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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


GPSC reacts to Zach Brooks’ resignation

Tom Price

(From left to right) Zachary Brooks, Wei-Ren Ng and Ezra Smith listen during discussion at the GPSC meeting in the Pima room at the SUMC on Thursday, Aug. 25. At the meeting the GPSC officers discussed their budget concerns.

Following the announced resignation of the Graduate and Professional Student Council’s President, Zachary Brooks, GPSC members are sharing their reactions.

At least two GPSC members found out about Brooks’ planned resignation on Wednesday, Aug. 31 when GPSC’s Institute Director, Ezra Smith, mentioned it in a later-deleted Facebook post about his own decision to resign from GPSC.

“I kind of spilled the beans on that,” Smith said of Brooks’ planned resignation. “I didn’t really know it was a secret.”

READ: GPSC president Zachary Brooks resigns

Smith, who found out about Brooks’ planned resignation earlier in the week, decided that he did not want to be a part of GPSC without Brooks.

Smith and Brooks first served alongside each other during Brooks’ first term as GPSC president from 2012-14, and Smith said the only reason he started working with GPSC again in 2016 was because of Brooks.

“I don’t really feel comfortable working there not knowing where things are going,” Smith said. Smith said his understanding is that much of the money for graduate student programs gained during Brook’s first term was lost last year.

Jasmine Sears, GPSC’s administrative vice president, found out about both Brooks’ and Smiths’ planned resignations via Facebook and said the announcements surprised her.

“I definitely did not see it coming,” Sears said.

Sears acknowledged that clashing personalities and goals do exist on the executive board and stated that she hopes GPSC can find some way to fix these during the upcoming year.

One of Sears’ goals, which she believes not all her colleagues share, is to create more representation on the council for the College of Medicine-Phoenix, College of Law, as well as non-juris doctorate students.

“Several members of the executive board are very against giving representation to those constituencies,” Sears said. “And so I think that’s going to involve a very deep conversation about what GPSC’s mission actually is.”

READ: GPSC talks budget woes at first meeting of the fall

Sears is hopeful for GPSC’s future, as is her colleague James Sheldon, the GPSC representative for the College of Education.

Sheldon also found out about Brooks’ planned resignation via Facebook.

“Zach came in with an ambitious agenda, platform, and plan for GPSC,” Sheldon said via email. “Since then, there had been little follow-through; rather than being able to unify the council and Executive Board around his agenda, Zach got involved in interpersonal disputes, fractured the executive board and contributed to divisiveness on the council.”

GPSC’s Treasurer, Jim Collins, said he feels GPSC is losing a great leader, but that the upcoming special elections give him hope for the council’s future.

“The important thing to understand though, is that even though a few people have been causing a lot of problems on GPSC, the real answer is for good people to run in our upcoming special election so that we can all work together to get GPSC back on track,” Collins said.

To fill seats left open after the election, GPSC is holding a special election this month. Packets for candidates are available now and due by Sept. 14. Campaigning starts Sept. 15, voting takes place Sept. 21-22 and winners will be announced online Sept. 23.

Follow Michelle Jaquette on Twitter.

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