The Slippery Rock University Board of Co-Operative Activities discussed organizing a committee to implement a separate government association for graduate students at their meeting Thursday.
According to Samuel Goodge, a graduate student in student affairs in higher education, an organization of the like, the Association of Graduate Students (AGS), currently exists and is recognized by the Student Government Association, but hasn’t been active for about 27 years.
“The proper representation for graduate students just isn’t there,” Goodge said. “I feel that it is important for us to have our own organization to make sure we are fully represented.”
Eight out of the 14 schools within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) have organizations of this kind on their respective campuses, according to Goodge. If the AGS were to become active again, the organization would only represent graduate students, and SGA would still represent undergraduate students. According to results from a survey presented by Goodge, tuition is 5.25 percent higher for graduate students than it is for undergraduates.
Over three quarters of graduate students, 76 percent, said that they don’t feel represented by SGA, and only 13 percent use the services provided by SGA. The original motion was that Co-Op approve the proposal of AGS to start in the 2012-2013 academic year under the stipulation that a committee comprised of SGA’s Vice President of Financial Affairs, one senator, one Co-Op student at large representative, one faculty member, two AGS representatives, and the SGA business manager review the proposal before December 31, 2012. The members of the committee have not yet been decided and will be appointed upon further review by Co-Op over the summer or fall.