Come July 1, the University of Minnesota’s Council of Graduate Students will sever formal affiliation with the Graduate and Professional Student Association.
COGS voted 34-1 with four abstentions on Monday to apply for its own student services fees funding beginning with this spring’s cycle. COGS will also stop accepting pass-through funding from GAPSA and discontinue sending COGS representatives to the assembly beginning next school year.
Any student group that meets certain eligibility requirements — like being nonprofit, nonpartisan and requesting at least $3,000 each year — may apply for student services fees.
By applying for its own student services fees, COGS President Andrew McNally said the council will have more direct influence in its own budgeting process. COGS currently receives funding from GAPSA’s budget.
McNally said GAPSA didn’t give COGS its correct funding appropriation last year. If COGS becomes its own fees-requesting unit, he said, uncertainty in funding will decrease.
“By making our request directly to the student services fees committee, we’re reducing the financial uncertainty of our own budget and enhancing graduate student participation in the process,” McNally said.
GAPSA President Brittany Edwards said the situation presents an opportunity to work with individual graduate councils within GAPSA that COGS currently represents.
“COGS gets to decide what they want to do with themselves,” she said. “More power to them.”