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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    GPSC shares its concerns

    President Robert Shelton, left, smiles as he accepts a basket containing margarita mix and other gifts from Graduate and Professional Student Council President Paul Thorn, a philosophy graduate student, and other members of the GPSC. They met last night in the Student Union Memorial Center to discuss matters important to the UA graduate student community.
    President Robert Shelton, left, smiles as he accepts a basket containing margarita mix and other gifts from Graduate and Professional Student Council President Paul Thorn, a philosophy graduate student, and other members of the GPSC. They met last night in the Student Union Memorial Center to discuss matters important to the UA graduate student community.

    Affordability, social isolation and decreasing enrollment rates of graduate students were topics of concern voiced to President Robert Shelton at the Graduate and Professional Student Council meeting last night.

    Elaine Ulrich, an optical sciences graduate student and former GPSC president, said there needs to be a change in the role of graduate students on campus.

    “”Graduate students do want to be part of the larger university community,”” said Ulrich, who was one of about 15 graduate students at the meeting.

    A primary concerns is the lack of graduate student representation within the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, something Ulrich said is problematic in receiving internal assistance.

    GPSC President Paul Thorn said a graduate student has not run for ASUA office in the past 10 years, but Ulrich said she believes much of the problem involving the leadership direction of ASUA comes from the age and inexperience of ASUA senators and leaders.

    Ulrich said it would be nice if ASUA addressed this problem to find possible solutions.

    Areas of the university that have ignored the GPSC include anything pertaining to student life, including Campus Recreation and the Student Union Memorial Center, Ulrich said.

    “”All areas of the university should follow shared governance guidelines,”” said Amanda Brobbel, a graduate student in English and events director for the GPSC.

    There are also not enough campus tours for incoming graduate students, Ulrich said.

    Shelton wrote down the concerns and asked GPSC officials to send a list of concerns where graduate students have been left out of university relations.

    “”This needs to be a hospitable location for graduate students,”” Shelton said. “”If it isn’t, we have failed.””

    Aaron Gubi, a psychology graduate student and GPSC programs director, said he thought the discussion allowed Shelton to view the value of graduate students as and equal part of the student body.

    Brobbel said she felt the discussion will stimulate future administrative actions.

    “”He seemed really interested,”” Brobbel said. “”It was nice to have such an open exchange with the president.””

    After the discussion, Ulrich said since Shelton has a lot on his plate, so she does not immediately expect “”massive, sweeping changes.””

    “”But I value that he came and listened, and only time will tell if that had an impact upon him,”” Ulrich said.

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