COGS Discusses Study Space, Rising Fees
By Darcie Moran, The State News
The graduate and professional student study space in the library and the increase in the international student fee were topics of discussion at the year's first Council of Graduate Students, or COGS, full council meeting Wednesday.
Director of Libraries Cliff Haka speaks to the Council of Graduate Students on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 in a private dining room of Brody Square. Haka discussed the issue of whether or not to designate special graduate student only areas in the library.
Julia Nagy/The State News
This summer, the Main Library reduced graduate and professional student study space from three designated rooms to one.
"I really want to start by apologizing," said Director of Libraries Cliff Haka. "There's no question in my mind that this was a problem of poor communication."
Haka said the library notified they would have four new job positions to fill and would need the graduate student study spaces for offices for the new hires.
He said the situation should not be too detrimental because of the addition of 659 quiet study spaces to the library overall from 2009 to 2011.
"Quiet study ... is much better in the library than it ever has been," Haka said. "I keep feeling like we're doing exactly what you're asking for; we're just not putting up a big sign."
The students asked why some of the rooms or part of the area Haka was referring to couldn't be designated for graduate and professional students.
"This is just another reason we should get Chitt done," said Civil and Environmental Engineering representative Amanda Herzog in reference to Chittenden Hall, which COGS has been pursuing as a graduate resource center.
COGS representatives also addressed issues surrounding the increase in international student fees this summer.
The fee for international graduate students was raised from $25 to $75 per semester, among other changes, COGS President Stefan Fletcher said.
"There is a justifiable question being asked by people in the institution of why the ... fee was set at (those rates) and where the money is going" Fletcher said. "I think those are fair questions to ask."
Although Fletcher said the university explained the international student fee is supposed to compensate for the amount domestic residents contribute through the government, questions and concerns regarding the issue will be addressed in upcoming meetings with MSU trustees and the provost.