GAPSA needs change to adapt

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly is considering a major restructuring for next school year. This comes as the organization’s funding is in flux and it struggles to fill seats at its meetings.

At its assembly meeting earlier this month, GAPSA again failed to pass a budget or make plans for the rest of the semester. With about a month left in the semester and no plans apparent, it seems that GAPSA is in some serious trouble.

In fact, some of its member councils aren’t even showing up to meetings, according to a representative from GAPSA.

GAPSA received more than $390,000 in student services fees last year. This year, its funding is on hold as of last week until an investigation of its alleged $93,000 budget discrepancy is complete.

GAPSA’s most important functions are dispersing grants to students and serving as an advocacy group for them. These are crucial for graduate and professional students, especially at a large research institution.

It’s unclear what restructuring of the current GAPSA is under consideration, but it may include a new student government organization to focus on the needs of professional students.

Whether or not this is a part of the final reconfiguration, it’s very clear that graduate and professional students need an advocate who is stronger than GAPSA.

It appears that GAPSA leadership understands the grave issues facing the assembly, but they must act quickly and decisively so the students GAPSA represents aren’t left without a strong entity to fight for them.