New board set to help evenly distribute student organization funds is a good move

| 1/27/13 7:55pm

Graduate students make up 13.5 percent of the student body at Grand Valley State University. Though it may not seem like a huge percentage of the whole, they are still students who come to this campus, and in that way, they are just as relevant as any majority group there is.

Since the Lanthorn last reported the numbers in December of 2011, graduate students only received less than 3 percent of the Student Life Fund. For the 2009-10 academic year, graduate students contributed $127,563 to the Student Life Fund, but only received 2.9 percent of that money (or $3,735) was awarded to registered graduate student organizations.

That’s why GVSU’s latest step toward leveling the playing field – the creation of a Student Life Fund Administrative Board to review the allocation process from the Student Life Fund – is a positive step toward a more inclusive student government; one that has been in the making for over two years now.

The Student Life Fund Administrative Board, made up of faculty, students and staff, will look at the overall Student Life Fund process, and act as what Bob Stoll, Director of Student Life called “an intermediate recommendation board to the budget office as far as funding needs for student organizations.”

The administrative board will allocate money to the Student Senate and the Graduate Student Association, then those two bodies will use the allocation process to distribute money to the various registered student groups and organizations.

The review process will begin in the upcoming weeks, and the funding will be distributed to both the Student Senate and Graduate Student Association start with the next school year.

The creation of this group is not only a symbolic handshake between the two groups, but also in line with the university’s 2010-15 Strategic Plan objective that calls for the “creation of support services for graduate students” by year 2012.

So here’s to you, GVSU– for making student governance more inclusive for all walks of the student body.

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