Tuesday, October 7, 2008

New Developments in the GSO!

Aloha LIS Students,

Last night, the Graduate Student Organization gathered for the October 2008 Assembly. We covered some important issues that have great relevance for LIS students -- here are some brief updates!

The GSO Assembly voted on three motions:

1. The first motion was particularly important to professional programs like LIS. The motion moved to amend the current application criteria for graduate grants and awards. This motion was passed.

In the past, for a graduate student to apply for GSO funds, the proposal and funds request needed to directly benefit a master's or doctoral thesis. And in order to attend conferences, priority was given to graduate students who intended to present a paper or poster. As of yesterday, the GSO Assembly voted to remove the thesis-related restrictions and to allow students seeking funds for "professional development" to apply.

So what does this development mean? The removal of the thesis-related restrictions means that professional degree students -- like the LIS program -- can apply for career development opportunities like conferences without the added stipulation of having to prepare a paper or presentation. Keep in mind that application for GSO grants and awards doesn't mean that you will get the funds, but the criteria are now much more achievable for classified graduate students who aren't writing a thesis. This is wonderful news for LIS, as it improves our future ability to attend conferences and other professional gatherings!

2. The second motion proposed to the GSO Assembly stated that minimum and maximum caps be placed on the grants and awards. This motion was passed. The new minimum and maximum for domestic expenses are $250 and $1,000. The new minimum and maximum for international expenses are $500 and $2,000.

3. The third motion proposed a temporary measure for Fall 2008 only. It recommended that the entire GSO Budget be divided equally between all graduate groups -- $10,500 each. Fund distribution is going to be re-evaluated in Spring 2009 based on head count (how many people per group) and demand (how many people applied for funds per group). This measure passed.

Because the funding is going to be re-evaluated next semester, it is important to apply for grants and awards this semester. If LIS applies for funding frequently, it will send a strong message about how much we value and need the grants and awards from the Graduate Student Organization. Plus, the demand for funds may allot LIS more funds in the future.

Interested in learning more or applying for funds? Visit the Graduate Student Organization website at http://gso.hawaii.edu/html/index.php.

Additional Stuff:

The GSO Assembly also had guest speakers who attended the session. Jennifer Graf presented on behalf of the Office of the Ombuds, and offered an overview of the services the Office can provide for graduate students. If you are having an academic or professional conflict, the Ombudsmen are a resource for impartial help. If you're interested in learning more, please visit the website at www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ombuds.

Candidates Isaac Choy (D) and Jeri Jeffyres (R) also attended the GSO Assembly last night. They are both running for the House of Representatives district seat that includes University, Manoa, and Moiliili. If you are interested in learning more about the candidates, please see their websites for additional information.

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