TO THE EDITOR:
In Wednesday’s article concerning Student Congress, Speaker Simons’ comments once again misrepresent the issues surrounding the Two Governments for Two Student Bodies campaign.
He portrayed graduate and professional students as abandoning an already accepted compromise.
However, the Graduate and Professional Student Federation made no such agreement, nor were those involved in the constitutional discussions empowered to make such agreements. Rather, it was the GPSF Senate —the representative body of UNC’s graduate and professional students — that determined the GPSF’s course of action by voting to support the Two for Two plan instead of the compromise. And, the Senate rejected the compromise with good cause.
The compromise was a step back from previous negotiations. A plan introduced two years ago made GPSF a fourth and independent branch of student government. Last year’s administration jettisoned that agreement. Instead, they offered graduate students an inferior compromise with significantly less autonomy and the same old problems.
Essentially, their compromise was a bandage, a stop-gap measure that did not resolve the major issues and eschewed root causes.
As an example, one concern has been fair representation in Congress because graduate seats go unfilled (currently, 13 of 15 are unfilled). Instead of addressing the systemic issues underlying these vacancies, Congress’ compromise simply opted to add more seats. Yet, without redressing these issues, this decision only multiplies the problem and decreases graduate voices further.
Again, this referendum is a question of who should be speaking for graduate and professional students on campus. Two for Two is a vote for the voice that knows you.
GPSF Vice President of Internal Affairs
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