC, Ryan Collins, gives an update on treasury-related matters, including information on graduate student fees, at the Graduate Student Senate meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 in Kerr Hall.

Members of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation's senate met Tuesday to discuss the ongoing search for University administrators, the Student Advocates for Graduate Education (SAGE) Fall Summit, increases in tuition and fees and the cost of implicit bias training. 

The federation discussed the ongoing searches for many University administration positions currently held by interim replacements.

One of the positions currently filled by an interim is the vice chancellor for Student Affairs. While giving his update to the senate, GPSF President Chastan Swain mentioned the importance of the position.

“If you aren’t aware, the vice chancellor of Student Affairs affects everything from the honor court system to housing on campus, all of the student organizations — a lot of what you come into contact with on a day-to-day basis at the University is affected by this position,” Swain said. 

SAGE Summit

In his update, Swain also spoke about the SAGE Fall Summit 2019 that took place over fall break at the University of Arizona. The summit is hosted by SAGE, a student-run organization that advocates for graduate and professional students across the country.

“We met with 12 other institutions who are constituents of SAGE," Swain said. "We discussed all of the potential impacts to graduate education and the associated political climate in Washington."

One of the goals of the summit is to discuss what white papers, or authoritative reports composed by graduate and professional students, will be presented to the U.S. Congress in the spring. Some of the topics of the white papers include student finance, mental health, immigration and sexual assault.

Tuition and fee increases

During the treasury update, Treasurer Ryan Collins talked about the increase in tuition and fees. 

“There are two different types of tuition increases, one is campus-based tuition increase that is initiated from main campus that applies across the board," Collins said. 

Collins said the University's Tuition and Fee Advisory Task Force recommended a tuition increase of $317 for the academic year 2020-21 for graduate students. The increase would be a flat fee for residents and non-residents, he said.

Specific graduate schools at UNC such as the School of Nursing, School of Medicine and Eshelman School of Pharmacy will each have their own tuition increases.

The introduction of a bill calling for the allocation of funds from the reserve for a $7,000 cost of implicit bias training for the Honor Court was also a heavily debated topic among senators. 

Senators wanted to know what other implicit bias options were available on campus, as opposed to bringing in an outside company. 

“Have they gone to departments on campus to see if there is a faculty or department that would be able to do this for no cost or a lot less cost?” Tristan Bavol, a senator from the linguistics department, said. 

This sentiment was echoed from other senators and is an ongoing discussion.

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