Childcare resources for students, other takeaways from COGS meeting
The Council of Graduate Students, or COGS — the graduate student government at Michigan State University — met for the first time this semester on Jan. 16.
They expressed their support for the MSU Board of Trustees' decision to call for former Interim President John Engler's resignation — as reported by The Detroit Free Press — prior to him submitting his resignation letter.
They also discussed the MSU presidential search process, child care resources for students who are parents and more.
Engler's resignation and presidential search update
At the start of the meeting, Representative Kaitlyn Casulli motioned to add an amendment to the agenda regarding the council's support of the board calling for Engler’s resignation.
A few COGS representatives expressed their distaste in Engler’s recent comments about survivors before the vote. The resolution passed 41-0-2.
Representative Greg Spray — the graduate student liaison on the presidential search committee — said the candidate nominations are still being accepted, but will be closed soon. He also added that the committee reviews all input they receive, and are still on track to announce a new president in June.
Providing resources for MSU students with children
At the meeting, a presentation was given by Director Kimberly Steed-Page of the MSU Student Parent Resource Center (SPRC).
She provided an overview of childcare services available for MSU students, specifically free emergency childcare options. She also highlighted the subsidized home care options for those with non-minor dependents.
This year, MSU was granted the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) federal grant for the next four years. The purpose of the grant is to provide access to child care options for students with children. Any student with a child is eligible to apply, but funds vary depending on family size.
If awarded, the student will be granted $5,000 per child, which equates to about 22 weeks of full-time care, according to Steed-Page.
Steed-Page added that, due to the partial government shutdown, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits that some students may receive will not be available in February and could potentially stretch into March. Similar issues will occur with subsidized housing. The SPRC can offer help with finding additional resources and benefits for students who may be in need.
The council voted in favor to support the COGS Symposium. The proposed topic for the symposium is social justice, which was intentionally left broad so the MSU community could discuss a wide range of social justice topics that are impacting the university.
They are looking to contribute about $3,000 to the event. The vote tally was 40-1-2.
COGS also agreed to allocate $1,000 for the MSU Safe Place 5k. They will also provide up to $1,000 for graduate students to pay for the race entry fee. The fee ranges from $20-25 for participants, but prices increase after March 29. The race will take place on April 14.
The next COGS meeting will be held on Feb. 13.