10/30/19 PGSG

Purdue Graduate Student Government discusses transition pay and parking on Wednesday.

Purdue Graduate Student Government passed part of a resolution that requests Purdue Human Resources to discuss the graduate student pay change on Wednesday.

In an extensive discussion, students criticized previous communication between HR and the graduate student body regarding the changes in graduate staff pay. Some students did acknowledge inadequate communication on both ends, as they said they could have asked more detailed questions on the pay adjustment.

Students will discuss whether the presentation should be held as a town hall meeting.

During the fall of 2018, graduate student pay changed from a monthly pay cycle to biweekly pay. To maintain the amount students receive each month, Purdue added transition pay to biweekly paychecks, per previous reporting from The Exponent.

As a result of the change, graduate students received irregular pay, including a gap period of no payment.

The bill was originally proposed in PGSG’s previous meeting but was tabled because an agreement could not be reached, PGSG senate chair Ben Rachunok said.

PGSG president Taylor Bailey said the major issue is that HR did not consult with PGSG prior to implementing the change.

“Why didn’t you ask us? Because we would have told you this is awful,” Bailey said.

Another issue raised was the lack of suitable parking arrangements for graduate students.

There are roughly 20,000 parking spaces currently on campus, according to Director of Parking and Transportation Ben Dispennett, but students said there’s not enough to meet the current demand for employed graduate students, who often commute to campus and work.

Dispennett asked for a show of hands on whether students struggled with parking as much now as they did at their previous undergraduate universities, and nearly no hands were raised.

Graduate students are also mostly limited to C-permit parking spots, which are often not conveniently positioned and unable to meet demand.

Sarah Lucas, a third-year postdoctoral student in the College of Liberal Arts, said parking on campus is becoming more difficult.

“I taught a class and I got (to the parking spot) early enough that it was going to go over the two-hour time limit,” Lucas said. “So, I was driving around until another spot opened up or until I hit that time limit.”

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