GAPSA reviews internal procedures

by Jens Krogstad

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly executive board’s vote to remove assembly president Todd Powell last month raised serious concerns among assembly members at their meeting Tuesday.

They said the vote to remove Powell via e-mail was not properly announced to the assembly, leaving many in the dark.

“It makes me look stupid if I don’t know what’s going on in my organization,” member Michele Huggins said. “I’d like to know what’s happening even if I can’t vote on the matter.”

That the move was within GAPSA’s constitution concerned assembly member Chris Pappas.

Pappas authored an amendment to the constitution that gives the power of impeachment to the assembly, not the executive board.

“It strikes me as anti-democratic since it’s the assembly that selects the executive committee,” he said.

The amendment passed on a decision of 13 votes to 7 with one abstention.

GAPSA public affairs officer Todd Reubold called for Powell’s removal in February, and an e-mail vote among the

executive members was cast. The vote failed.

Powell, a graduate student, favored tabling the amendment. He said the bigger issue was the group’s inadequate constitution and that the issue should be addressed at a later date.

He said forming a committee of next year’s officers and assembly members who would review the entire constitution over the summer would be in the group’s best interest.

Vice President for programming Karen Buhr said voting for this amendment is nothing more than a temporary solution.

“This obviously won’t be an issue for three or four months, so I don’t see a need to rush into this and apply a Band-Aid,” she said.

Powell said a committee is reviewing the expectations of an executive board member and that a new policy on handling conflict is being implemented.

But Reubold, who wanted to have Powell removed, said he is not part of the committee deciding the new rules.

“I was not part of those meetings and don’t share those views,” he said.

Assembly member Sean McNee said a review of GAPSA’s constitution is needed.

“The current constitution for GAPSA is scary and needs to be restructured,” he said.

In other news, executive director Megan Thomas announced GAPSA Appreciation Week will be held April 11-17.