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Friday, December 19, 2014

New GPSA chair urges involvement

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By William Aranda / New Mexico Daily Lobo

UNM law student Jessica Marshall smiles with Luke Holmen after winning the Graduate and Professional Student Association council chair election at the Domenici Center on Saturday morning. She will succeed Maria Elena Corral as council chair.

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Law student Jessica Marshall will take over as Graduate and Professional Student Association council chair next year.

During a GPSA meeting Saturday, Marshall won the position with 14 votes from the 19 council members present. The new council chair nabbed the position from candidates Daniel Gray and Sai Uppu. She will succeed Maria Elena Corral as council chair.

Marshall, who was chair of the Legislative Steering Committee, said her legislative background and her willingness to ask for help will help her in her new position.

“I have a lot of experience working with by-laws, for one with GPSA, and then with other organizations in the past, and with Robert’s Rules of Order,” she said.

During her term, Marshall said she plans to provide workshops for council members on parliamentary procedure.

“I feel like there are a handful of us who make all the motions,” she said. “I would like for everybody to have the opportunity to make the motions that they think are best because I feel like people may not say something or make a motion for something they want because maybe they don’t know how to word it.”

Marshall said she also aims to spread awareness about GPSA. She said many graduate students don’t know about the organization’s benefits. She said she plans to increase participation by visiting different departments and talking to professors and students about who could represent them in council.

“I feel that we’ve been limited because we don’t have as many groups there as could be there,” she said.

Marshall said she also plans to investigate ways to fund students.

“I’d like to look into ways to find more funding to offer more scholarships for graduate students because I think that we are in desperate needs of funds,” she said.

Marshall said she wants to continue GPSA’s effectiveness by pushing again for no increase in tuition next year.

“I think with this year having no across-the-board increase in per-credit hour tuition and student fees is an incredible feat, especially because it hasn’t happened in 35 years,” Marshall said. “We still have a recovering economy and graduate school is enormously expensive.”

GPSA President-elect Texanna Martin and Marshall will both take over their new positions in May.