GPSS discusses senate structure, Student Government referendum

Mitchel Anderson

The Graduate and Professional Student Senate met Monday and discussed senate structure and a possible fee increase to fund renovations to the Memorial Union.

GPSS has been going over how to properly represent every graduate and professional student for several years now.

The GPSS constitution says that each senator is to be selected by their graduate and professional department. However, some majors intertwine with several departments, and some students are being underrepresented in the sense that they don’t belong to a specific department.

“We’ve discussed a variety of options to correct the issue that has been known for a while,” said GPSS President Zack Zenko. “Those options require a constitutional change, so we’ve formed a committee to discuss this issue more in depth and offline in terms of senate time.”

A constitutional change would require an amendment by GPSS senators to be voted on during an upcoming meeting. The officers are currently looking to resolve the long-standing issue by the spring of 2016.

“We have four members on the committee, so I’m really excited and I think we can finally find some sort of solution,” said Bharat Agrawal, GPSS’s chief information officer. “It will be significant because I hear this issue has been going on for quite a while.

One of the biggest roadblocks Agrawal faces is collecting statistical data from the Office of the Registrar. Currently, the Registrar lists undergraduate students by major, but graduate students by department. Agrawal needs the registrar to list graduate students by major in order to determine how many students need representation on GPSS.

Zenko also called attention to the possibility of a referendum involving a potential fee increase for all students to go toward Memorial Union renovations and repairs. The referendum would go out to the entire student body, and Zenko encouraged GPSS members to look forward to and take part in the conversation.

The next GPSS meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 25 in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union.