The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

ESA Chair and Mayor Francis Benjamin present to GPSA

GPSA to vote on Cougar Food Pantry referendum, general candidacy application to remain open until Feb. 19.

The Graduate and Professional Students Association heard two presentations from the Environmental Sustainability Alliance and Mayor Francis Benjamin on divesting from fossil fuels and Pullman renovation Project 2040, respectively.

The Environmental Sustainability Alliance’s executive board presented to the GPSA senate to persuade them to sign a petition on behalf of the GPSA in support of efforts to divest from fossil fuel companies.

It is crucial for the ESA to receive GPSA’s support in order to fulfill their goal of getting WSU to completely divest from fossil fuel companies, ESA Chair Stevie Fawcett said. 

ESA’s primary goal for 2024 is to gain visibility for their cause and gather support from the student body, student organizations and faculty in order to bring their campaign to the Board of Regents, Fawcett said.

Many other public and private universities have already divested from fossil fuels, such as Seattle University, Yale University, and the University of Washington, ESA Vice Chair Mason Burns said.

Mayor Francis Benjamin said Pullman 2040 is a Pullman Chamber Initiative that works with members of the community to describe what they hope for the city of Pullman to look like by the year 2040.

The plan includes establishing various task forces to focus on individual areas for improvement in Pullman, including community connection, education, health and recreation, Benjamin said.

GPSA members also heard from Internal Affairs Chair Ashley Wells regarding some bylaw revisions that have been proposed by GPSA’s internal committee. The revisions pertained to Article 1, Section 1, Article VI, Section 1C and Article VIII, Section 3 and 4.

The Article 1, Section 1 revision proposes a bylaw change to senate meetings that would require the executive board to vote on any changes to the location or times of meetings, Wells said.

The Article VI, Section 1C revision proposed a change that would remove committee members from their positions if the chair of their committee cannot get in contact with them for more than 10 business days, or if they have more than two unexcused committee meetings in a semester, Wells said.

The last revision proposed a change in the way that GPSA allocates funding to RSOs. While in the past, GPSA has allocated funds on an annual basis, the revision proposes an allocation on a semester basis which would require RSOs to apply for funding in the semester preceding the period for which the funds are requested, Wells said.

Madison Honig, GPSA community affairs chair, also presented senators with the Cougar Food Pantry referendum question, which proposed the establishment of a $5 incidental fee for graduate and professional students to support the Cougar Food Pantry that would go into effect in the Fall 2024 semester. 

The referendum question was approved by a majority vote. The referendum will be brought to the senate floor for approval at the next GPSA meeting.

The GPSA general candidacy application opened on Monday and will be open until Feb. 19. Current GPSA members can run for the positions of president, vice president, vice president of legislative affairs, college representatives and senators.

GPSA meets at 5:30 p.m. Mondays in the CUB junior ballroom.

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About the Contributor
MUSFIRAH KHAN, Evergreen reporter
Musfirah Khan is a junior from Seattle, Washington studying multimedia journalism. She started working for the Evergreen in spring 2023.