3/28 Meeting Recap: End of 67th Assembly

On March 28, 2018, GPSA’s 67th Assembly had their final meeting. The assembly heard from Dr. Tim Balliett of The Office of Ethics and Compliance, and passed 3 bills and 1 resolution.

Dr. Tim Balliett reviewed the purpose of The Office of Ethics and Compliance, and the results from the 2013 Values and Culture Survey. This information, along with outreach efforts to different colleges, allowed the creation for a core values statement for the entire university. There is also now a code of conduct for employees, and an anonymous hotline to report wrongdoings that go against the ethics and compliance rulings. For more information, students can visit The Office of Ethics and Compliance website.

President Matthew Krott gave a farewell to his assembly within his executive report. He thanked the assembly for their commitment and effort throughout the year, GPSA’s new advisor Adam Christensen, and his fellow executive board members for their tireless efforts. Krott emphasized that the university is not a monolith, and that if you put in the time to find the right person that’s making a specific decision, you will be heard and you can make a difference. Vice President Brianne Pragg additionally thanked the assembly and the board.

Bill 67-36 “Red Folder Initiative” passed by roll call. This initiative makes a red folder covered with helpful information about the university’s resources for those facing mental distress. UPUA and GPSA aim to put a red folder in every office on campus, in hopes that people will be directed more quickly to get the help they need.

Bill 67-37 “The Great Debate Co-Sponsorship” passed by roll call, which will help the College Democrats and Republicans fund the speakers participating in this year’s debate.  

Bill 67-38 “March for Science 2018 Co-Sponsorship” passed by roll call providing funding for one bus to take students to Washington D.C. to participate in the March for Science.

Resolution 67-09 “Bylaws and Constitution Amendments” passed, making minor language and procedural corrections to the governing documents.

On January 31, 2018 the GPSA Assembly passed two bills and one resolution.

The assembly meeting opened with a presentation from the Interim Assistant Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion, Peggy Lorah. Lorah discussed Student Affairs’ efforts to address the diverse student body’s needs. Her office can assist with academic advocacy for students, financial aid and career placement. Her staff are located in the Paul Robeson Cultural Center (PRCC), Boucke Building  and the Spiritual Center.

Bill 67-28, “SPS and WE ARE Mixer + Scholar Speed Dating Co-sponsorship” was approved and will aid to fund a scholarly social at Cafe 210 West. This event will bring together graduate and professional students from varying departments to talk about their work in a “speed dating” setting.

Bill 67-29 “Graduate Open Skate” passed unanimously, providing funding for a two-hour block of time at the Pegula Ice Rink. Graduate and professional students can skate at a significantly discounted cost, and children can skate for free. This will be a family friendly event, and will allow graduate and professional students to enjoy the ice rink with friends and family, with some light snacks.

Resolution 67-06 “GPSA Constitution and Bylaws Changes” passed unanimously after an amendment. This resolution allows Graduate Council members voting privileges within the GPSA Assembly.

12/6 Meeting Recap: 6 pieces of legislation passed in last fall meeting

At the last meeting of the fall semester, GPSA’s Assembly passed five bills and one resolution. The legislation funds both new and recurring events, and formally expresses GPSA’s stance regarding provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which would directly affect graduate students.

New Event:
Bill 67-25 passed, which allows for a LinkedIn Workshop hosted by GPSA in hopes of furthering graduate and professional students’ networking knowledge. The event will take place on January 30, 2018 from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m., location TBD. There will additionally be a light meal provided for attendees.

Recurring Event:
Bill 67-24, Graduate Writing Boot Camp, was passed. These events will run from January 22 through February 26. There is a registration fee, but lunch and refreshments will be provided, as well as quiet writing space.

Co-Sponsorships
Three co-sponsorship bills were additionally passed. Bill 67-21 funds a portion of the food costs for the Voices 2017 Conference hosted by Graduate Women in Science (GWIS). Bill 67-22 provides funding to State of State 2018 to help offset equipment setup costs. Lastly, Bill 67-23, TEDxPSU Co-Sponsorship, provides funding for the lunch that is given to speakers and their guests.

Tax Reform Resolution:
Finally, Resolution 67-02 states that GPSA opposes any federal legislation that would consider waived tuition as taxable income. GPSA commends efforts on behalf of the Pennsylvania State University to oppose any legislation that would increase the tax burden on its graduate students. The Resolution passed unanimously.