Matthew Cummings

Letter from GPSA President

Contributor
School of Pharmacy

Dear UCSF Student Body,

The Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) would like to welcome you to the 2014-2015 school year, and we send an especially warm welcome to our first-year students—welcome to UCSF! 

A new academic year begets new challenges and changes but also new prospects for growth and development, including some exciting opportunities in student government that I would like to share with you.

Throughout last year, a group of students, including myself, worked with administrators to restructure student government at UCSF. Historically, the Associated Students of UCSF (ASUC), comprising students from the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine and Pharmacy, operated and collaborated independently of our Graduate Division, Physical Therapy and Nursing—the Graduate Students Association (GSA). Our goal was to create a unified umbrella government (GPSA) that could more effectively and efficiently serve the needs of the student body. Furthermore, discipline-specific school governments were conserved to maintain some independence, while Physical Therapy students gained their own representation under the formation of the Associated Students of Physical Therapy (ASPT).

I am excited about GPSA because for the first time, student leaders representing all six disciplines will be sitting at the same table, improving communication, inter-professional collaboration, community outreach and providing a unified voice of the UCSF student body.

There are opportunities in GPSA for all students, including organizing events, sitting on advisory boards (i.e. transportation, housing, student services fee, etc.) and working closely with colleagues from other disciplines. It is a way to truly have your voice heard and advocate for changes on our campus.

Topics at future meetings will include: UC system-wide issues including sexual harassment and violence against women, professional student supplemental tuition increases, and mental health access; UCSF-specific issues will include discussing the sale of sweetened beverages on campus, shuttle transportation and updates from the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP).

If the new paradigm of medical practice necessitates multi-disciplinary collaboration, there is no better place to start than during your graduate training! We highly encourage all students to spend a few minutes browsing the website: gpsa.ucsf.edu, attend a meeting, or contact gpsa@ucsf.edu if you have specific questions.

Matthew Cummings

Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate, 2016

GPSA President, 2014-15