Grad students voice

by Kelly Hildebrandt

The Council of Graduate Students met Wednesday night for the first time this quarter. During the meeting they discussed revising the role of COGS’ vice president of finance in an effort to fill the long-vacant position.
The position of vice president of finance has been available since last summer. Until someone is elected, Albert Nakano, a Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics graduate student, is filling the position.
To make the position more attractive for graduate students, COGS might make it a two-person job and raise the payment stipend, said Martin O’Hely, president of the council.
The position pays $500 a year. If the proposed changes are made, the stipend will be raised to $1,000, O’Hely said. This would allow two students holding the position to be paid $500 a piece, but if only one person is elected, he or she would be paid $600.
Some members advocated paying $1,000 a year if one person filled the position. O’Hely said this might be the only way to fill the position, which is time consuming. However, the group’s president is paid only $600 a year.
“We do need the position filled,” Nakano said. “It’s just been really hard to fix once it goes bad,” he added, referring to problems that occurred while there was no acting vice president of finance. For example, Nakano said the federal tax returns for 1996-97 were more than a year late.
Graduate students at the meeting also voiced concerns about over-filled campus connecter buses and the early hour that they stop circulating. Graduate students often stay on campus past 5 p.m. and work on weekends when the connector isn’t in service.
However, Victoria Nelson, assistant to the director of Parking and Transportation Services, said the campus connector bus is running more to meet the increased amount of passengers.