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Graduate Student Senate takes progressive stance on presidential search

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Unanimity was the theme of the evening at Graduate Student Senate, as four resolutions were passed Wednesday night with no oppositions or abstentions, including a stance on what the presidential search committee should value in its chosen candidate.

After previously conducting a poll of graduate student opinions, a letter to the presidential search committee was drawn up to include what the majority of graduate students think is important for President Roderick McDavis’ successor to demonstrate. Resolution 1617-12 approved this stance with an amendment to address its inconsistent punctuation.

Within the letter, a president who focuses on academics versus business and profit was requested, as well as a president who invests in research resources, supports an inclusive student body and is committed to environmental sustainability.

Former Vice President of Legislative Affairs (VPLA) Ken Ward announced his resignation at the first meeting of Graduate Student Senate. Angie Chapman, a second-year masters student in the geography department, previously held the role of vice president of communications. She was appointed VPLA. Kornpob Bhirombhakdi, the current commissioner for LGBT affairs, was her singular opponent.

“I’ve already been involved in a lot of the aspects of being the vice president of legislative affairs. I played a big role in the department representatives elections, the commissioner applications and assembling office hours,” Chapman said. “The transition up to VPLA would not be very difficult for me… I’m very invested in GSS and in our success.”

Resolution 1617-08 allowed for the induction of new Commissioner for Housing and Parking Jacklyn Hockenberry and Representative for Department of Counseling and Higher Education Allison Wilkie.

Resolutions 1617-10 and 1617-11 called for the appointment of a task force to review university naming practices and a resolution to amend the rules and procedures, respectively.

“This is something that needs to be addressed following the Roger Ailes incident,” Chapman said in a discussion about university naming practices. “We’re asking them to review the policy with a task force including graduate and undergraduate students… If I wanted to donate money to name a room, there is no procedure for how that would go down.”

The university policy in question, 37.010, has not been reviewed since March 31, 2003, the day it was put into effect. It only specifies policies about naming university buildings, excluding the practice of naming classrooms, labs or other establishments on campus grounds.

Graduate Student Senate meets twice a month. The body’s schedule, minutes and general information is located on its website.

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