At Wednesday’s Graduate Student Council (GSC) meeting, councilors voiced their opinions on the Residential and Dining Enterprises (R&DE) food pantry and housing options for next year. Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Joe Simitian and his chief of staff also joined the meeting to field questions and concerns from GSC members regarding the status of Stanford’s General Use Permit (GUP).
R&DE food pantry
R&DE recently hosted a popup food pantry for students on Jan. 13. The pantry served 170 graduate households, an increase from the number of households served at the December event. R&DE officials reported that there was very little food left over.
Councilors discussed the lack of kosher food options at the pantry.
While there are kosher items available in the Florence Moore dining hall, they are limited elsewhere on campus, and kosher items can be more expensive than others at stores.
The next popup pantry is expected to take place on Feb. 10, and R&DE has requested more kosher-friendly food options, a request that is currently pending approval.
Leading up to the opening of the Escondido Village Graduate Residences (EVGR), R&DE will host information sessions for students to learn about the residence prices and selection process in an effort to make the transition “as clear as possible,” according to R&DE Executive Director Imogen Hinds.
EVGR is currently furnished, and tours will begin next month for members of the GSC and the Graduate Housing and Advising Committee (GHAC).
Off-campus housing will be available to graduate students, but only at market price and not at its current subsidized rate. The prices of the various housing options will be available to students beginning the middle of February.
Sixth-year languages and literature Ph.D. student Gabby Badica said that while some students may not be satisfied with the new housing, “something is [still] something” for those who have been living off campus due to a lack of affordable options.
The GSC meeting was initially delayed by an insufficient number of attendees to reach quorum. The Council accepted votes from members through email. Once quorum was reached several minutes into the meeting, the members were able to pass funding proposals from Voluntary Student Organizations (VSOs).
These events included the annual Valentine’s Day party; a cultural event for the Colombian Student Association; an event by Women in Math, Stats and Computation; a panel hosted by Shaking the Foundations Conference and a Stanford-UC Berkeley casual sports game put on by the Thai Student Association.
The GSC members also tabled a resolution calling for a partnership between Counseling and Psychological Services and Children’s Health Council, citing their belief that the bill does not cater towards graduate students and is not clear enough for them to pass at this time.