Getting it together GAPSA

GAPSA’s fumbles are unacceptable and a disservice to grad students.

by Daily Editorial Board

Operating on a $394,628 budget and representing about 25,000 graduate students, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly must begin demonstrating competency for its constituents.
GAPSAâÄôs story has lately been a chaotic one. Last April, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart slashed its budget in half after the organization submitted its application one business day late. Since then, it has discovered a surplus of nearly $160,000 which helped it recover from a reduced budget. Then in December, its $12,000 professional travel budget shrunk to $600 for the rest of the academic year because most grant applications were approved in the fall. And most recently, there was a scramble clouded in uncertainty following the simultaneous departure of their top two officers.
Given the uncertainties inherent in the lives of graduate and professional students, GAPSA should be prepared for the contingency of officers stepping down.
The executive board ultimately appointed Abou Amara as acting president. Thankfully, one of the first things Amara plans to do is update the chain of command to include the entire executive board.
This is certainly a positive step forward, but it will take more to restore public confidence in GAPSA. Instead of reacting to avoidable crises, Amara should take a more proactive strategy to allow for more focus on things that actually matter.
While GAPSA has become adept at overcoming obstacles, graduate students deserve a government free of chaos and uncertainty.