Graduate Student Professional Senate questions Iowa State Daily student fee


Hannah Molayal

The Graduate and Professional Student Senate meets on the last Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m.

The Iowa State Daily is seeking to create a $9 student fee per semester to increase funding. The necessity of this fee was debated at the Graduate and Professional Student Senate meeting Monday.

This fee would be charged along with other student fees such as the health fee and technology fee. This fee will be put to vote on Feb. 13.

Katherine Kealey, a senior majoring in journalism and the editor in chief of the Daily, was extended an impromptu invite to the meeting to answer questions from senators.

GPSS reported feeling underrepresented in the Daily, which had been previously discussed in a meeting between the two organizations, which included GPSS President Christine Cain, a doctoral candidate in higher education. Because of this, there was debate as to whether or not the fee was fair to all students.

“I’ve had meetings with the Daily; we did have a conversation about how graduate student stories are not represented,” Cain said. “One of the things we discussed is there’s multiple versions of the Daily, and one of them is more geared towards faculty/staff that might have better content for graduate students…but also the reason they wanted a fee based structure was to hire.”

Cain also explained that in her meetings with the Daily, she learned that the Daily’s ability to find reporters requires them to find students who are able to work for no pay. She reported this is oppressive to graduate students, who may need a paid position to become involved and share the graduate student perspective.

Kealey shared the intended benefits behind the fee, including more opportunities for graduate student employment and further security for student media at Iowa State.

Kealey explained how the current funding model for the Daily is allocated from funds provided by Student Government, and the proposed fee structure would alter the source of revenue.

“We’ve always had some kind of support,” Kealey said. “We kind of describe it as a student subscription to the Daily, but we are a nonprofit business that serves as a student learning experience.”

The Language Assessment Student Organization also sought an appeal after there was a discrepancy with spending throughout the pandemic. The senate moved to accept the appeal.

The senate also received reports on a proposed increase in the student health fee, a potential update for the undergraduate transfer credit policy and a meeting between the three public universities before the Board of Regents meeting at Iowa State.

The senators also discussed the Health and Wellness Symposium which will take place Friday. The symposium will focus on student and employee wellbeing and engagement.

The Graduate and Professional Student Senate will meet again at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union.