By Christie S. Peterson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
The Graduate and Professional Student Council was created to speak for such students in campus politics, and now changes in representation are being discussed.
GPSC members are considering both a realignment of the constituency of the Faculty of Science and a change in the formula used to figure the number of constituents per representative.
All graduate students in the sciences are represented by three physical science GPSC members except for the approximately 60 in Health Related Professions who "haven't been stuck anywhere reasonable," said Mitzi Forbes, GPSC President.
Under the proposed changes, the science representatives would be divided into physical and biological categories, with health related professions assigned to the "School of Heath Related Professions and Biological Sciences."
Forbes said this move "will potentially change where they vote, how many seats they get and who represents them," because such a constituency would ensure convenient polling places and a representative from the biological sciences.
Ted Glenn, GPSC secretary and representative of the science constituency, said the changes will make it easier for graduate students that spend much of their time at University Medical Center to vote, "so they can better interact with representatives and each other."
Similar realignment of interdisciplinary constituents is also being considered, and all colleges will now be officially listed in the GPSC bylaws under their appropriate constituency.
The process by which representatives are allocated according to student population is also being redesigned for the upcoming elections. There are 24 GPSC members representing 15 constituencies and more than 7,800 students.
Alexandre Borges Sugiyama, College of Business and Public Administration representative, said discussion has centered around possible alteration in the number of members on future councils and the method of counting constituents.
If the above redesign of constituencies is approved, there will be 16 constituencies, and various plans call for 21 to 28 members on next year's council.
One plan will count each part-time student as one half of a constituent and another proposes allocating representatives based on the total number of credit hours earned by students in each constituency.
Forbes said such biased proposals were suggested because, "full time students spend more time here and are more greatly affected and so should have more say in who represents them."
"We want our election procedures to be easy to work with," Sugiyama said. "What I'm most pleased about (is that) our documents and our structure will be cleaner, both internally and externally."
GPSC is expected to vote on the changes at their Thursday meeting.
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