The Council of Graduate Students, or COGS — Michigan State's graduate student government — met for the last time this school year Wednesday evening. The meeting consisted of current members of the council as well as those who will serve as representatives in the 2019-20 school year.
The meeting was called into session by newly-elected COGS President Meagan Abel. In her role, she gave recognition to the new representatives, those graduating and presented awards to those who had perfect attendance throughout the year.
University Ombudsperson Shannon Lynn Burton spoke to COGS about the role of her office and what services she can provide. She discussed assistance with conflict resolution and how to tackle university-wide issues brought to her attention. Burton also discussed ways in which her office is looking to better accommodate graduate students.
McKenzie Javorka and Kelly Schweda from the MSU Relationship Violence Sexual Misconduct, or RVSM, Expert Advisory Workgroup also met with the council to discuss the on-going Know More @ MSU survey. From the data collected so far, they have noticed that not a lot of graduate students have taken the survey. Javorka asked COGS to reach out and implore fellow graduate students to participate.
“We’re really hoping to see a lot of engagement with this survey, especially from graduate students," Schweda said. "We know that there are things that go on around campus for graduate students and we really need that information ... in order to inform responses."
Mariah Sloat from the Prevention, Outreach and Education Department also provided information on her role as the graduate education and prevention specialist. The department typically engages with graduate students when specific colleges and departments reach out to them to go over policy training in regards to RVSM, mandatory reporting and other similar topics.
Sloat informed COGS of an upcoming meeting where they will discuss policy training. They also want graduate students to provide feedback on how they can improve their outreach and training.
A resolution in support of including the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences in COGS passed. Students in the group are seeking to see better representation in the graduate school overall. It passed with 31 in favor, eight opposed and six abstentions.
The final resolution of the evening was to support the 2019-20 preliminary budget. A revised budget resolution will be presented during the first meeting next school year. The resolution passed 40-0-5.
COGS Vice President for Internal Affairs Diondra Straiton sits on the committee searching for a permanent associate vice president of the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance. There are currently only two applicants for the role. The first candidate will be coming to campus April 17 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the second will be on campus April 26 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Both meetings will take place in the board room of the Hannah Administration Building.
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