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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


GPSC serves as a voice for graduate and professional students at UA

Alex McIntyre

A logo marks the Graduate and Professional Student Council offices on the third floor of the Student Union Memorial Center on Sunday. The council represents the graduate student body.

The Graduate and Professional Student Council has been a part of the UA for over 20 years.

Jason Harris, the GPSC president’s chief of staff, said the organization is present on campus because graduate and professional students have different needs than undergraduate students. Some of those needs, Harris said, include healthcare, childcare, research opportunities, graduate assistant or teaching assistant positions and determining tuition and fees.

Harris noted that the organization is fortunate in certain areas, which allows for grants and funding for research.

“I would look to solidify my studies as a graduate student and be able to help others in my position with research opportunities and social support,” Harris said.

The organization is comprised of a council of representatives from each of the 16 colleges with graduate programs at the UA. While the elected council is comprised of graduate and professional students, anyone can get involved with GPSC.

According to Sarah Netherton, the president of GPSC, the council’s main mission is to promote the academic, economic and social aims of the graduate and professional students of the university.

GPSC organizes several events for graduate and professional students across campus. Netherton said GPSC representatives work with their respective colleges with the goal of meeting graduate and professional students’ needs.

The organization is comprised of a board which is elected by the graduate and professional community. There are other positions, such as the president’s chief of staff, that are not elected but are there to support the board and community, Harris said.

Myra Joy Veluz, the social chair and College of Fine Arts representative, said that she looks forward to serving graduate and professional students, as well as putting together a social calendar. Veluz said getting involved with student government has always been a passion of hers, which is why she researched student organizations during her first semester at the UA.

“As a graduate student with the UA School of Dance, I was excited and surprised to see that GPSC had a representative position open,” Veluz said. “I then joined in the fall [of] 2014.”

The organization also facilitates communication between graduate and professional students and the other organizations on campus.

Harris said that GPSC also supports clubs on campus, works with the dean of students and helps students host workshops.

“I could go on and on because I feel like there is so much we do, but even all of that doesn’t cover our campus initiatives,” Harris said.

Follow Terrie Brianna on Twitter.

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