Graduate Student Senate approved Tuesday the allocations of funds to pay for the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students, or NAGPS, Midwestern Regional Conference it will be virtually co-hosting April 5 through April 8.

GSS is teaming up with the University of Kentucky’s GSS to co-host the NAGPS conference. Funds from OU GSS will be used to co-host the virtual event, Amid Vahedi, GSS treasurer, said.

The total cost of the event is budgeted at $1,075, and the remaining balance of the GSS budget is $12,087 as of Feb. 14. 

OU and the University of Kentucky will cover the costs of the NAGPS Midwestern Regional Conference together. OU’s GSS will be allocating $550 to the NAGPS to cover costs and has the right to take those funds away if they are used improperly, Vahedi said.

“The expense is going to grad students as well,” Amal Shimiar, GSS vice president, said. “For NAGPS, when they ask … professional students to come, in their constitutions and rules, they have to compensate their times, compensate their efforts: preparing presentations for this conference, preparing a talk. So, this money is not only going to grad students, but also this conference is going to be appreciating grad students.”

GSS has been involved in NAGPS as a body member for a number of years, but this is the first time it is getting involved on the national level. The conference will be open to all GSS members and the OU graduate student body as well. 

The conference will be a great place to highlight the efforts of GSS, Brett Fredericksen, commissioner for Student Affairs - Research, said.

In other business, two new GSS members were appointed Tuesday night. 

Jermaine Carew will be the department representative of Public Administration, and Bernard Ndeogo will be the department representative of Civil Engineering.

The Student Health Insurance Advisory Committee also officially made the decision to change how coverage periods are billed for graduate student health insurance.

Instead of paying for six months of coverage in the Fall Semester and six months of coverage in the Spring Semester, the payments will now be split evenly between the fall, spring and summer, Kaelyn Ferris, GSS president, said.

The new payment plan will start at the beginning of next fall. The semester payments will decrease, but if a graduate student is enrolled during the summer, they will be charged the about $800 in premiums they did not pay during the other two semesters, Ferris said.

The main reason for the change is because there are a lot of international graduate students and other graduate students who are not enrolled in summer courses and will not need to use health insurance. This is to ensure that students are not paying for a summer’s worth of health insurance coverage that isn’t being used, Ferris said.