Grad students not demanding or hostile group

As the president of the Graduate Student Senate, I feel a need to respond to the article in The BG News on Monday titled “GSS Students dispute parking.” There were several parts of the article that were easily misconstrued by people and I want to clarify them.

The first is that graduate students were angered and indignant towards faculty and staff. Graduate students, like undergraduate students, faculty and staff, are concerned about the lack of convenient parking around campus, and that was the crux of the discussion at our Sept. 19 meeting.

Faculty and staff parking in commuter parking lots, at this time, is a right according to the guidelines of the University. No one is questioning the fact that if you park in the wrong spot you should be ticketed, but rather the fact that when faculty and staff park in commuter parking it makes it more difficult to get to classes and assistantships on time.

We are often inconvenienced and agitated because there is not enough commuter parking and there is often faculty and staff that take some of these spaces. The article made it sound as if graduate students think we shouldn’t be ticketed for parking in lots we don’t have permits for, and that was not correct.

In addition, the discussion surrounding Dining Services is not new, nor is it exclusive to GSS. Part of the reason why we decided to remove the bill from legislation is to see what the new Dining Service and Bowen Thompson Student Union directors are going to do. We are also starting to research the prices of catering and its competitiveness with other potential vendors as well as open a dialogue with catering services about the ability to bring in food items that are not currently available, especially ethnic cuisines, to parties.

The articles published Monday makes it sound as if we are a demanding, hostile group of students, which is not the case.

Rather, the senators and executive committee are a dedicated group of graduate students who are trying to work with the University to create a more productive graduate student experience.

Deirdre Rogers