Grad group

Rebecca Czaplewski

Job placement for graduate and professional students after they attain their degrees topped the agenda at Monday’s Graduate and Professional Student Assembly meeting.
Christine Maziar, dean of the Graduate School, opened the group’s first meeting of the quarter with a question and answer session for the 16 graduate students who were in attendance.
“I feel very strongly that a critical measure of the success of our programs is the success of our students,” Maziar said. She also noted that faculty involvement in advising students was a key part of success.
GAPSA Vice President Ben Solomon mediated the meeting to allow Cheryl Jorgenson, president of both GAPSA and the Student Legislative Coalition, to speak to the group about the SLC’s stance on the University’s biennial budget proposal.
The five-part proposal, which will go to the state Legislature this session, contains three main sections of special interest to graduate students: competitive compensation; financing health professional education; and connecting the University to the community through a law school clinical program.
Jorgenson said students must lobby in support of raising graduate students’ salaries and benefits to competitive levels.
“Grad salaries are not where they should be,” Jorgenson said. “We’re lobbying in hopes that they see a boost.”
Solomon noted that keeping graduate salaries competitive with other universities ultimately is an advantage to all students at the University, both graduate and undergraduate.
“We want to present a united front among students — not just among graduates but undergraduates also,” said Solomon, a second-year Medical School student.
Two other main points of interest were the financing of health professional education and getting the University active in community involvement.
Jorgenson cited the declining revenue in medical education coupled with rising costs in education as an issue of importance to the University.
Community involvement through a clinical program for law students was also part of the proposal. Jorgenson noted an example of law students being involved in a clinic that provides legal assistance for low-income services, which at the same time gives students practical experience.
“It’s basically a win-situation,” she said.