I hope all is going well with your semester midterms! The March GSO Assembly was quite busy, so I have a lot to report:
First off, the GSO Assembly received a presentation about graduate student exchange and study abroad opportunities from Rosemary Casey. Ms. Casey is the Coordinator for the Peace Corps chapter on campus, in addition to being an excellent resource person from the UH Manoa Office of International Education. Ms. Casey's presentation highlighted many of the possible venues for study abroad and exchange, and stressed that many graduate students under-utilize these chances. For more information, please contact:
Rosemary Casey, PhD
Queen Lili'uokalani Center for Student Services
Or go to the following website:
Next, the GSO Assembly listened to a discussion put forth by John McNamara, Associate Director of External Affairs, and Carl Clapp, Associate Athletics Director. The two men wanted to converse with GSO Representatives about a potential increase in student semester fees for the Athletic Department. The potential fee could be anywhere from $50 to $70 per student, per semester. Both Mr. McNamara and Mr. Clapp assured GSO that these fees were not yet in place, and that tonight's conference was merely an informal conversation.
Here are the facts from the presentation:
- The Athletics Dept. has already sought outside funding and sponsorships for its budget. The Manoa Maniacs initiative was an effort to accomplish that objective. However, they claim that it is not enough to cover expenses.
- Other universities charge high Student Athletic Fees, ranging from $32 (Fresno State) to well over a hundred dollars (Idaho). Currently, Hawai'i does not charge students an Athletics Fee but students do pay an Activities Fee.
- If the fee proposal passed, students would be able to attend UH games for free. And Mr. McNamara and Mr. Clapp state that some of the collected money could go to non-Athletic functions.
Please understand that the Student Athletic Fee is still in a conceptual stage; the gentlemen had no official proposal but only wanted to receive feedback from GSO. The general opinion of the GSO Assembly was negative; few representatives seemed to think that a Student Athletics Fee -- upwards of $50, at that -- was a wise investment in these times of budget cuts and economic hardships. For most of the audience, the disadvantages of the idea far outweighed the benefits.
I invite LIS students to share their opinions on this potential fee. If you have concerns or questions, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can better represent the collective LIS opinion.
A reminder -- the School of Pacific & Asian Studies will offer its 20th Annual Conference from Wednesday, March 11 to Friday, March 13th. The keynote speaker will be Professor Greg Dvorak from Tokyo University. Students from all disciplines are welcome. For further information, please go to: http://www.hawaii.edu/shaps/gradconf/2009/index.html.
And lastly, the end of the 2008-2009 academic year is quickly approaching. Consequently, the Library & Information Science program will need new representatives for 2009-2010! Are you interested in a fun way to get involved with LIS leadership, with a minimal time commitment? Then GSO may be for you!
Find out at an informational meeting on Thursday, April 2nd, 2009. We will meet at Paradise Palms from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. LIS students interested in being a GSO Representative (or simply learning about GSO) are encouraged to attend and learn more. Elections for the 2009-2010 Representatives will occur shortly after.
Mahalo, and Good Luck on Midterms!