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Graduate and Professional Student Senate breakdown

Iowa+States+Campanile+located+on+Central+Campus.
Iowa State’s Campanile located on Central Campus.

Vice President of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate Edward Mahoney, a graduate student in computer science, met with the Daily to explain the functions of the body.

The comments beneath the bolded questions are direct quotes from Mahoney.

What is GPSS?

So the Graduate and Professional Student Senate is the main representative body for graduate students.

Our biggest […] priority is uplifting graduate and professional student concerns to major change-makers across campus like upper admin, or deans of the Graduate College, that kind of stuff.

How does GPSS represent graduate students?

Every single department that has graduate students sends a representative to GPSS once a month and they’re the ones that actually vote on things– they’re the ones that actually decide how we are going to act.

The executive branch, being like me as vice president or Christine [Cain] as the president, will then take those concerns that we hear at GPSS to big meetings when we’re sitting down with President [Wendy] Wintersteen or Dr. Toyia Younger, for example.

What are some initiatives recently passed by the GPSS that have impacted graduate students?

One of the ones that’s really big right now and really being talked about is grad student unionization.

It’s being brought up within GPSS quite often. We as leaders are talking with administration to sort of help.

While we’re not getting directly involved in the organization, we’re helping efforts move forward towards getting the grad students a chance to actually voice their opinion and vote on whether or not they want to unionize.

How can graduate students get involved with GPSS?

The best way to get involved is to be your department’s representative. Every department has a senator that they send, as well as […] some professional organizations. It depends on the department.

But basically, being that Senator and coming to GPSS once a month. Otherwise, we can also always be reached at [email protected], at least the exec team can, and we are always wanting to hear from graduate students to hear about their concerns, hear what they’re working on, what they’re struggling with, you know, where we can help be sort of a nexus for communication.

We’re a good start for any sort of problem because we probably know the answer or know who to put you in contact with.

What should students know about the GPSS?

Ultimately, we’re here for [graduate students].

We are regular students ourselves [… and] we only can help with what we know about and we only can help on problems that we know are problems, and so the biggest thing I would say is admin really do listen to us. We do really actually have some influence and can actually try to help with issues that we as a graduate population are facing, but we can only do that when we know about them.

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