Thursday, April 21, 2005


Senate meeting

The Graduate Student Government Senate meeting was last night. It was the first meeting for the new administration but there was still some important items voted on.

A parking fee increase was proposed and passed. It would eventually raise our parking fee to $134/year with a 3 year phase in. Currently we pay $67/year for parking which compared to other top 32 public universities, is ridiculously low. The parking director read some other figures off for parking fees at other schools and it was pretty obvious that we needed to increase the fees. The fees are going to go towards building some new parking decks.

A transit fee was proposed to help pay for the free CATbus service that goes around Clemson and to neighboring communities. This would've been a fee of $33.50/semester to help pay for new CATbuses, implementation of 24/7 service, and expansion of local routes. Their plan is for Clemson to become a pedestrian only campus one day and these two fees go hand in hand to help make that a reality. This did not pass. I'm not even sure anyone voted for it. Maybe one or two.

The third proposed concerned health insurance. It was a resolution to thank the dean of grad students for getting us the subsidy and to possibly raise it another $150. But there was some concern from a few students that the subsidy is only for university assisted grad students (like me) but all grads are required to have health insurance. I'm not sure that issue had come up before. Personally I always thought that anyone not on assistantship was taking out loans and would just have to take out another grand, but I forgot about the people who can't do that. But she is going to be at the meeting tonight, so we can get her side of the issue. I haven't even asked our committee if anyone wasn't on assistantship. (I think we all are which is probably why we weren't too concerned with the non-assisted. Damn myopia) But hopefully she'll get involved and provide us with that point of view. Eventually the plan is for Clemson to pay for everyone's health insurance and this is the first step, but it's a hard first step.

Another concern raised was the subsidy only going towards Clemson's health insurance plan. And there is no way in hell that's gonna change. Clemson is not going to give our money to some other shady health insurance agency. We have our own shady agency and are partially self funded, so all our premiums go into a pot and claims are paid out of that and any excesses, we get to keep, so there'e no way they're going to give you money if you're not going to give it back.

All in all, it went pretty well and hopefully we can address these concerns and make everyone "happy" or happy as possible given our current situation.


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