The Graduate & Professional Student Senate has four officer positions. Since most G/P Students are busy with actually learning something (as opposed to our undergraduate counterpart) the GPSS cannot follow ASUW’s low paid employee/volunteer model. In order to operate a government of any sophistication, GPSS employees six staffers and four officers. The six staffers are hired at the start of each academic year while the officers are elected by the Senate at the end of each academic year.
The Senate elected next year’s officer corp last night with a greater level of brouhaha then normal. Standing unopposed were Adam Grupp for President (the current President running for reelection), Nick Payton for Vice President (the heir-apparent from the current VP), and myself for Treasurer. Each of us gave speeches of varying inspiration and were dutifully elected to our post. However, the Secretary had three candidates going into the meeting with a fourth suprise candidate nominated from the floor.
The first candidate, Jeff Stevens, is the current Secretary and has been around student government for longer than I have. His candidacy is plagued by the fact that he is graduating this year. You might think that would be a disqualifying attribute… but not in the GPSS! Since Jeff will continue taking courses in hopes that he will earn credit towards a future PhD program in which he is yet to be accepted, the GPSS Judicial Committee decided his candidacy was not barred by the rules. Makes the GPSS a pretty sweat deal, free tuition so long as you keep a majority of the Senate happy with your performance. Maybe I should switch over to graduate school and set out a nice leasurly 10 year plan!
The next candidate, Jimmy Allen, is a perpetual thorn in my side. I will admit, for purposes of full disclosure, that I see a lot of myself in Jimmy… which is why I assisted Jimmy in formulating his judicial complaint against Jeff’s candidacy. The problem with Jimmy is he lacks the proper appreciation for reality. He believes strongly in the old boys network, while simultaneously making general appeals for fundamental fairness. He has the highest regard for Resolutions, whether from GPSS or the Faculty Senate, but cloaks himself in the respect of the institution instead of earning respect for himself. And as a final point… he has really, really bad e-mail etiquette.
The third and final announced candidate was Yutaka Jono. He’s a nice enough guy from FIUTS and would make a decent Secretary. He’s served with GPSS for a few years now and is generally likeable, but doesn’t really stand out in any particular fashion.
And the surprise candidate, the real shocker of the day, was my own Law School Senator companion Katherine Van Maren. I could write several pages about this girl, because she continues to fascinate me. Suffice to say, her candidacy was surprising because her involvement with GPSS has been somewhat lax. She was actually planning on missing the election meeting due to a conflicting class. But she did end attending, and running… and wouldn’t you know it… she even won.
All in all, I think the new Officer Corp is a great group. There exist a few personality wrinkles to work out, but nothing debilitating. Once people get to know eachother and identify strengths and weaknesses, I think it will be a great year. On the down side, my first action as GPSS Treasurer next year will be asking for an increase allocation to tuition waivers because we only budgeted for 2 law students… not three!