Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GradGov Adds Childcare Grants and Support for Campus Food Pantry to Budget

The Georgetown University Graduate Student Government (GradGov) Senate approved two new areas of their spring semester budget supporting child care grants for the first time and monthly donations to combat food insecurity on campus. 

In the new budget proposal, which was approved by the GradGov Executive Committee on Passing a Budget on Feb. 3, $18,000 will be allocated toward funding for childcare grants that will be distributed to graduate student parents to help meet their childcare needs. 

Anna Yaun/ The Hoya | The Georgetown University Graduate Student Government approved support for child care grants in their spring semester budget.

GradGov also plans to donate $500 each month, beginning this month and operating through June, to support the Hoya Hub, a student-run food pantry on campus. 

GradGov looks to support graduate student parents, who are an important but often overlooked group within the Georgetown community, according to GradGov Senator Bess Grasswick (MSB ’22), who proposed the addition of childcare grants to the budget.

“Childcare expenses are a recognized educational expense,” Grasswick said in an interview with The Hoya. “Graduate students can include that in their request for financial aid from the financial aid office, but we all know that that doesn’t always cover everything. We’re hoping to fill in opportunities and figure out ways to meaningfully disperse that aid.”

The childcare grant will be administered to graduate student parents through the Graduate Financial Aid Advisory Board (GFAAB), the senate committee that approves budgets within GradGov, as well as the university financial aid office, according to Grasswick. 

It can be challenging to simultaneously parent a child and attend classes, even when classes are remote, according to Catherine Hulford (GRD ’22).

“As a parent, a graduate student and a full-time employee, my attention is split in multiple directions. I know the help of additional child care support will allow future graduate students an opportunity to focus on their studies knowing their kids are cared for,” Hulford wrote to The Hoya.

While the budent has been approved the process for applying for grants is still being finalized, Grasswick said. 

“At this time, it appears that the FAFSA will determine eligibility. This is because the FAFSA collects the reported dependents and income for each student,” Grasswick wrote to The Hoya. 

The childcare additions to the budget will support barriers that graduate student parents face in their studies, according to Jonah Klempner (GRD ’22, LAW ’22), GradGov president.

“This grant is for parents living on a budget whose parental obligations would prevent them from fulfilling their academic responsibilities and capturing the greatest value from their graduate student experience,” Klempner wrote in an email to The Hoya.

Childcare grants will support the specific needs of student parents, according to Grasswick.

“It’s important because the graduate student body is a diverse student body, and part of that diversity comes from students who are parents and are coming to school and really investing in themselves and their futures,” Grasswick said.

GradGov has also committed to reducing food insecurity within the Georgetown community, according to Grasswick. In addition to their $500 monthly donation to the Hoya Hub, GradGov senators who attend meetings virtually will have the option to donate their portion of the food typically provided at the in-person meeting, to the food pantry, Grasswick said. 

Georgetown supports GradGov’s additions to the budget on these issues, according to a university spokesperson.

“We appreciate GradGov’s efforts to support members of the Georgetown community through these important services,” a university spokesperson wrote to The Hoya.

César Salgado Portillo, GradGov’s director of programming and member of the executive board, proposed the monthly donations to the Hoya Hub. Portillo said it is vital to address food insecurity on campus. 

“Something as basic as having three meals per day is a right that every student should have,” Portillo said in an interview with The Hoya. “Having this will help them focus more on their studies and worry a little less about what they’re going to eat.”

These budget additions represent the best of GradGov, according to Grasswick.

“I thought this was something that really demonstrated a lot about where the heart is for us who were working on that budget and GradGov in general,” Grasswick said.

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