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GPSF president and secretary step down, cite Student Congress hostility

Shortly after former Graduate and Professional Student Federation President Brandon Linz tendered his resignation Thursday, Secretary Adam Engel also announced his decision to resign at the end of the semester.

“Like our former president, I have felt a pattern of mistreatment by Student Congress,” Engel said in an email he sent to the GPSF Senate and Cabinet.

“This is not just a resignation: it is a statement of defiance to those who would impede the well-being of 11,000 students on this campus in order to maintain their own sense of power,” Engel said in his statement.

Earlier on Thursday, Linz sent an email to graduate and professional schools’ students that said GPSF has felt hostility from Student Congress in regards to financial protocols.

“Over the past few months, certain members of Student Congress, a body that claims to represent all students equally yet hasn’t had a full graduate student caucus in more than a decade and still gets the majority of graduate student fees, has decided to utilize the ‘supreme authority’ they have over the Student Body and all Student Organizations to interfere with GPSF’s operation,” Linz said in an email.

Linz said Student Congress limited the GPSF’s ability to transfer and access money.

And both Linz and Engel also said many appointees of GPSF were unable to be confirmed because Student Congress gave them less than 24 hours’ notice of late Tuesday night confirmation meetings.

Linz said while working with Speaker of Student Congress David Joyner, they were told they could send a proxy to represent those unable to attend the meeting, but Congress later went back on that.

Joyner said GPSF is an independent agency chartered under the student constitution, and it is student government’s responsibility to provide oversight for all independent agencies.

“This year we have realized that certain ones are not in compliance with the processes established by the student constitution and the student code,” Joyner said. “I think that a lot of independent agencies are feeling disrupted by having to go through processes that they have not been reminded they are accountable to in years past.”

Student Body President Houston Summers has called for a special election, which the Board of Elections will process next week.

Marissa Cann, former GPSF chief of staff, is now interim president since both vice presidents were unable to take on the commitment.

“My main goal at the moment is to hold down the fort and keep GPSF functioning and doing all of the things we’ve been doing and perhaps try and tackle some of the issues going on with Congress until we can get a more permanent president elected,” Cann said.

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