The Graduate Students Association met Wednesday to unanimously instate its newly revised constitution, although changes to the graduate health insurance plan were postponed.
The new constitution first passed in the graduate student general election and was confirmed at the meeting by the graduate division representatives in a 15-0 vote. The constitution reassigns leadership positions in order to streamline and update the operations of the GSA.
“We have stepped out of constitutional limbo,” GSA President Shawn Landres said. “We hope this will lead to better organization.”
GSA Assembly member Mark Schuller, who sat on the six-person committee in charge of drafting new constitutional bylaws, said the new system is more democratic because it allows for general graduate student elections and public release of meeting agendas before the meetings.
The GSA is now organized more like the Academic Senate with the intent to “line up what we are doing with what the Administration and Senate are doing,” Landres said.
The elections of seven new officers to GSA Assembly positions were also confirmed. The positions of internal and external presidents have been consolidated into one that will operate as a CEO and participate in many committees to provide more effective representation of graduate interests.
Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan amendments were to be voted on at the meeting but were tabled. The two changes that provoked the most discussion were raising the cost of dependents’ insurance and the inclusion of sexual reassignment therapy and surgery in coverage, Landres said. If the entire proposal is passed, graduate insurance fees will increase by $72.75 per quarter, of which $33.50 is a mandatory fee imposed by the insurance company.