Graduate assistantships to see raise in minimum wage

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Biong Biong

The next Graduate and Professional Student Senate meet on the last Monday of the month.

The Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) received a report regarding graduate assistantships that include a 3% raise in the minimum stipend and details regarding a no-interest loan program.

Dean of the Graduate College William Graves shared a new model of stipend disbursement with the GPSS during his presentation as well as shedding light on the minimum stipend increase.

“So effective in the fall, in August, there will be a 3% increase in the minimum required stipend, regardless of whether it’s a quarter time, halftime or three-quarter time appointment,” Graves said. “I want to be clear; this is not saying there’s an across the board increase in stipends of 3% […] this is just the institutional minimum that every assistantship must pay.”

Come fall 2023, the minimum amount per half-time appointments for assistantships will be $9,837– a 3% change from the previous $9,550 in 2022.

Graves said along with the increase in the minimum stipend amount, all graduate assistantships will have to adjust their deposit frequency to twice a month as opposed to once a month.

“So now, if you’re on an assistantship, you’re used to having that deposit go into your bank account at the end of every month,” Graves said. “Instead, you’ll receive that twice a month now. So roughly half that monthly amount will come out on or about the 10th of the month, and the other half will be on or about the 25th of the month.”

While presenting to the senate, Graves went over a common situation graduate students find themselves in at the start of the year, in which students who begin assistantships on Aug. 16 or later will receive their first payment Sept. 8.

“You might have September rent due on Sept. 1, and you won’t get that first deposit until later in the month,” Graves said. “So, in order to avoid that problem, the university is going to be offering a no-interest loan to students in this category.”

Graves said the loan will be paid back gradually throughout the fall semester through the gradual collection of money from the given students wages.

Graves also said that graduate students with assistantships will see a 50% reduction for three student fees as opposed to the one. The three fees to see a 50% reduction include the technology, health and health facility fees.

“So if you weren’t on an assistantship, you’d be paying double the amount,” Graves said. “Graduate students who are not on assistantship would be paying twice as much as you, but because if you’re on an assistantship, you would get this 50% reduction in three fees rather than one.”

Associate Dean of the Graduate College Heather Greenlee shared some Bridge Funding programs with the senate.

“So we have programs that provide 12 weeks of funding for a couple of specific situations,” Greenlee said, “one being the arrival of a child, and the other if you are temporarily incapacitated.”

Greenlee also shared with the senate revisions made to annual performance evaluations that some masters and all doctorate candidates experience while at Iowa State.

“Essentially, we’re looking for a way to more regularly assess student progress so we can identify opportunities for improvement,” Greenlee said. “Things that might need to be addressed, whether that’s on the student side or the faculty side, and then most importantly I think, clarification of expectations.”

The model described by Greenlee would have students evaluate themselves, instructors evaluate the student and then both parties would meet and discuss their evaluations.

Motions passed

GPSS passed their allocations for spring 2023 funding graduate and professional student organizations. Allocations totaled $9,346.02 with the finance committee approving a total of $12,290, the difference of which being made up between the various student organizations’ unspent funds.

GPSS funded the following student organizations:

  • Mathematics Graduate Student Organization
  • Entomology Graduate Student Organization
  • Graduate Society of Women Engineers
  • American Association of Equine Practitioners
  • Microbiology Graduate Student Organization
  • Community Regional Planning Graduate Student Club
  • HDFS Graduate Student Network
  • Phi Tau Sigma
  • Agronomy Graduate Student Club
  • Plant Pathology Grad Student Organization
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Student Organization
  • Graduate Organization of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Toxicology Graduate Student Organization

GPSS is set to meet again April 24 in room 0114 of the Student Innovation Center.