Kennesaw State’s Graduate Student Association made an announcement last month that it can no longer provide travel funding opportunities due to a new KSU policy beginning July 1.
Vice President for Student Affairs K.C. White said that the new Student Activities and Budget Advisory Committee policy allows all registered student organizations to request annual budgets and supplemental funding. Since the GSA has a history of requesting lump sum travel allocations, the organization has to request funds based on specific student needs.
GSA President Andrea Carpio Smith said travel funding is a way to help graduate students attend domestic or international conferences to present their research developed through their graduate program.
Smith said the loss of travel funding means that there is less support for graduate students to present their research at conferences.
“The loss of such availability of funds is already discouraging graduate students [from attending] domestic and international reputable conferences to present their work and represent Kennesaw State University,” Smith said.
White said the new policy actually expands travel funding opportunities for graduate students by allowing them to make individual funding requests through GSA or other registered student organizations.
“The policy now provides opportunities for other RSOs that serve graduate students, many of whom focus on their specific academic programs, with an equal opportunity to request SABAC travel funds for their students, something they were unable to do in the past,” White said.
Smith said that the GSA intends to be “program-oriented” moving forward. This includes providing students with guest lectures, organizational support, conferences, workshops and additional campus resources.
According to KSU’s website, the GSA assists graduate students in their academic ventures and in balancing their school activities. All officially-enrolled graduate students are automatically GSA members. The organization encourages scholarship, cooperation between students and faculty members, fellowship among students and student-staff interaction.