Nandita Mohan / Sun Staff Photographer

At its Monday meeting the GPSA held elections for its officers, General Committee representative, standing committee chairs and University Assembly representatives.

May 8, 2018

GPSA Elects Officers, Committee Chairs for Upcoming Academic Year

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The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly held elections for its officers, General Committee representative, standing committee chairs and University Assembly representatives at its meeting on Monday.

Ekarina Winarto grad won a second term as president of GPSA, and Andy Barrientos-Gomez grad was elected as executive vice president.

Winarto told The Sun that her priorities for GPSA for next year are membership and the Graduate and Professional Community Initiative, a strategic plan covering areas of importance to graduate and professional students at Cornell.

“Essentially, we need to get more people, more diversity in the room, and also more professional students in the room, and at the same time we need to get the people who are already in the room to be more involved,” Winarto said.

Winarto added that she thinks two of the four executive committee members should focus on membership, while the other two can focus on “outwork” and on working with the administration. She noted that she will need to discuss these ideas with other members.

The vice president for operations will be Alex Loiben grad, elected to his second term, and the new vice president for communications will be Alexa Cohn grad. Nate Rogers grad was elected to his second term as the counsel.

Motasem Kalaji grad was elected to fill one of the two graduate student representative positions to the general committee of the graduate school, for which one current member’s term is expiring.

Leading the student advocacy committee as its chair for her second term will be Breanne Kisselstein grad. The chair of the graduate and professional student programming board will be Daksh Arora grad, the chair of the faculty teaching, advising and mentorship awards committee will be Carol-Rose Little grad and the chair of the diversity and international students committee will be Eugene Law grad for his second term.

GPSA also filled two out of its four U.A. representative seats, electing members Matthew Battaglia ’16 grad for his second term and Dietrich Geisler grad.

GPSA elects officers and voting representatives internally, so only GPSA field representatives and voting members are eligible to vote for officer positions, according to a presentation from the meeting.

Reflecting on the past year, Winarto said GPSA was able to work “with a lot organizations and people that we don’t normally work with,” hold programming initiatives, increase representation of professional students and student diversity and set a decreased graduate and professional student activity fee.

“I really would like to applaud … all the committee chairs who have done like a really good job,” Winarto said.