By Christie S. Peterson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
The Graduate and Professional Student Council is required to spend their entire budget by June 30 or lose it, and recent actions put them $3,350 closer to preventing this, while allowing them to improve graduate students' lives at the same time.
The GPSC used this money to create an endowment fund for the University of Arizona library and to purchase a stove for the Christopher City child care facilities.
An initial suggestion that the GPSC spend $3,000 to have the Student Union clock repaired met with some dissent.
Representative Melanie Ayers was one of those dissenters.
"I never look at it," she said.
At the e-mailed suggestions of graduate students, Ayers said she began working with the UA library to find ways the GPSC could help financially because it is somewhere "every grad student goes."
"I went to the library and said, 'If I give you $3,000, where would you put it?'"
In response, she was shown the CD-ROM and imagery workstations used in the library which could use updating or improvement.
Rather than just giving the library the money, however, an endowment fund was established through the UA Foundation that the GPSC will add to over the next four years until a sum of $10,000 is amassed. The library will then be able to begin collecting interest on the account.
"It's the gift that just keeps on giving," Said GPSC President Mitzi Forbes.
Forbes said by the end of the year, she expects the GPSC to add another $2,000 to $3,000 to the $3,000 they have already placed in the account.
Robert House, Assistant Dean for External Affairs, said the interest, currently around 5.1 percent, should generate $500 annually Ä not enough for new computers, but is enough to buy new CDs or other support.
Another recent small-scale use of GPSC money was to spend $350 on a stove for the Christopher City child care center.
Christopher City is the UA family housing complex, and many of the children who live there are eligible for free federal hot lunch programs, which the child care center is now able to provide.
Ayers, who also worked on the project, said a committee was formed to look for ways to help Christopher City, and a stove seemed the "most reasonable" and "the most beneficial."
"Christopher City is not something that affects all grad students, but for those that live there, it's a big deal," she said.
Ayers said she visited the child care center one day before the stove was bought and was "appalled at what the kids had for lunch," such as one child who opened his lunchbox to find only a few crackers.
Although the future of Christopher City is now in limbo, residents will be able to take the stove when they relocate.
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