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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The meeting opened with a special presentation from Dr. Ben Locke, the director of Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS). He informed the Assembly that they were able to expand due to recent increases in funding and now have three separate offices in the Student Health Center, Career Services Building, and the Allenway downtown (map). Dr. Locke emphasized that there are rapid access services to insure accessibility for immediate care. He finally noted that any student organization or department in the university can request a presentation from CAPS to help inform students about mental health resources and promote their services.
President Matt Krott gave his executive update reiterating the importance of taking the Penn State Values and Culture Survey. The deadline was extended to Oct. 31, so check your Penn State e-mail if you’re interested in taking it and making your voice heard. Vice President Brianne Pragg added that the functionality of the survey has been improved, and now provides more options so participants can provide a more accurate opinion.
Bill 67-18, “Climate Justice Panel Co-Sponsorship” was passed. GPSA is helping to provide refreshments to give participants interested in discussing climate change an opportunity to mingle. The event will take place on October 30 from at 6 PM in the HUB’s Freeman Auditorium.
Bill 67-19, “Graduate and Professional Student Mixer” was passed. On Nov. 14, GPSA will be hosting a mixer at Café 210 West, with more details to come.
Bill 67-20, “Ph.D.: The Movie Screening” was passed. This bill allows for the screening of PhD The Movie 1 and 2, with refreshments, and will take place in January.