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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    U. Colorado Halts Grants to Children of Employees

    The University of Colorado Foundation has decided to hold off its scholarships to the dependents of its employees. The State enacted a law on Jan. 2 to instill such benefits and oppose Constitutional Amendment 41, which prevented the disbursement of employee benefits.

    According to the Rocky Mountain News, the provost of the University, Mark A. Heckler, asked lawmakers to pass legislation to deal with the unintended consequences of Constitutional Amendment 41. The Amendment prevented public officials from accepting favors and barred public-university professors from accepting monetary rewards from Nobel Prize wins. It also barred state employee children from receiving dependent-specific scholarships.

    In a lawsuit brought by the Boettcher Foundation in Feb., a state judge ruled that the Foundation could grant scholarships to the dependent children of government employees because the criteria for the award was good grades and Colorado residency. The amendment permits gifts if it requires a future action, or a gesture in return on the part of the recipient. However, it is still unclear whether the state ruling will apply to the University Foundation.

    The State University at Stony Brook is not dictated by any such amendment. However, children of employees benefit from scholarships reserved exclusively for members of the United University Professions, whose Benefit Trust Fund scholarship program awards $500 scholarships for tuition, fees and books per semester. The award goes to any student who is enrolled in the University, is a dependent of a UUP member and has a C or better average (2.0 grade point average). A maximum of eight scholarships can be awarded per dependent child.

    The local 614 chapter has also recently begun a scholarship program to award college grants to a member and the children of two others. This year the award went to Biju John, a member of the Physical Plant Department, who received the Phil Santella Scholarship.

    The students who received awards included Marissa Sheryll, daughter of Margaret Sheryll, who works at the school of Health Technology and Medicine, and Karissa Gropper, daughter of Catherine Gropper, who works in the Occupational Therapy Department.

    In the Local’s newsletter, the Local President Carlos Speight said, ‘We understand the high cost of education. That’s a big burden. We don’t make big dollars and we want to help fellow members along.’

    He added, ‘Many of [the] children [are] of public service workers, and we want our children to move onto professions.’

    Besides these scholarships, dependents of SUNY employees also benefit from the New York College Savings Program, which is available through a payroll deduction. Through this initiative, parents, grandparents, other relatives and friends of employees can set up a Tuition Savings Account for a future college student. The first $5,000 invested each year is deducted from their income. All investment earnings are not subject to federal or state tax.

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