SGA, GSC look to tie up loose ends

SGA, GSC look to tie up loose ends

SGA, GSC look to tie up loose ends
September 03
11:07 2015

Sarah Lagro | Staff Writer

@Lagroski

The state of student government at UNT has been shaky since last spring, when student leaders from the Student Government Association and Graduate Student Council could not reach middle ground on how to govern the student body.

Before last spring, the two student governments were one operation, but leaders in GSC were concerned that undergraduate students were receiving more attention from SGA than graduate students.

GSC president Jesus Valero said during the previous academic year, SGA agreed to better represent graduate students by having 10 graduate senators in the SGA senate. But only two seats were filled, meaning graduate students had less than 5 percent of representation.

GSC collected more than 1,250 signatures to bring awareness to the issue. On April 9, the Division of Student Affairs confirmed 83 percent of students voting in the referendum were in favor of GSC becoming its own body.

“Both undergraduate and graduate students understood the need for two separate and independent student governments.” Valero said.

This semester, the two governing bodies are still trying to develop a way to incorporate both graduate students and undergraduate students in issues that require student votes. So far, Valero and SGA president Adam Alattry said issues that concern undergrads will be handled by SGA, with graduate student issues handled by GSC.

“If an issue pertains to undergrads, then SGA would be responsible for the referendum,” Alattry said. “And if an issue pertains to graduates, GSC would hold that referendum.”

Over the summer, SGA and GSC met sporadically to resolve issues and to find solutions to future problems. SGA and GSC have a joint follow-up meeting on Thursday.

“We are still attempting to identify a process by which issues that affect UNT students can be addressed by both governing bodies,” Valero said. “When graduate and undergraduate issues align, both organizations will work together to more effectively advocate for the needs of the entire student body.”

Vice President of Student Affairs Elizabeth With confirmed that neither group’s funding was changed. Both have their own budgets funded by student service fees.

GSC was formed in 1968 as a middleman between representatives of the graduate student body and the Graduate Council, a formal group within the Faculty Senate. Valero said that since UNT is making an effort to become a tier 1 research institution, the university is focusing its attention to graduate education and research.

GSC’s Executive Branch meets on a weekly basis while the Senate meets once a month in the Business Leadership Building on campus. GSC also consists of standing committees that meet at least once a month.

The SGA Senate meets at 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday in the BLB. Committees within the organization meet as often as possible.

Featured Image: File Photo | North Texas Daily

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