GPSC Notebook Nov. 21: Council changes constitution
Jude Udeozor, left, talks as Jasmine Spears, right, raises her hand at a GPSC meeting on Feb. 13.
The Graduate and Professional Student Council voted on changes to the GPSC constitution on Tuesday, Nov. 21. The changes were drafted and suggested by the GPSC governing documents committee.
The most important change will be the power to amend the elections code. The constitution will now allow any member of GPSC to propose changes to the elections code; this power was previously only given to the GPSC elections commissioner.
“Anyone in general council can propose an election change,” said Anthony Salas, one of two representatives from the James E. Rogers College of Law. “And then any proposed change will go through a process which has built-in mechanisms of accountability, to make sure that we don’t start amending the elections code in a way that favors us or incumbents.”
The GPSC governing documents committee will continue to make suggestions to the constitution, as well as other governing documents.
GPSC discussed ways to encourage discussion surrounding the pending Republican tax reform bill currently before the U.S. Senate. This came after legislative affairs director Sean Goslar updated the general council about the House of Representatives passing their version of the bill, and a reconciliation process that will ensue between the House and the Senate.
“In the reconciliation process, who knows what will happen — it’s like a mixed message of what we’re going to tackle,” Goslar said. “You can still contact your member of congress and say ‘oh, we don’t want this in the final bill,’ but that hasn’t happened—we’re kind of in an interim.”
In addition, GPSC social chair Marie Teemant announced that the social and marketing committee will be starting a social media campaign, in order to encourage graduate students to speak out on tax reform.
“The more noise we make, the more it might have an impact,” Teemant said. “And of course, calling our representatives and our senators is an important aspect of that, but if it's only graduate students talking and we’re the only ones who know about the situation, it’s never going to make headway.”
Teemant is a member of the university-wide general education committee, and she is currently working to fix university policy about what classes Ph.D. students are not allowed to teach.
“Currently, myself and another member of the committee have drafted a letter trying to remove or alter the policy that does not allow Ph.D. students or students with a terminal degree to teach gen-ed courses,” Teemant announced.
The proposal will go through the undergraduate council once it goes through the education committee. Teemant hopes to see changes by the end of the year.
Follow Jordan Williams on Twitter