The Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) held executive council elections and passed six bills during a virtual meeting Monday evening.
The GPSS officially elected current Senate Engagement Officer Chelsea Iennarella-Servantez as president for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year.
The upcoming vice president will be Sen. Rachel Sorensen.
Executive council results for the 2021-2022 school year
Senate engagement officer: current Vice President Carrie Ann Johnson
Senate information officer: current Senate Information Officer Kate Alucard won reelection
Treasurer: Sen. Zakayo Kazibwe
Social media coordinator: current President Eleanor Field
Conference officer: Sen. Joey Saavedra
Wellness officer: Sen. Abigail Boyd
The Senate also voted to pass bills that will create two new contracted positions for the 2021-2022 school year.
S21-05 will create college chair positions for every college in the university. The goal of the bill is to increase engagement and involvement between the Senate and colleges.
Sen. Caroliena Cabada, chair of the Special Committee for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, emphasized the importance of “knowing that graduate student concerns will be heard.” Cabada pointed to the success of the LAS Committee as a model for the creation of a chair for every college.
President Eleanor Field expressed support for the bill. The college chair will be an opportunity for increased senator-to-senator and senator-to-college engagement, she said.
Field also referenced the Senate’s large budget surplus. “We're really well-situated to grow some leadership opportunities in the Senate,” she said.
Senate Bill S21-05 passed 49-4.
Another bill, S21-06, will create a second new contracted position for the 2021-2022 school year. The goal of the social media coordinator is to “improve [GPSS’s] social media presence,” according to the bill.
Senate Information Officer Kate Alucard noted that the GPSS’s social media presence has increased over the past year. “We've seen a huge increase in connectivity and outreach for graduate students alone,” Alucard said.
Alucard said the social media coordinator will improve outreach and communication across social media. It will “bridge some of those gaps we don’t necessarily know need bridging,” she said.
Senate Bill S21-06 passed 50-2.
Both the social media coordinator and college chairs are nonessential elected positions.
The Senate also passed a bill to increase the scholarship and duties of the senator at-large. The senator at-large serves as a liaison between Student Government and GPSS.
Previously, the senator at-large had a scholarship of $200 in the fall and $200 in the spring. This bill increases the scholarship to $600 per semester due to the large time commitment of the position.
Field explained the reasoning behind the bill.
“We’re looking for a way that we can have better communication channels between [Student Government] and GPSS,” she said.
The bill passed 51-1.
Additional bills passed include the budget as well as an amendment to the GPSS Constitution. This amendment will include the required risk management language Iowa State requests of all student organizations.
The meeting minutes can be found on the GPSS website at www.gpss.iastate.edu/senate/meetings.