Meet Your GPSA Presidential Candidates


The mission of the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) is to serve the collective interests of graduate and professional students at UCSF in order to improve student life on a university and system wide level through dialogue, action, and activities between students, faculty, and staff.

Below you will find the candidate statements of the individuals running for president in the 2016-17 GPSA Executive Council. The ballot for the 2016-17 GPSA Executive Council is open April 4-15.

For those wanting to get involved, two VP of External Affairs positions are still open. Interested candidates can contact [email protected].

Micah Ahazie
School of Pharmacy

Second Year Student

Over the course of this academic year, I have had the privilege of serving as your GPSA Vice President of Internal Affairs. In this position, I have had the great pleasure of working with an enthusiastic board to creatively tackle issues that we face as students here at UCSF, whether in the professional or graduate programs. Issues ranging from insufficient housing, to food security, interprofessionalism, and the need for adequate student input regarding the initiatives of University administration.

Serving on the board has been a great learning experience–I have been able to observe the everyday life of students from a new perspective and appreciate the complexities involved with maintaining student well being. Much learning has taken place from the GPSA initiatives that were successful, and from the ones that needed some improvement. Some of the board’s achievements include social events such as the Winter Formal, Game Night at Mission Bay, and the recent Cultural Night that allowed us to celebrate the diversity of our campus population (although more efforts need to be made to increase student and faculty diversity, but that’s another topic). GPSA in conjunction with the individual school governments also helped facilitate the collection of student input regarding the proposed Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition (PDST) increase in the fall, which brought positive results.

My goal as President is to build on these great efforts and ensure that the momentum in addressing the aforementioned issues is not lost. I hope to help promote the overall wellbeing of the UCSF students, so that we can focus on why we are here–to get a great education, to grow as scientists and clinicians, and to enjoy our time as we do that.

Allen Barnett

School of Medicine
First Year Student

We are fortunate to attend one of the best graduate schools in the country. During my time here, I have been able to study and interact with incredible classmates, professors, and administrators from all over the world and many walks of life. I believe that one of our greatest strengths is our diverse student body and faculty.

As students at UCSF, we are presented with tremendous opportunities, but living in San Francisco comes with its challenges. As every one of us is well aware, living in the Bay Area is not easy on a student's budget. UCSF has taken steps to address this: programs like the Food Security program and the newly announced need-based Cost of Living Supplement are welcome, as are plans for increased student housing. Nevertheless, the reality is that these proposed initiatives in their current state will not substantially reduce the financial burden that the vast majority of current UCSF students face. As president, my primary focus will be to work with the administration and surrounding community to bring innovative and effective new costsaving initiatives to the UCSF student body.

I have a wealth of experience in student leadership in my prior academic institutions. My tenure in student body roles was defined by my proposing, initiating, and implementing a robust system of deals with local businesses to create a network of student-centered and significantly reduced-cost deals for UCSF students. I’ve been discouraged at the lack of such a resource here in San Francisco: we live and attend classes in neighborhoods rich with local businesses and restaurants and as the primary institution in the area are well-poised to negotiate such deals. My commitment to you is this: I will tirelessly work to create a new paradigm of student-community relations in the Inner Sunset and Mission Bay neighborhoods where students can shop, eat, recreate and sustain themselves at an affordable price-tag. Not only will this enable UCSF to attract more diverse students to its professional and graduate schools, but will support us as students to engage in the true task for which we have come to this University: learning, developing and growing as researchers and health professionals.

I look forward to meeting many of you in the coming weeks and months, and am thrilled at the opportunity to collaborate to improve the UCSF experience for ourselves, and for generations of classmates to come.