A record 900 graduate students passed five lock-in fees and approved an item that amends the Graduate Student Association (GSA) constitution with a new constitution.
These lock-in fees will only affect graduate students, who held a separate election from undergraduate students from April 18 to April 25 due to disputes with the Campus Election Commission (CEC). The graduate votes were submitted straight to the chancellor for approval, bypassing the CEC.
The GSA rejected the CEC after it failed to adopt recommendations set forth by GSA in time for the 2002 elections. These recommendations were based on the 2001 elections, which GSA Internal President Shawn Landres said was unfair to graduate students.
The 2002 lock-in fees include a $33 per-student per-quarter Student Health Service fee, an increase of $4 in the existing fee, that will eliminate per-visit fees and Summer Quarter access fees and a $1 Disabled Students Program fee that will go toward program improvements. Graduate students also passed their own version of a MultiCultural Center fee, which increased from $.75 to $1, and Women’s Center fee, which establishes a $1.75 per student per quarter fee.
Graduate students also approved a new $3.33 lock-in fee that will supplement night and weekend parking fees for graduate students. Beginning Fall 2002, Parking Services will charge $2.00 per night/weekend.
The GSA constitution had not been rewritten for over a decade. The new constitution will be smaller and will make it easier to change by-laws, Landres said.
Just over 300 graduate students voted in the 2001 election. Landres said the GSA consulted the Women’s Center and Disabled Students Program to work on lock-in fees that would benefit graduate students, leading to this year’s higher turnout.
“This year we had fees related to our lives,” he said. “When people bother to take the time out to find out what we want and need, we can be generous.”
The GSA will hold an inaugural meeting in the GSA lounge on Wednesday at 6 p.m. to approve the new bylaws and implement the new constitution.