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GPSC Notebook: New representatives sworn in

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Cedar Gardner

Jessica Baxter, left, talks at a Graduate and Professional Student Council on Feb. 13. 

Two new representatives were sworn into the Graduate and Professional Student Council on Thursday, Oct. 26. The representatives, Paras Mehta and Martin Dufwenberg will serve alongside current representative, Berna Villanueva, to represent the College of Medicine-Tucson. 

Mehta and Dufwenberg were elected to the positions by the College of Medicine Student Government, as outlined in the GPSC elections code. 

The council then voted on an alternative method to fill its vacant seats since the Oct. 17 special election was cancelled. 

          RELATED: ASUA Notebook: October 18, 2017

The motion, put forth by representative Nicholas Havey from the College of Education, reopens the application process for two weeks to all who would like to join GPSC. From there, the GPSC general council will consider each candidate. 

Candidates will then receive an up-down vote, and those who are voted for will be immediately sworn in. 

This method aims to decipher between those who have expressed interest in GPSC by submitting application packets to run for special elections, and those who have expressed interest in GPSC by actively going to meetings. 

“It’s public knowledge that our meetings are open and anyone can come,” said Taylor Gee, current representative for the College of Science. “I think the fact that this interested person in the representative position has come to many meetings, about two months-worth of meetings, should say something about her potential for dedication to this group.”

The biggest push-back came in creating precedent based on special situations. The internal process will avoid this by opening up the application process to everyone. Another reason for this method concerns the current state of the documents governing GPSC. 

“Right now, our process is failing these people,” said Anthony Salas, who is one of two representatives for the College of Law. “And the governing docs committee unfortunately can’t address all of this overnight.”

Salas said he and his co-representative, Matt Caylor, read over the documents governing GPSC and called them “a mess.” 

“Jurisdictionally, it specifies that we’re covered by a supreme court, but not ASUA Supreme Court,” Salas said. “It specifies that we give consent and get those people together, and we obviously don’t.” 

The implementation of the new method will run alongside the GPSC governing documents committee’s efforts to amend the constitution and elections code. The motion proposing the method passed with 13 yes votes, two no votes, and six abstentions. 

GPSC voted to remove Anita Bhappu from its advisory board and add Michael Brewer and Lynn Nadel. 

Bhappu was removed at the recommendation of GPSC President Jessica Baxter because she no longer attends the UA. 

          RELATED: GPSC Notebook: October 12, 2017

“I’m sure that she was a great member while she was there,” Baxter said. “But since she is no longer here, I would like to remove her and add Michael Brewer and Lynn Nadal.” 

Matt Caylor from the College of Law moved to approve the change in GPSC advisory board, and it passed with 15 yes votes and five abstentions. 

Brewer currently works for University Libraries as the interim senior information resources officer. Nadel is currently a regent’s professor of psychology and cognitive science, as well as chair of the faculty senate. 


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