Already fighting for GAPSA

Abou Amara

My name is Abou Amara and I am currently the acting president of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly.
I am running so that I may continue to lead GAPSA, and I would appreciate your support. Over the past three months as the leader of GAPSA, great changes have taken place âÄî in our University of Minnesota administration, at the Capitol in St. Paul and at our nationâÄôs Capitol in Washington, D.C.
We face serious fiscal and political challenges that very well could change the trajectory of the University in the future. Due to these changes, I believe two issues must be top priority for GAPSA.
First, we need to focus on advocacy efforts in the state Capitol as well as in our nationâÄôs Capitol.
Second, we need to reform how GAPSA and other student governments receive funds to operate. I believe I am the candidate who best brings the experience and skill set needed to accomplish those priorities.
For example, as I write this column, I am in Washington, D.C., advocating for essential research funding, reforms to policies that will ease barriers for international students and reforms to tax policies with our nationâÄôs political leaders. I believe that this is the type of leadership that will be necessary to enhance the graduate and professional student experience.
As many University students know, the fundamental structure of how funds are currently allocated to student governments is broken and makes little sense.
Many other universities around the nation structure fees committees in a more fair, predictable and rational fashion than here at the University.
Student governmentsâÄô existence should never be threatened, no matter what some non-elected students may believe. Under our current structure, that is a potential reality. Student governments must always exist to represent the students, provide them with the services they deserve and ensure that they have a voice with administration. I have already begun conversations with our administrators about how we can reform the current fees structure to more effectively and fairly benefit all students.
I have great hope that we can weather this storm with the right leadership. I ask for your vote April 4-6.