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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    GPSC gears up for elections

    The future leaders of the Graduate and Professional Student Council will be decided during the general spring elections running all next week.

    Catherine Neish, a planetary science doctoral student, is running unopposed for the position of president.

    “”I’m not stressed about the elections at all,”” Neish said. “”I am stressed about the actual job, but I guess that’s good.””

    Neish is currently serving on the GPSC executive board as secretary.

    “”I have worked pretty close with all the other ‘execs’ all year,”” Neish said. “”I’m hoping to really work as a team with everyone next year, not just as a single person.””

    Neish said two of her main focuses as president would be improving health care insurance for graduate students and promoting more graduate social events.

    This is not the first year that the GPSC presidential candidate has run unopposed. Current president Paul Thorn also had no challengers in the elections last year.

    “”The most important thing for candidates to do is have a well-crafted candidacy statement,”” Thorn said. Candidates do not post fliers, so their main campaigning consists of statements posted on the GPSC Web site.

    There are two graduate students running for the position of vice president: Kathleen Corcoran, an immunobiology doctoral student, and Jacob Knutson, a public administration masters student.

    “”A contested election is always a little nerve-racking, but I feel that I would make an excellent VP, and so I am more excited by the possibility of serving the graduate students,”” Corcoran said.

    Said Knutson: “”I’m feeling a sense of anticipation and I’m looking forward to the results but, to be honest, right now I’m more worried about mid-term season.””

    Corcoran has been a constituency representative for the College of Science for the past three years and said this experience will definitely aid her next year if she is elected.

    “”I feel that I have a good working knowledge of the concerns across campus,”” Corcoran said. “”Diplomacy is the leadership quality I possess that I think makes me stand out. I enjoy hearing varying points of view and implementing policy that is best for the whole group, not just myself or my constituents.””

    Knutson said his training with the public administration department will help him if he is elected.

    “”They instill values of public service and strong analytical skills that help in solving problems,”” Knutson said.

    This is Knutson’s sixth year at the UA, which he said shows his commitment to the university and his familiarity with its issues.

    Last year 1,167 graduate and professional students voted in the elections, while 644 votes were cast in 2005. Thorn said he expects this year’s turnout to be more like the 2005 elections than last year.

    Students are also running for the positions of constituency representatives for each college, at-large representatives for all graduate and professional students, assembly chairperson, treasurer, secretary, events director, travel grants director and research and policy director.

    Graduate and professional students can vote March 26 through March 30 online at

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