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COGS discusses tax referendums for graduate students, more at meeting

February 16, 2019
E-Board Law Liaison Danielle Johns, left, and E-Board medical School Liaison Jordan Lippincott, right, listen at a COGs meeting in the Law College on Feb. 13, 2019.
E-Board Law Liaison Danielle Johns, left, and E-Board medical School Liaison Jordan Lippincott, right, listen at a COGs meeting in the Law College on Feb. 13, 2019. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

The Council of Graduate Students, or COGS — the graduate student government at Michigan State University — convened for the second time this semester Wednesday. 

Although brief, the council passed resolutions and advisers from the MSU Graduate School provided reminders on what's going on throughout the school. They discussed tax referendums for graduate students, alternative spring break and more.

Graduate student tax referendums and more

Three resolutions were passed during the meeting. The first resolution was regarding a donation to the charity "Many Hands." Many Hands provides food assistance for children for students who receive free or reduced-cost meals at school, in the case that they may not have access to food during the weekend. COGS voted on a donation of $200, which would assist roughly 40 students in the Ingham County area. The resolution passed with one abstention. 

The second resolution was regarding a tax referendum, which is required every three years, for graduate students The council voted to approve the conducting of the referendum. The current tax fee for graduate students is $11 for the fall and spring semesters and $5 for the summer semester. The council announced that they do not have plans to change the tax rate. The council passed the resolution 44-0-2.

The final resolution was about a separate tax referendum for Owen Graduate Association and the Council of Medical Students. Since the two groups collect their own separate tax, they are required to vote on their own tax referendum. However, they are required to be approved by the full COGS organization. The resolution passed 44-0-6.

Assisting with alternative spring break

Zack Kowalski, a representative from Alternative Spartan Breaks, provided information about options for graduate students to take part in during the upcoming spring break. 

While undergraduate students take charge during the programs abroad, graduate students often join groups to provide additional support and ensure that the job students are set to do is done effectively. Some of the different work the program is involved with is community development, sustainable farming and eco-tourism.

The Graduate Academic Conference

The Graduate Academic Conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 16 in the MSU Union. The council reminded students they can register for the event on the day of and can arrive at any time throughout the conference. Breakfast and lunch will be provided, with breakfast being served from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. The first half of the conference will consist of workshops — one on how to better craft a Curriculum Vitae and the second on how to translate graduate research into creative expression. 

The second half of the conference will consist of presentations provided by graduate students on the research they are currently working on, called the three-minute thesis, or 3MT. The 3MT is a competition to see who can best explain their research most effectively. The winner will be granted the opportunity to compete in the Midwestern Association of Graduate School in March 2019.

The next COGS meeting will be held on March 13.

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