Spring 2013 Office Hours
MODIFIED HOURS DURING FINALS WEEK
Wednesday 12:00 - 5:00 PM
Thursday 12:00 - 5:00PM
Fellow graduate students,
Last week we ensured the GSO’s continued existence by voting in favor of the mandatory student activity fee. The fee allows us to put together high quality programming for all graduate students and provides us with the independence we need in order to advocate for you.
Now we have one more important decision to make, but first allow me to give you some background. Over the course of several years (and until approx. 2009) the GSO had been under-utilizing graduate student funds and built a significant surplus of net assets in its bank account. However, the GSO is a non-profit organization and we should not be maintaining large net asset saving. We should (and have been) striving to return the entirety of student activity fee dollars back to the students. As a result, we have been spending down our surplus (through new and more widely accessible programming and events). After this fiscal year, we will no longer be able to maintain the current level of offerings without a fee increase. As a result, popular programs like RAP will have to be reduced and our ability to schedule and fund programming (either on our own or through clubs and departments) will be reduced.
Effectively, we are looking at a 15-20% reduction in all programs. As an example, RAP would have to be reduced from $350 to $280 and distributed on a first-come basis. All other GSO programs and funding lines (such as allocations to departments/clubs/residential organizations) would be subject to similar cutbacks.
The decision that you must make is whether you want the GSO to grow and to be relevant to our academic and social lives. The student activity fee is the one fee that is managed entirely and transparently by students and is returned back to students. It provides access to conferences, recreation reimbursements, social events and programming at the University Café. It’s the one fee on our campus that has not seen an increase in THREE years and its value is actually multiplied due to the donations and external support that we receive (only this year, we received an additional $35,000.00 from external sources). Even after an increase, our student activity fee will be lower than the nationwide median (and lower than SUNY median as well). The fee is the lifeblood of the GSO and the GSO is YOUR student government. So the decision is yours. Please log on to SOLAR under Elections->Student elections and support the increase of the student activity fee to $30 / semester. Help us keep the GSO relevant and its services useful!
-Charilaos “Harris” Papadopoulos
Graduate Student Organization – President – president @ sbgso.org