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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


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    In response to “Editorial: GPSC survey misleading” (by Nathaniel Drake, Kyle Mittan and Lynley Price, Oct. 24):

    As a former GPSC rep who never saw a Daily Wildcat reporter at one of our meetings until late last year, after some grad students called you out on your biased reporting, I can’t say I feel the Daily Wildcat represents grad students, either.

    I honestly don’t know about this particular survey because I’m no longer at the U of A and therefore did not take it. However, I do know that as a grad student I routinely saw poorly designed and biased surveys passed around by Campus Rec, the administration, and other agencies on campus. And I never saw the Daily Wildcat devote so much press to those.

    — UA Alum

    I am a graduate student. I feel that GPSC represents some of my needs as a graduate student. I feel that ASUA does NOT represent any of my needs, however, ASUA does continue to increase the fees imposed on us graduate students. I’m in no way affiliated with GPSC other than being a graduate student.

    — Joe

    As graduate students we are not dumb people. We question authority and have been taught to think critically. I’ve been following this story and I find it very interesting that when you (DW) actually cover GPSC and their work with on-the-ground “reporters” the stories are very good and informative, like the story you ran yesterday about the town hall. All of the negative content about GPSC comes in the form of an editorial or an opinion. That is very telling to everyone that clearly the Wildcat and the members of their editorial board (insiders) have an ax-to-grind with GPSC.

    Honestly, in my case and in the case of many of my fellow graduate students you are only helping their (our) cause. Thank you!

    — Wildcat Alum 2008

    We would like to thank The Daily Wildcat for continuing to shed light on the survey run by graduate and professional students in September 2013.

    The survey GPSC conducted in 2013 found that 99.3% of graduate and professional students chose “GPSC” to the question “Which campus-wide student government do you feel represents you?” 571 graduate and professional students responded to the survey.

    In 2006, the Daily Wildcat ran a story in which it reported that 94.4% of graduate and professional students voted NO to the question “should ASUA represent graduate students?” The election drew 1,167 graduate and professional students.

    We are not sure what The Daily Wildcat finds misleading about two polls, conducted 7 years apart that ask fundamentally the same question and that produce the same result: Graduate and Professional Students feel that GPSC represents them.

    We are grateful to The Daily Wildcat for shedding light on graduate and professional students’ concerns.

    We feel that 99.3% and 94.4% is very strong support for GPSC.

    Thank you Daily Wildcat.

    — Zachary Brooks

    The editorial talks around its point quite a bit, but the question it’s asking seems clear enough to me. Of course 99.3 percent of survey respondents answering “GPSC” in response to the question, “Which student government do you feel represents you?” demonstrates a strong support for GPSC.

    That’s not being debated. What it does not demonstrate is whether survey respondents actually want to push for an amendment to the ASUA Constitution or change to its bylaws. This whole thing would be a different story if the survey had asked “Would you support a change to the ASUA Constitution and/or bylaws declaring GPSC as the sole representative of graduate students?” and 99.3 percent had said yes.

    — Semantics in response to Zachary Brooks

    Good question.

    When we initially talked about these issues during the summer, the question that always came up was, “yes, but are those results from 2006 still valid?” The 2013 results confirmed the 2006 results.

    With the question answered, we attended ASUA’s Senate meeting along with 26 graduate and professional students, 6 of whom spoke during the Call to Audience portion of ASUA’s Senate meeting. We presented a Bylaw addition proposal. It is easier to change bylaws than it is to change the Constitution which requires a signature-gathering process, then a vote in the ASUA Elections.

    Many graduate and professional students believe that it is inherently unfair to expect 23% of the student population — most of whom who do not feel represented by ASUA — to participate in ASUA Elections to accomplish goals that they feel can be best accomplished through GPSC.

    Your question is a good one but we were not asked to confirm the question you propose. We were asked if the 2006 pulse is still valid in 2013. The idea was that if the results are still valid, then we could ask for a bylaw addition.

    By the way, in addition to 571 graduate and professional students who took the survey, 46 undergraduates participated as well. 42 choose ASUA over GPSC as expected.

    — Zachary Brooks in response to Semantics

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