“The big thing is that we’re going to move forward with attempting to officially separate the graduate student government from the undergraduate student government,” interim President Marissa Cann said. “That’s our big push. We are trying to do this in an effort to try and maintain good relations with the student government and Student Congress, mainly because the way it is right now just isn’t working.”
Cann said GPSF is in the process of writing a letter to send directly to Chancellor Carol Folt and Winston Crisp, the vice chancellor for student affairs, who together have the power to declare GPSF an autonomous branch of government.
“We wanted to go right to the people who could make this decision happen, see if they’ll do that,” GPSF Treasurer Autumn McClellan said.
If this is not successful, McClellan said, the next step is to write a referendum to be voted on by the entire undergraduate and graduate student body.
Members of GPSF said they have felt increasingly mistreated by Student Congress.
“In the past, like Autumn said, Student Congress and GPSF have mostly just kind of ignored each other, which wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t the worst,” Engel said. “But now Student Congress is making these really aggressive moves to block us from doing the awesome things we’ve been doing.”
Engel said the Student Code gives GPSF a vague role in student government. Because of this uncertainty, there have been disagreements over the level of authority Student Congress should have over GPSF.
“It does give Student Congress, in their minds, the authority to determine how we the spend student fees that you all are paying, how we hold our meetings, things of that nature,” Engel said.