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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Student Body President Jordan Johnson recommended Tuesday that graduate assistants should not have to pay a potential fee to help fund the expansion of the Reitz Union.

Johnson said his decision is the result of four months of discussions with students, faculty and administration.

During this time, Johnson said he’s learned about the financial burdens faced by graduate assistants, who serve as research and teaching assistants and also subsidize the cost of instruction.

“We’ve had multiple opportunities for people to speak up and engage in this conversation, and this is a group of students who have identified themselves as, you know, not being capable of absorbing another fee,” Johnson said.

Graduate students and undergraduates students would still pay the potential fee, Johnson said.

Johnson said he plans to talk with the Board of Trustees about his decision at the board’s next meetings on March 15 and 16.

Matt Vernon, vice president for Graduate Assistants United, said graduate assistants are very pleased with the new stance on the fee.

“The entire objection of the GA community was that, financially, we are very strapped,” he said.

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