What’s Changing, UCSF?
The Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) had their first meeting on October 5th, 2015. A motivated group of leaders from all professional and graduate schools were present. The meeting got off to a great start where Peter Croughan, the President of GPSA, spoke about GPSA’s goals for this year. He emphasized that their main goal was to foster better inter-professional interaction between the different schools. That hopefully means we can look forward to a lot more social events that involve good food, talk and people. Their second main goal is to continue to focus on the problems we all know and understand best: cost of living due to the absurd cost of housing in San Francisco. A number of other issues were discussed at this meeting:
1. Alcohol at Registered Campus Organizations (RCO) events?
The first issue discussed was whether GPSA should fund alcohol for RCO social and student/faculty mentorship events. A close to unanimous vote ensures that GPSA sponsored social events and student/faculty mentorship events can use GPSA funds to purchase alcohol.
2. Need more time to review the Supplemental Tuition hike?
The budget office will be requesting student input on the Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition increases. At the GPSA meeting we learned that students will be given only two days to review the proposals. Leaders from the different professional schools, particularly Cate Flanagan from the School of Nursing, raised serious concerns about the amount of time students will be given to review proposals, especially in light of that fact that the budget office could not currently provide students with any information about how much tuition might increase. GPSA is considering further actions.
3. Can I get a Parnassus Student Carpool Permit?
Yes, it’s happening, but only for the first lucky 20 students to sign up. Since need is likely to exceed availability, the GPSA committee is striving to come up with fair criteria to ensure that parking permits are available to students who really need them.
4. Housing in the city – need I say more?
Good news! A large sum of money was donated to UCSF, allowing UCSF to secure a master lease and place students in Bayside apartments in SOMA at subsidized rates. In addition to this, ongoing efforts are being made to secure university housing at other locations as well. All the committee leaders recognized the dire need for better housing options in order to ensure student well-being and for better success at student recruitment.
Interested to learn more or voice your opinion about the topics discussed? GPSA meets the first Monday of every month, so stop by the next GPSA meeting on November 2nd, 2015.
Despite some of the challenging issues discussed at the meeting, the enthusiasm of all the professional and graduate student leaders to make a difference and represent UCSF students was reassuring. The UCSF community spirit was truly well represented. This year GPSA has a wide range of events planned including GPSA Team building, the all-time popular UCSF Formal, Game Night, and Diversity Night. Maybe we’ll see you there!