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The Daily Tar Heel

GPSF to Use Money for Relief Efforts

But after GPSF President Mikisha Brown enthusiastically proposed a relief effort, the room's silence was broken.

The meeting was the GPSF Senate's first of the year.

Brown, a second-year graduate student in the School of Public Health, and the rest of the executive board presented ideas to increase interaction among graduate students. Brown's main proposal, around which most of the meeting revolved, was the Helping Emergency Assistance Relief Together project.

In this proposed plan, GPSF would set up satellite locations around campus for graduate students to donate money to the relief effort in New York City.

Brown said the satellite locations could be set up in areas that graduate students frequent, such as the cafeteria near the medicine, business and law schools. She said the project also would address one of the main problems of graduate student life -- isolation.

"We, as graduate professionals, are just in our building and don't get to interact with other students," she said.

For the HEART project, GPSF would use rollover money from last year -- money allocated for projects but not used -- to match up to $5,000 of the contributions made by students.

Some senators at the meeting voiced concerns about the GPSF donating such a large sum of money.

These concerns were calmed by Treasurer James Alstrum-Acevedo, who said, "The rollover from last year was approximately $11,000, and GPSF has a security account as a cushion for a rainy day of about $13,000."

For this project to go into effect, a request must be submitted to the Senate on Monday, followed by a meeting later in the week of the GPSF Appropriations Committee to analyze the proposal.

After that, if it is approved, the proposal will be discussed again at the next full Senate meeting Oct. 2. The proposal was mentioned at Thursday's meeting to get input from other senators. "We brought it up today so you can talk to your (constituents) about it and get their ideas," Brown said to the senate.

Senators proposed other ideas at the meeting, including the suggestion of raising money for the HEART project through a social event for graduate students, such as a graduate student ball.

Members of the executive board also announced that they will be attending the National Conference for the National Association of Graduate Professional Students in November. NAGPS is a network for graduate student organizations all over the nation, including the GPSF.

Any student, faculty or staff member at the graduate level can attend the conference.

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