Jenny Novak elected next GPSS president
Jenny Novak, a second-year graduate student studying geography, was elected president of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate at Monday nightâs GPSS meeting.
Novak, GPSSâ current campus affairs chair, won a large enough majority of the senatorsâ votes to avoid a run-off. She beat out Edward Ng, a first-year graduate student studying public policy and urban planning, and Juanita Price, a first-year graduate student studying education.
Novak said one of her main goals is spreading awareness of GPSS.
âThe most important thing for us is to focus on in the beginning is publicity … so the entire university community knows about GPSS and so the graduate students know what a resource we can be for them,â Novak said.
Her long-term goals include establishing a subsidized transit system, continuing her work on improving sustainability and ensuring a first-year housing guarantee for graduate students, she said.
âWe want to make sure that our graduate students are getting the adequate space so that we can have students living closer to the community, at least in their first year here,â she said.
Novak also hopes to ensure that the graduate student lounge in the new Ronald Tutor Campus Center promotes interdepartmental relationships and helps accomplish other GPSS goals.
Aliya Yousufi, a second-year graduate student studying law and the current GPSS vice president, was elected for a second term as vice president.
Yousufi, who ran unopposed, told the senators at the meeting Monday, âThis year, I want to do a lot more.â
Yousufi said she has a number of plans to use surplus funding currently unused by graduate students. She hopes to give all students access to the conference fund, which provides funding for students to attend conferences but is currently limited to certain departments, and to re-establish the professional development fund.
âIâm going to be working with the finance chair to create a professional development fund for graduate student to help with networking and job hunting,â she said.
Irfan Elahi , a current member of the GPSS Finance Committee and a graduate student studying business, was elected to serve as the finance chair.
Elahi proposed increased efficiency, complete transparency and the expansion of the endowment fund. Like Yousufi, he said he would like to revamp the conference fund and add a senator development fund to take advantage of the extra funding GPSS has available.
Rosezetta Upshaw, a second-year law student, ran unopposed for Community Service Chair and was elected to serve her second year on the GPSS executive board. She began her involvement as a senator two years ago and currently serves as the elections and recruitment chair.
âI donât want to reinvent the wheel; I want to use GPSS resources to put extra air in those tires that are already rolling,â Upshaw said. âI want to collaborate across disciplines more because my vision is really to bring the campus together.â
She plans to offer visits to more schools and detention centers to take on a more visible role in the community.
âWeâre known for the social programming, the grad bar; weâre known as a bank to come get funding, but I also want us to be known as being active in the community,â Upshaw said. âIf weâre all doing service together, if weâre all in the community making a difference, thatâs the perfect way to build ourselves as an organization, to make connections across disciplines.â