COGS splits from GAPSA

The split assures COGS greater control over fees requests and more independence to represent graduate students.

The Council of Graduate Students, a governing body composed of University of Minnesota graduate students, voted overwhelmingly Nov. 18 to separate itself from the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly.

COGS President Andrew McNally told the Minnesota Daily the group’s primary motivation was wanting more direct influence over its own funding requests. McNally also said COGS did not receive the correct fees appropriation from GAPSA last year.

COGS’ website states its primary focus is representing graduate students seeking a research degree. There are other graduate student councils like COGS currently affiliated with GAPSA, including the Law Council, the Medical School Student Council, the Nursing College Board and several other student councils that represent the incredible diversity of programs and graduate departments at the University.

In recent years, GAPSA has met increasing criticism from students and campus groups. These include councils like COGS, which is unhappy with fees appropriations. They also include GAPSA members’ disappointment with previous leadership, such as impeachment charges brought up — and then dropped — against former GAPSA President Abou Amara, who later resigned.

We believe COGS separating from GAPSA will promote a better and more direct funding appropriation process — as well as foster greater organizational efficiency in its efforts to advocate for graduate students. Councils should find the best way to represent their students, and if severing financial ties with GAPSA is a means of doing so, greater independence among councils should be encouraged.