Tuition hike impact on graduate students discussed at GPSS meeting



Jillian Alt

The Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) discussed the impact of the tuition hike on graduate students, but why it is necessary to maintain the standards of the university. 

GPSS held its first meeting of the semester Monday in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union. The discussion moved to tuition during GPSS Treasurer Maria B. Mantilla Perez’s presentation. 

The state higher education lost funding in December 2016 to the three Iowa universities by approximately $30 million, and the Board of Regents voted to raise the tuition cost. 

Graduate students will be paying 5.5 percent more on tuition each year, for the next five years.  This will cost graduate students thousands in tuition, but is a necessity, Perez said. 

“We still need to pay professors, and pay for things, and the money needs to come from somewhere, and unfortunately that money needs to come from the students,” Perez said, “But we are doing our best to keep these additional fees as low as possible.”

She broke down where these price increases would go, including CyRide for new routes to accommodate for university expansion and the Memorial Union, which is in dire need of upgrades. 

“The Memorial Union is very old and needs major, major work. Emergency things have to be covered,” Perez said. “The pipes are really really bad and need to be fixed.”

New Dean of the graduate college William Graves also spoke at the meeting about his plans for the college and new changes he looks to implement. 

“I want to bring simplification,” Graves said. “Minimize bureaucracy, simplify forms, making the application process more simplified, and even changing what we’re looking for — being more wholistic as opposed to looking at just numbers and GPAs.“

He proposed a “Dinner with the Dean” for second year graduate students, in which they will be invited to the Dean’s home for dinner and the students will all cook and eat together.

His values of community and creating a safe space were prominent points of his presentation.

 “I want the grad college to be a safe place for students to come and talk about any problems they’re having,” Graves said. “Anything it might be, I want our office to be a place where student feel safe, knowing that anything they tell us will remain confidential unless they ask us to reach out to someone for them.”

The next GPSS meeting will be held Monday, Sept. 25 in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union.