The Graduate and Professional Student Council elected the remaining half of council positions, received updates on renovations to Duke University Libraries and approved new resolutions at their final meeting Tuesday.
Invited speaker Aaron Wellborn, director of communications for Duke Libraries, gave updates on the Rubenstein Library, the Perkins Library entrance closure and the conversion of the first floor of Bostock to a Research Commons. Wellborn also discussed the possibility of a larger graduate student reading room.
“We know there is a big demand for a dedicated space for graduate students, who spend a lot more time in the library than most people,” Wellborn said.
Wellborn added that if funds become available, renovations would also be made to Lilly Library.
GPSC unanimously passed the 2014 Campout Policy—guidelines on how graduate students line up for basketball games-as presented by Basketball Committee co-Chair Ben Gaines, a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in mathematics. Changes included the creation of an advisory committee including representatives from Parking and Transportation, graduate students and the administration.
Gaines said the date and location for the campout have yet to be determined and will have to be added to the policy at a later date. The area usually used has been converted into a gravel parking lot and can no longer be used for tenting.
The council approved a resolution to support the inclusion of an optional question to disclose LGBT status on graduate school applications. Justin Stambaugh, second-year doctor of physical therapy student and president of the Duke Physical Therapy Gay-Straight Alliance, said he hopes that the inclusion of the optional question will lead members of the LGBT community to feel sought after for their diversity.
In other business:
Biomedical engineering Ph.D. candidate Devin Bridgen, GPSC representative to Parking and Transportation, updated the council on issues brought before the committee, including transportation demand management passes given to bike riders twice per year who need to use their cars for the day. The passes used to be on paper, but it was discovered that fraud, such as selling the passes on Craigslist, occurred frequently.
Renovations to the GPSC house will cost an estimated $80,000. Funding will be sought from the University.
The Social Committee will be hosting a celebration on undergraduate last day of classes from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Engineering Quadrangle. The celebration will include free t-shirts, food but not alcohol, as per University policy. The celebration will be for graduate students only.