GPSA senators vote in new member, discuss training resources

UREC board to refund mandatory fees; exact amount is undecided



GPSA senators met virtually for the first time on Monday.

JENAE LAXSON, Evergreen roots editor

GPSA senators met for the first time this fall on Monday night to discuss mandatory fees, mentor training and travel grants. 

There are two upcoming Professional Development Initiative events, which involve a project management and teaching assistant workshop, said Anika VanDeen, second-year doctoral student in mechanical engineering.

The University Recreation board discussed refunding mandatory fees and is considering three options. They will either issue a $1, $2 or $10 refund, said Rachel Wong, fourth-year doctoral student in educational psychology.

“Anything more than $10 and it will affect current UREC projects,” she said.

There are seven vacancies in GPSA, which senators will fill through regular nominations. To preserve college representation, there cannot be more than two representatives from one college, said Mikala Meize, fourth-year doctoral student in criminal justice and criminology.

Senators voted to fill one of the vacancies and Amira Albagshi, second-year doctoral student in teaching and learning, was voted in.

Lisa Gloss, dean of the WSU Graduate School, spoke with senators to discuss topics like training for mentors.

Reanne Cunningham, third-year doctoral student in clinical psychology, asked about resources to help graduate students transition into a mentor-type role.  

Gloss said there needs to be more support for graduate students to become good mentors. She said her goal is to put together a task force for mentor training in a few weeks. 

“We do not need to reinvent the wheel,” she said, “but we do need to figure out the best way to deliver the information.”

She said her concern is students who need training will not attend and the ones who do not will. She said her goal is to institutionalize training.

 James Dalton, vice president of legislative affairs, presented some concerns for the upcoming week. These include stipend payments, the importance of a fully-funded library and federal financial aid for graduate students. Senators will reconvene on legislative affairs during the next meeting.

The voting for GPSA’s 2020-2021 budget will occur Sept. 14. 

Senator Arian Karimitar, fourth-year doctoral student in anthropology, updated the other senators on the temporary plan for travel grants. The new structure is for this year only, she said. Everything will remain the same, except for professional and career development, which is changing. 

“Virtual conferences will also be reimbursed,” she said. “There will also be reimbursements for online and in-person conferences.”