Student Council passes resolution to allocate part of tuition increase for student health insurance scholarships – Le Cavalier Quotidien
In a special legislative session on Wednesday on Zoom, the representative body of the Student Council passed a bill aimed at obtaining grants for the relief of student health insurance loans and a resolution denouncing the decision of the ‘University to switch all students from Google products to Office 365 from spring 2022.
The General Student Council meeting is usually held on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Newcomb South Boardroom, but has been moved this week due to the election. A special legislative session may be called at any time by any member of the Student Council if a majority of representatives are in favor. The only items on the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting were public comment and legislation.
The first bill urged the University to adopt the Student Council’s proposal to allocate part of the planned tuition fee increase to support health insurance loan relief for low-income students through AccessUVA , the University’s financial aid program that is committed to meeting 100 percent of demonstrated financial need. 35 percent of the University’s students receive assistance on a needs-based basis.
The resolution was sponsored by Abel Liu, President of the College Student Council and Fourth Year Student, Cela Cain, Vice President of Administration and Third Year Student of the College, and Gabriela Hernandez, President of the Representative Body and Student. third year of College.
The bill calls for any tuition increase to be allocated to a pool of $ 30-45 million for Aetna Student Health Plan grants for the 2022-2023 and 2023-24 academic years. Going forward, the Student Council does not want grants to depend entirely on a portion of tuition fees – ideally, private funding would endow grants in the future. Grants would be made available to undergraduate Pell grant recipients – students whose expected family contribution to tuition is less than $ 5,846 – and out-of-state undergraduate students eligible for Medicaid in their own. native country.
During the meeting, Representative Lillian Rojas, a second year college student, asked Liu to clarify whether the bill called for an increase in tuition fees for students.
“This new replacement bill does not advocate any specific increase in tuition fees for an insurance subsidy program,” Liu said. “He is simply proposing to allocate a small portion of the total tuition fee income to expand AccessUVA, which means that this program will one day be endowed to cover insurance subsidies in the immediate future.”
Currently, the University does not offer any grant-based assistance to purchase the Aetna Student Health Plan, which costs $ 3,148 this year but is subject to annual increases. All students are required to provide proof of insurance to the University – failure to do so results in automatic enrollment in the Aetna Student Health Plan.
The bill was passed with 15 votes in favor and one abstention.
The following resolution was moved by College sophomore representative Christian Ephriam and denounced the University’s recent decision to switch to Office 365, a change that was announced in an October 27 email from Dana German. , associate vice-president and deputy chief information officer. . All students will switch from Google to Office 365 starting in spring 2022.
The resolution sparked a long debate among representatives, with some members arguing that the change is impractical and others questioning whether the change will result in material cost or a serious problem for students.
College sophomore representative Violette Cadet opposed passing the resolution, expressing that while the change can be tedious, the result will be worth it, especially given that there are many industries in which students will work after graduation using Office 365.
“It’s easier if we’re all on one system… and Word is known to be more secure,” Cadet said.
Rojas echoed this sentiment, disagreeing that the change would present an “unnecessary learning curve” as the resolution states. Students, Rojas argued, already have some experience with PowerPoint and Word, so most would not be learning Office for the first time.
College fourth-year student representative Jay Moody said that while some industries can use Office 365, most education jobs don’t. Therefore, switching to Office 365 for him and other education students would not provide a useful skill set.
“It appears that the transition to Office 365 is something that is more for the administration and convenience of faculty than for the convenience of students,” Moody said.
Liu acknowledged the students’ criticism of the financial side of the decision – German said Google’s new pricing system had become “cost prohibitive” for the university, which is one of the reasons they decided to change.
“It is not clear to us that the costs of staying with Google are so substantial that we would rule out the option,” Liu said. “We always collect more information on the cost structures of each subscription model[s] are.”
The resolution was adopted with seven votes in favor, four against and two abstentions.
The Student Council will hold its next Regular General Meeting on November 9 in the Newcomb South Boardroom.