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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


GPSC reveals election results

After a week of elections, new members of the UA Graduate and Professional Student Council have been announced.

Representative and administrative members of the council were announced at the GPSC office in the Student Union Memorial Center on Monday after a week of elections that saw 545 eligible voters participate. This is a decrease from the 609 voters who participated last year, but represents an increase from the 448 ballots cast in 2008.

“”I’m really glad this election actually was contested,”” said current GPSC President David Lopez-Negrete. “”That hasn’t happened for the past couple of years and is a welcome development. But I hope that graduate students continue to turn out in larger numbers, because we’re facing some very important issues right now and we have some vacancies, which hopefully the next council will fill with special elections in the summer or fall.””

Emily Connally, a graduate student in the College of Psychology, won a close presidential race over incumbent council member Mabel Crescioni 232 votes to 191. Connally sat on the council last year and was also a member of the UA Faculty Senate.

“”I feel excellent, really excited (that the) constituency voted for (the) best candidate,”” Connally said. “”I think they really want new ideas, and they’re tired of hearing the old things they want change.””

Connally specifically mentioned the creation of a center for graduate students as one of her major goals for next year.

“”I think students need a place that takes advantage of the UA talent pool and provides jobs and a forum for students to hone their skills,”” Connally said. 

The vice-presidential race also pitted a former council member against a current one, with opposite results. Alison Betts, an English graduate student, beat Farah Sutton 243 votes to 161. Betts was a member of the council for two years and also held the positions of policy director and GPSC chief of staff during her stint.

“”I’m excited to serve on the council again,”” Betts said. “”I think that Emily and I will make a good team. I’m also pleased that Farah and Mabel will still be involved as representatives still, since they bring a lot of experience to the table. The council is looking good for next year.””

In her official statement, Betts cited graduate student workloads and the UA’s lack of on-site childcare as major components of her platform.

“”In general, I think getting the council to become more visible is key to what we do,”” Betts said. “”We as a council do a lot of good work, but we need to make sure graduate students know we are a resource for them to utilize.””

Lopez-Negrete also expressed his confidence in the new president and vice-president.

“”I think both Emily and Alison will do great,”” Lopez-Negrete said. “”They both have lots of experience and they both have served on the council before, so they definitely know what they’re doing. I have full confidence they will do a great job leading the council.””

Despite falling short in their bids for administrative positions, both Crescioni and Sutton were reelected to the council as representatives for additional terms.

New GPSC members will be sworn in during the last council meeting of the semester on

April 21.

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