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Grad assembly elects officers

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 26 - March 30, 1995

The Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) elected new officers, supported changes to the regranting budget board constitution, and passed changes to the GSA constitution on first reading at its February 23 meeting.

Bryan Rowland will be GSA president next year. The education major was elected by acclamation. Vice president will be Tabitha Copley from the veterinary college. Andrea Lawson, theatre arts, will be secretary, and Mike Schroder, education, will be treasurer.

The GSA Regranting Budget Board distributes a portion of student-center fees to registered graduate student organizations. The revised constitution changes the board's status from a subcommittee to a standing committee of GSA.

The revised constitution also allows the board to waive a quorum "with the approval of the petitioning organizations." Rowland explained that a problem arises when a meeting lasts for several hours. "We have to give the organizations (present to request funding) the option of coming back or suspend the rules."

The proposed changes to the GSA constitution would establish the executive director of the Virginia Tech Off-Campus Housing Office, and the GSA administrative assistant as employees of the GSA; defines the duties of the executive assistant, director of the Graduate Research Development Program, and director of the Travel Fund Program; adds the editor of Apex and the executive assistant to the executive board; adds the GRDP, TFP, lecture series and Regranting Budget Board as permanent committees, and the off-campus housing center as a long-term project; and states that cabinet members (committee chairs) may be appointed rather than elected.

Len Peters praised the efforts of the GSA in persuading the Board of Visitors to expand the board. "There are probably a handful of universities around the country with positions for graduate and undergraduate students." He commended the GSA's officers.

In other business:

* John Eaton presented Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges certificates to Maureen Bezold, president, and Brian Sayres, vice president.

* Robyn Hohauser reported that Virginia Tech will host the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students' southeastern conference next year. Schroder asked for people interested in working on planning to contact him (1-8207). He said people will be surveyed "to see what sessions are wanted, such as about grant writing."

"Virginia Tech's graduate students are light years ahead of those at other institutions, thanks to the cooperation with the administration that exists here," Hohauser said.

* The university library committee is looking at the issue of faculty members who do not return books, and may have as many as 100 books. Daniela Verthelyi asked the GSA delegates how they felt about the libraries closing hours during breaks. It was suggested it would be helpful to have some evening and weekend hours.

* Nominations are still being accepted for the lecture series. Call 552-4565.

* The travel fund was able to fund 32 out of 86 applications. The fund is $6,250. The next round will be for those who plan to present research between July 1 and December 31.

* The Regranting Budget Board received $77,000 in requests for the $35,000 budget. However, the $750 small-grant program is still available.