Graduate Student Senate reconvenes, discusses reaching out, getting involved

Vice President for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi answered graduate students’ questions about rising health care costs and commuter parking during the meeting. (Kaitlyn Owens | For The Post)

Graduate Student Senate President Joel Newby led the first body meeting of the 2013-14 school year by accepting all incoming commissioners.

Ohio University’s GSS reconvened in Scripps Hall on Monday evening for the first of its bi-weekly meetings.

Newby said he is excited to develop a better connection with OU’s students and administrators.

“The more we reach out to others, the more effective we can be,” Newby said. “We can be really involved in the administration and how it runs.”

Speaking at Monday’s meeting, Vice President for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi said he is excited to work with GSS.

Lombardi and Newby are working to expand parking, insurance and housing options for graduate students.

OU is currently comparing prices for its student health insurance policies.

“We talk about the two Hs a lot: healthcare and housing,” Lombardi said. “Think of everything outside the classroom, and that’s my role to think about that every day.”

GSS plans to redo its website, get more involved with the Office of Student Affairs and make the body’s office a “more comfortable environment,” Newby said.

The body voted in favor of setting aside $250 for GSS office materials — including pens, Post-Its and a white board.

GSS is also in the planning stages for its second GradFest of the year, a social event that partners GSS with Athens bars.

They also plan to roll out badges for their senators when they attend university events. GSS’ operating budget was $4,505.38.

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