GAPSA approves budget, new exec VP

GAPSA’s proposed budget of $404,826 saw $12,700 in cuts by the SSFC.

by Jenna Wilcox

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly approved its budget for next year and elected a new executive vice president at Wednesday night’s meeting.

After receiving the Student Services Fees Committee’s final recommendations, the assembly was able to discuss the official budget.

Initially, SSFC unanimously agreed to fully fund GAPSA’s request for $404,826 but reconsidered the recommendation after receiving a new budget and discovering additional information in the fees process, according to SSFC’s final recommendation letter.

The committee decided some of GAPSA’s programming and operations were unjustified or didn’t meet the guidelines for decision-making.

The largest cut to funding came from food for the President’s Reception hosted by GAPSA. Calling the food cost “excessive,” SSFC cut the food budget for the event in half, leaving $4,000, according to the recommendation.

Other cuts came from costs associated with executive board and personnel meetings and for other operational travel and food expenses.

In total, GAPSA’s proposed budget saw $12,700 in cuts, bringing it down to $392,126 for the year.

Dana Meade, vice president for grants, questioned whether GAPSA was required to go by the recommendations laid out by the fees committee.

Megan Sweet, the SSFC adviser, said ultimately GAPSA can decide how they want to spend funding, but if they decide not to follow the fees committee’s recommendations from year to year, the fees committee could take that into account when evaluating future requests.

The assembly approved the changes to their budget from SSFC and passed the budget unanimously.

Meade also reported that the GAPSA grants budget has nearly run out of funding for the year because of the large number of applications.

Meade said they have about $900 left in the small events grants budget, but she wants to keep that money in reserve just in case.

“It’s disappointing, and I would have liked to have our budget last longer,” she said.

Meade said she thinks next year’s vice president for grants should make scholarly travel grants more competitive in order to avoid running out of funds.

GAPSA also attempted to fill the two remaining positions on the executive board.

Charley Bruce, a first-year public policy student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, was elected as the new executive vice president now that Brittany Edwards has taken over as acting president.

Bruce was unable to attend the meeting Wednesday because of a conflicting class.

According to Drew Horwood, the parliamentarian, nominees cannot be elected unless present. To work around this rule, the assembly voted to suspend the rules and unanimously voted to elect Bruce for the position.

Bruce said he heard about the position from Edwards, a fellow Humphrey student, who asked him if he would be interested.

“Being a student at the Humphrey, I think it would be a great way to get some hands-on experience,” he said. “It’s also a way for me to help students while I’m going to school.”

Even though several GAPSA executive members recently resigned because of the large time commitment, Bruce said he doesn’t think it will be a problem for him.

“I think one of my strong traits is time management,” he said. “We’re also working as a team, so not all of the weight is on my shoulders.”

Edwards said she thinks he has a “nice mix of skills” that will add to the position.

The assembly did not produce any nominations for the vice president of finance position.

Edwards said she talked with several interested people, but when she followed up and gave them an official job description, they said it was too much of a time commitment.

“I don’t want to talk someone into doing something they don’t want to do,” Edwards said after the meeting.