GPSS postpones constituion and by-law discussion until next semester


Caitlin Yamada/ Iowa State Daily

The Graduate and Professional Student Senate meeting Dec. 2 in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union.

Jacob Smith

At its last meeting of the semester, the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) postponed bills to ratify a new constitution and adopt a new set of by-laws.

The Senate began by accepting the Committee for Constitutional Revision’s final report.

“The sudden resignation of the GPSS Professional Advancement Grants (PAG) Chair on September 25th, 2019, five days before the regularly scheduled GPSS meeting, resulted in emergency meetings […] to determine the best way to proceed in this situation in compliance with current GPSS law,” as stated in the document.

The final report laid out the committee’s motivation for expediting the constitutional and by-law revision as well as the main focuses.

“A focus was placed on ensuring a fair nominations and election process,” as stated in the document. “However, the two committees instead found the constitution and By-Laws to be shockingly devoid of any information on special election procedures or methods of filling vacancies.”

Senate bill F19-10 was titled “Adoption of the GPSS By-Laws Recommended by the Committee for Constitutional Revision,” which the Senate reviewed after accepting the report.

When Vice President James Klimavicz called for discussion on the bill, no senators spoke about the bill.

With no one discussing, the Senate moved to vote on the bill, which needed a two-thirds majority vote to pass.

The bill passed by a vote of 50-1-7.

Senate bill F19-11 was titled “Ratification of the GPSS Constitution Recommended by the Committee for Constitutional Revision,” which rewrote a large portion of the GPSS constitution.

Including changes to executive terms, attendance policies and impeachment and recall procedures, Klimavicz opened the Senate to debate on the bill.

Initially, no senator spoke to debate on the bill.

“Did anyone read the constitution?” Klimavicz said.

A few senators raised their hands to denote they had read the proposed constitution.

“Okay, so the committee members,” Klimavicz said. “The committee members and maybe like two other people.”

Klimavicz continued asking for debate on the bill and President Eleanor Field said that there were some pretty big changes that impacted the senators directly.

Senators then began to speak about issues they noticed, such as the fact that the charges of impeachment are brought to the Rules Committee, which the vice president is the head of. This could cause an issue if there is a movement to impeach the vice president.

Senator Collin O’Leary then motioned to postpone the vote until the January meeting of the GPSS to allow senators time to read and ask questions about the constitution they may have.

The Senate voted to postpone the vote on ratifying the proposed constitution until January.

Klimavicz then said that this puts the Senate in a weird position since they had already voted to adopt the new by-laws, which was part of the process of reforming the rules of the GPSS.

Klimavicz proposed that the Senate “reconsider” the vote on the bill adopting the by-laws.

Senator O’Leary motioned to “reconsider” the vote on the bill, which required a two-thirds vote to pass.

Senators raised their placards to vote in favor to “reconsider” all at once and then moved to postpone the vote until January.

Senate bill F19-12 was titled “Fall 2019 Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) Regular Allocations,” which approved 22 of the 25 requests to allocate funds to graduate and professional student organizations.

The bill passed with a vote of 55-0-4.

The bills, report and proposed constitution and by-laws can be found on the GPSS website, as well as minutes of past GPSS meetings with additional information.