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GPSC president addresses ASUA bylaws during Faculty Senate meeting

Shane Bekian
Shane Bekian / The Daily Wildcat GPSC President Zachary Brooks discusses the university’s financial standings and insists we must “engage, innovate and partner,” at the faculty senate meeting on Monday.

The president of the Graduate and Professional Student Council addressed his concerns to Faculty Senate members during his report at their monthly meeting Monday, regarding his recent proposal that ASUA change its bylaws.

During the Associated Students of the University of Arizona senate meeting last week, Zachary Brooks, president of GPSC, presented a proposal requesting that ASUA only represent undergraduate students, while GPSC be the exclusive advocate for graduate and professional students.

In his report to the Faculty Senate, Brooks said GPSC is hopeful ASUA will consider the proposed change in its upcoming meeting on Wednesday, though he added it looks like ASUA does not support it.

“Just as high school students don’t represent undergraduates, we do not represent faculty,” Brooks said. “We do not believe undergraduates can comprehend what it means to be a graduate student. U of A graduates want to engage, innovate and partner, and above all else, never settle on becoming recognized as a campus partner.”

Morgan Abraham, president of ASUA, also attended the meeting.

“It’s such a shame that he keeps trying to involve all these people,” Abraham said regarding Brooks’ report. “I know administration doesn’t really want to handle something like this and this is kind of like an internal issue that ASUA and GPSC should be working on.”

Abraham said he has yet to hear whether ASUA will vote on the bylaw changes at its upcoming meeting on Wednesday.

“I’ve been trying to get a good gauge of if it’s going to happen or not,” Abraham said. “From what I understand right now, none of them [ASUA senators] are really interested in doing that.”

Following Brooks’ report, Andrew Comrie, senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, addressed the Faculty Senate and announced that an email regarding upcoming dates for two administrator reviews will soon be going out to campus.

Last year, Melissa Vito, vice provost for Academic Initiatives & Student Success and senior vice president for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management, and Michele Norin, chief information officer and executive director of University Information Technology Services, had their five-year reviews, Comrie said.

It was decided that reviews should have a public forum and feedback session, so people could get a sense of what came out of the review, he added. Both administrators will have a public forum regarding their reviews this month, and anyone is welcome to attend.

Rather than showcasing the actual review document, the idea of the public forum is to take the headlines of what the feedback was, and have the individual discuss what issues there may be, what they’re doing to address them and how they intend to move the unit they oversee forward, he added.

Several informational items were also presented at the meeting, including a presentation by James A. Hyatt, interim senior vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer, and the business plan implementation of the current strategic plan by Comrie.

Wanda Howell, chair of the faculty, ended the meeting with a discussion item regarding an upcoming breakfast that will take place between the Faculty Senate and the Arizona Board of Regents.

“The purpose of this is for them to get to know faculty better,” Howell said. “They generally don’t know who we are, and certainly don’t know what we do … so this is our opportunity.”

– Follow Alison Dorf @AlisonRaeDorf

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