GAPSA needs restructuring

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly is weighing a major restructuring for next year, the Minnesota Daily reported Thursday.

The group has recently experienced a significant amount of organizational turmoil, and it seems a change is necessary. The proposed change would split GAPSA into separate groups for graduate and professional students, which each have distinct needs.

Nevertheless, the Daily reported that some GAPSA members are concerned with the change. The revamp would have the overall assembly meet only a couple of times each year. GAPSA Vice President Ashley Hall told the Daily she’s apprehensive of the restructure because it may diminish the group’s importance.

It’s normal for any big changes to spark apprehension within an organization. But with a group like GAPSA, which is under investigation for financial discrepancies and is struggling even to fill seats at meetings, change is necessary.

GAPSA will soon need to make a decision on whether to split into two groups, as the deadline to apply for student services fees is Jan. 24.

The assembly received more than $390,000 in fees last academic year. With such a large sum of money potentially at stake, it’s crucial that GAPSA gets its organizational issues straightened out immediately.

The bottom line here is that students’ money and voices are at risk because their governing and advocacy body is failing. Graduate and professional students need a voice through student government and the grants it can disburse, and a new structure for this group may help.