• Bernadette Bowen

BGSU "The Hatch" - Graduate Stipend Pitch

Describe the problem you are trying to solve? *

My department's graduate stipends haven’t been raised in a number of years. During this lapse in time, cost of living has increased and that has caused an increasingly unstable ability to afford to meet basic needs for even those granted full funding upon entrance into our programs. People with bachelors and masters degrees shouldn't be struggling to afford food, water, and shelter whilst accruing valuable experience in their chosen field.

Clearly describe your solution? *

My solution would be to give each and every graduate department the overdue raise in stipend funding that would begin to serve as reparations for the lack thereof.

Why is your solution different (give examples)? *

My solution is different because the corporatized education structure has since forth ignored the importance of graduate students financial stability. As a theoretical model, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs demonstrates the importance of a person's physiological needs as the base of their ability to survive and thrive in a society. Without this solution all graduate students aren't being granted a fair and equal opportunity to attain such balance.

Describe your customer? *

My "customer" is the administration, faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students of BGSU. When graduate students are being underpaid for their worth and value of their labor, they are unable to best serve in their academic role as a graduate student in their own coursework. Furthermore, graduate students are situated in a unique position in which they additionally hold responsibilities as instructors, teaching assistants, and/or some other form of research aid. With that said, it would be in the best interest of administration and faculty to ensure these valuable customers and workers are being paid equitably for their dual time and efforts.

Identify three competing products or services? *

There are for more than three competing products or services in the case of graduate student stipends. Virtually any other other university's departments which currently pay their graduate students a larger stipend amount could be considered a "competing product or service". Therefore, these comparative models could be surveyed in order for BGSU to gain comprehensive insights into learning how much graduate students are being paid elsewhere; allowing BGSU to adapt their current stipend amounts to develop more equitable models of compensation for GAs/TAs/TIs.

Provide a general estimate of the cost to design your solution? *

The general cost of designing this solution is impossible for me to calculate without having access to each and every department's ledgers. As far as I understand, these documents are open access, and if prioritized by members of each department could be taken care of on a case-by-case basis through self-reporting at little to no cost besides labor for a good cause their increased graduate stipends would eventually make worthwhile.

Describe how your experiences relate to the problem you are trying to solve: *

I and every other graduate student deserves to be compensated appropriately for the labors we endure as students and graduate workers.

Why do you want to be a participant in this program? *

In a perfect world I wouldn't need to be a participant in this program to accomplish this goal. To be honest, I don't particularly want to be a participant in this program, my colleagues, the ones who are currently unfairly compensated for our labor, are the trainers for hatchlings pitching all of these ideas. However, under the current constraints of corporatized education, being a part of this program would provide a direct outlet; allowing the largest exposure to the entire university for this campaign.

Create a pitch for your solution that you would give to a potential investor: *

Garbage in...Garbage Out

Please provide any additional information that supports your application:

(include links to any videos here): *