GPSA members discuss bylaw amendments

Senate members say amendments should clarify the election process



GPSA senators vote over the additon of a new set of bylaws for the upcoming semester on Monday evening in the CUB.

KAITLYN TEJERO, Evergreen reporter

*This article was updated to clarify that GPSA did not remove or restrict RSO funding.

GPSA held a meeting to discuss its bylaws and debated issues within their organization on Monday night.

The meeting, led by Kristen Johnson, university and student affairs chair, focused on putting new bylaws in place.

Johnson said the bylaws should be updated every few years to clarify the election process, RSO funding, resolve conflicts and improve their organization.

She said the new bylaws will also change the Vice President of Legislative Affairs position to be an elected position, rather than appointed.

After making a motion to approve, the new set of bylaws was passed by the Senate.

Many members of the senate did not agree with the motion to approve the new bylaws and wanted to wait to discuss the issues until 2020.

“I don’t see how by 7:30 we can create quality amendments that we are going to keep, so I motion we table this and discuss it at the next meeting,” James Dalton, GPSA senate member said. “I can’t in good conscience vote on the new bylaws.”

Following the concerns expressed by Senate members, a member of the senate said bylaws are meant to be a working document and do not have to be set in stone.

In efforts to resolve the debate, senate member Allison Fisher, proposed the Internal Affairs Committee and Budget Committee come together to discuss the RSO funding for the next meeting.

GPSA President Ralph Chikhany brought the organization’s spending to the Senate’s attention.

“We spent $160,000 from May 16th to August 19th and there was around $41,000 in carryforward, which is not good,” he said. “We need to spend every dollar because if we don’t, the funding will be cut.”

Johnson also brought up their policy of attendance.

She said VPLA Matthew Sutherland will violate the attendance policy while advocating in Olympia and asked the Senate for their vote to allow him to virtually attend the meetings he will be missing.

Sutherland said he plans to attend meetings virtually and will come back for a couple meetings in person but does not want to make any promises.

Sutherland also informed GPSA of “Coug Day at The Capital” in 2020.

It will take place on Jan. 26-27, and he encourages them to fill out an application on CougSync to attend the event.

“I am working with the University of Washington to get a grad specific day as well for February eleventh, and am trying to figure out how to make that happen,” he said.