Last week, we lamented the sad state of our student government. It seems that it is never too early to start a path of cynical and base careerism and electioneering, so get cracking on rigging student council elections in high school, kids (watch "Election," 1999)! Yet there is a bright spot in UNC’s civic life: the Graduate and Professional Student Federation, and we urge those eligible to vote in their elections to do so.
The GPSF helps its charges with things, like conference, event and travel funding. It helps with things like talking about after-hours parking passes and fees. It helps with things like health insurance. It helps with things like bringing administrators to account in front of concerned constituents. It helps with things like complimentary pizza on a weeknight to its serving members, to name but a few.
The GPSF, in lieu of an outright union, is the best that these monumentally important and influential members of our community have, as far as an advocacy group goes. Those that can vote for members and senior administration in this organization should. Those of us not in this demographic should look to the GPSF for how to run a civic institutional organization.
Those of us here for only the last one or two years may not remember the following. A little more than two years ago, Winston Crisp decreed the union of GPSF and Student Congress dissolvable, after years of bitter battles over governance and funding. What it boiled down to, in a nutshell, was that (relative) grown-ups were tired of having practical funding for productive endeavors held up.
While that divorce, like all divorces, may have left some wounds to lick, the GPSF arguably has more autonomy now than ever before.