The Graduate and Professional Student Senate held a town hall and listening session with Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen on Nov. 14 in Room 198 in Parks Library.

The Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) is considering having a special election after the Professional Advancement Grant (PAG) chair resigned last week.

Qi Mu, graduate student in agronomy, joined GPSS as a senator and member of the PAG committee in 2018 and had been serving as the PAG chair this semester.

Mu resigned Wednesday and the senate is now discussing how to proceed.

The Rules Committee and the Elections and Operations Committee are talking about what the next steps are regarding a potential special election. The election would be held Monday at their next meeting.

The PAG chair is in charge of reviewing professional advancement grants according to GPSS-approved PAG policy, allocating appropriate funds to PAG grant recipients on a monthly basis and reviewing nominations for various awards.

Senators are permitted to nominate themselves without a secondary motion from another senator.

The PAG Committee is in charge of evaluating five awards: the Margaret Ellen White Award, the GPSS Teaching Award, the GPSS Research Award, the GPSS Leadership Award and the Wakonse Fellowship award. 

The committee evaluates all applicants together for each award.

At Monday’s meeting, the University Relations and Legislative Affairs Committee (URLA) chair Marcus Jansen will be appointing graduate and professional students to University Committees.

URLA “advocates for graduate and professional students to local, state and federal officials and coordinates Senate actions to influence public policy on graduate and professional student concerns,” according to GPSS Committee Requirements.

The URLA Committee additionally takes questions regarding public and university policy on graduate and professional students.

Summaries of all committees can be found online at

The next GPSS meeting is at 6:30 Monday in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union.

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