This week ESC received disappointing news on credit limits and the SEAS gala but looked ahead to future plans.

The council began by reviewing a letter to the administration requesting a tuition freeze for the 2021-2022 academic year. Student Body President Estevan Mesa (‘22) wrote the draft and presented it to the council. The letter requests a minimum of a tuition freeze with the possibility of a tuition reduction. Mesa explained that GSSC’s letter to the administration regarding next year’s tuition requested a tuition reduction.

Council members reviewed the wording and details of the letter. Mesa noted that he plans to add details on tuition freezes and reductions that peer institutions had in place during the 2020-2021 academic year. Council members agreed that this would provide support to the argument in favor of a tuition adjustment.

Some members of the ESC proposed ways to highlight ongoing student need in the light of the pandemic. FGLI Representative Martha Escobedo (‘21) discussed the possibility of using data from the COVID-19 Student Resources Fund to evaluate students’ needs. She also emphasized that virtual learning posed additional costs for students creating their own learning spaces.

The council will receive a virtual copy of the letter draft to review this week. It will vote on whether to approve the letter at next week’s general body meeting. That meeting will also serve as a transition between the outgoing and incoming councils.

Next, Mesa updated the council on the meetings he attended this week. Of particular note was his meeting with Deans Morrison and Brovman. They explained that the requests made in ESC’s summer credit limit proposal cannot be met. The 40 credit limit was created with student wellbeing in mind. The administration intended the three semester structure to allow students to spread out their courses and avoid overloading credits in a given semester. Raising the limit, the deans explained, is not in line with these goals. Students are not supposed to be maxing out the credit limit.

The back up suggestions included in the ESC proposal are also not feasible. Summer financial aid packages and housing are tied to the number of credits students are taking by federal guidelines. In a typical summer semester, these guidelines might be less stringent. Due to the three semester structure of the 2020-2021 school year, though, guidelines for this summer are particularly strict.

VP Student Life Katherine Liu (‘21) followed this update with an update of her own. Liu has been working hard to plan this year’s SEAS Gala. She recently was disappointed to learn that the event will have to be postponed until this summer. This is mainly because the administration needs more time to create a contract and virtual format for the event. However, giveaways for those who are registered for the gala will be sent out at the end of the current semester.

Lerner via Bwog Archives