The Graduate Scholar Council (GSC) known as for expansions to graduate scholar meal plan choices and heard updates from Residential and Eating Enterprises (R&DE) about Stanford’s buy of close by flats on Sand Hill Street throughout its Tuesday assembly.
As a part of the week’s R&DE updates, Director of Scholar Housing Assignments Justin Akers clarified the ramifications of Stanford’s buy of Oak Creek Residences, a 759-unit multifamily residential complicated on Sand Hill Street. The College introduced its buy of Oak Creek in September 2020 with the intention of accelerating housing accessibility and availability for Stanford associates, particularly postdoctoral college students.
Housing has been a contentious situation among the many graduate scholar group as affordability considerations within the Bay Space have risen through the years. The GSC’s recently-passed Invoice on Affordability addressed graduate housing considerations, with testimonials from college students discussing rising prices of dwelling on and off-campus however fastened stipends from Stanford. The Stanford Graduate Staff Union (SGWU), which launched its marketing campaign for the unionization of graduate scholar employees earlier this month and has garnered greater than 2500 signed playing cards since its formal launch, has prioritized reasonably priced housing as a key concern in its platform.
Akers mentioned that, as R&DE leased sure properties inside Oak Creek already, Stanford’s buy wouldn’t have an effect on the state of those leases within the close to future. These properties would nonetheless be accessible as a part of the housing lottery course of for at the very least the subsequent yr. The graduate housing lottery utility is at present open, and the deadline to use is Could 3. Outcomes from the lottery shall be introduced on Could 27.
Meal Plan choices
GSC Co-Chair Emily Schell, a fifth-year Ph.D. scholar in developmental and psychological sciences, expressed concern concerning the affect of the present meal plan block choices, which she argued disproportionately hurts college students who reside off-campus. The meal plan possibility provided to grad college students and their spouses is at present a block of 25 meals, which Schell argued causes off-campus college students to should pay for extra meal swipes than they usually use.
Advantages and Affordability Chair Guillem Megias Homar, a second-year masters scholar in aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical/house engineering, echoed this concern, including that meal plan blocks of 10 meals could be useful to college students dwelling off campus, because the 25 and 50-meal plan blocks require a minimal dedication of $200. “These choices don’t signify the range of graduate college students,” Homar mentioned.
Assistant Vice Provost of Stanford Eating, Hospitality & Auxiliaries Eric Montell ‘89 mentioned that the scholars’ suggestions shall be thought of through the planning course of for the subsequent educational yr. Montell mentioned that the present meal plan block choices exist to ensure that meal swipes to be charged to scholar payments, including that small meal plan blocks would seemingly be costlier as R&DE must offset the infrequency of scholars’ eating with larger prices per meal. Referring to the present minimal meal plan block, Montell acknowledged that 25 was by far the most well-liked meal plan block.
“With the best way they’re bought in blocks, it goes on the coed invoice. It’s cheaper than shopping for on the door with money, and the grad scholar plan can be cheaper than the undergrad. The 5 and 10 meal value plans are larger,” Montell mentioned.
The GSC concluded by discussing plans to doc their achievements from this educational yr and objectives for the 2023-2024 college yr. Homar and Schell mentioned that the time commitments of roles, any potential points the GSC confronted, the cadence of their work and any excellent work needs to be outlined to maintain a document of the GSC’s work to expedite the transition course of for college kids getting into new roles and keep a log for future conferences.
“The paperwork itself additionally must know what the GSC does and what the GSC is,” Schell mentioned.