Graduate students may secede from SGA

Graduate students may secede from SGA

February 19
00:50 2015

Linda Kessler / Staff Writer

The Graduate Student Council is formally asking to be seen as a separate student government entity, citing a lack of accurate and fair representation in the Student Government Association among its reasons.

“In order to represent all UNT students, graduate students would like to see two separate bodies of governance,” GSC president Jesus Valero said. “One for undergraduates and one for graduates.”

SGA President Kam Willard said SGA will be negatively affected if GSC “secedes” and becomes a separate entity.

“It takes away from us being as valid as we say we are if we only represent undergraduate students,” Willard said. “That stipulation will always be placed against us.”

Willard said SGA represents all students, and hopes to officially remain the voice of graduate students as well. He said the senate and house mirror the student population.

“There are 6,000 graduate students to 36,000 undergraduate students,” Willard said. “That’s less than 20 percent.”

Graduate students comprise five percent of the SGA senate.

“By seeking official recognition as the representative body for graduates, we will be doubling the representative voice of the student body,” Valero said. “This is important because in order for our student voices to be heard, they must be loud, and most importantly, clear.”

Students will vote whether or not to split the two entities in a referendum later this semester.

“Certainly if a group says they don’t want to have to do anything with another organization I’m certain there’s tension with that,” Vice President of Student Affairs Elizabeth With said. “But regardless of the outcome, GSC is following the protocol to create or modify an organization so it will be up to the students to determine what they want to have happen.”

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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