Grad. Leadership Council debates reimbursements

The Graduate Leadership Council is debating whether to reinstate its professional and educational development reimbursement program, which funds graduate students' conference attendance, according to Student Activities Program Adviser Kimberly Herrera.

Graduate students' student activities fees funded the reimbursement program, according to School of Communication Graduate Student Council Vice President Mark Heckathorn.

The program did not benefit some graduate students, Herrera said. During fiscal year 2006, 2 percent of graduate students benefited from the reimbursement program and 4 percent benefited from it during fiscal year 2007.

Heckathorn said he would like the GLC to redirect the money that was used for the reimbursement program to the individual school councils so they could decide how the money would best benefit their students.

"If they're not going to make the grant, then they should at least return the money to the school council so they can use it for the people who paid the money," Heckathorn said.

At the beginning of last semester, the GLC decided to reconsider the program, Herrera said. However, changes in the GLC leadership delayed the decision.

After former GLC Executive Chair Edgar Meza resigned, the presidents of the Graduate School Councils elected then-GLC Vice President Alexis Bawden as executive chair, Herrera said.

"Each of the GSC presidents spoke with their individual dean to find out if a reimbursement program could either be created for students or if there was a current program that the GLC could help supplement," Herrera said.

The GLC held a forum to inform graduate students of the issues with reimbursement and dispel any myths that may be circulating, Herrera said.

"The GLC is working to improve transparency in the future in regards to communication and programming," Herrera said.

The GLC will release minutes from the forum to graduate students when they are completed, according to Herrera.

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