The University should take a “hard look” at its resource allocation, given that graduate students outnumber undergraduates, said Graduate Young Trustee Dr. Malik Burnett.
At the Graduate and Professional Student Council meeting Tuesday, the organization discussed the timeline of the Spring semester and received guidance from Burnett, Trinity '07, Medicine and Fuqua '12. Burnett stressed that his role as an advocate is particularly important because the graduate programs do not necessarily receive as much attention at Board of Trustee meetings as undergradute programs, even though they serve more students.
“Being able to bring a voice to some of the issues that may be overlooked is important,” Burnett said.
Burnett said the biggest issue facing the University today is maintaining academic competitiveness in comparison to older peer institutions. He noted that remaining on the cutting edge, particularly for the graduate and professional schools, will help the University remain successful.
Although Burnett said he does not have a major impact on the Board given the time it takes to assimilate, he noted that his opinion is valued and respected.
When asked how to increase efficacy on the Board, Burnett suggested adding more graduate and professional school representatives.
Burnett said there is room for further change, including more coordination across schools—a sentiment echoed later by GPSC Vice President Shannon O’Connor, a fifth-year PhD/MD candidate in biomedical engineering, who has made the focus of the 2014 GSPC retreat creating stronger dialogues between schools. O’Connor said seven deans will be attend their Spring retreat.
This year, members of GSPC will vote for the new graduate young trustee Feb. 18.
Members reviewed eligibility rules for young trustee. Members must be present or send a proxy for three assembly meetings preceding the election, but proxies may not vote in the election.
In other business
A new GPSC logo was selected from five student-submitted renderings. The new logo received 61 percent of the popular vote.
The budget allocations for the approximately $25,000 given to GSPC was approved. This past year, 21 percent of monetary requests were met.
The social committee announced a Last Day of Classes T-shirt design contest, as well as a masquerade ball and winter formal. New events are being planned following last semester’s survey that revealed many students wanted non-alcohol related events.
President Amol Yadav, a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in biomedical engineering, revealed plans for a strategic plan document to create continuity between the organization's short and long-term goals.