The Office of the Provost announced its decision to temporarily reinstate the Graduate Assistant (GA) stipends, until the formulation of a new GA policy by the end of the Fall 2017 semester.
The decision was made public in a meeting with Boldly G-AUB representatives on Tuesday, October 3.
Tala Makhoul, an American Studies GA, and a member of Boldly G-AUB said,“it wasn’t something [the administration] asked us about, or something that we reached an agreement with them about.”
Associate Provost and Chair of the Graduate Council, Zaher Dawy, PhD. who was delegated by the Office of The Provost to communicate with Boldly G-AUB representatives on the subject of the stipends, elaborated on the recent decision in an email addressed to all graduate Master’s students, stating:
“As we became aware that the decision [to cancel the stipends] was not communicated to all graduate students in a timely fashion, and since this change should be accompanied by modifications and enhancements to the GA policy, we have decided to develop a mechanism, only for this fall term, which ensures that students who benefit from a GA and who do not have any employment within AUB (RA, GRA, part-time, etc.) nor a full-time job outside AUB will be paid an amount equivalent to the stipend.”
According to Dawy, the new GA policy will be drafted in collaboration with stakeholders, including graduate student representatives from the Student Representative Council (SRC).
“The plan is to make major progress during the fall term in designing a contemporary policy which reflects best practices and provides more flexibility in financial assistance to all our master’s students,” Dawy continued in the email.
Aya Adra, a GA in Psychology, and member of Boldly G-AUB said, “I think it’s a good step that we got the stipends reinstated temporarily, because it shows that students are able to make the administration move on certain decisions.”
The instigators of this decision are yet to be explicitly identified, and whether Boldly G-AUB’s demands to permanently reinstate the stipends and increase them to $1500 per semester will be further negotiated at later meetings with the administration remains unclear.
“This is a pacifying move on the administration’s side and will definitely not change the campaign’s long-term demands,” said Adra.