Brace Yourselves: Fall General Elections are Coming!
Run for a position in GPSG Senate!
Fall General Elections for Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) Senate are coming up on August 31st! Candidate Registration will begin August 23rd.
What is the Senate? GPSG is part of the Student Government at UNC-Chapel Hill and our Senate is the legislative arm of GPSG. The Senate consists of the Senators who represent departments or graduate programs (termed “Representative Units”), the Standing Committees that conduct the business of GPSG, and a President Pro Tempore who assists in leading the Senate.
Why should I become a Senator? Serving as a Senator is a great way to get acquainted with fellow students and understand their needs, learn how to access and influence the creation of valuable resources for students, build connections with leaders across campus, and advocate on behalf of your peers. Plus, Senators who complete their requirements during the year earn a financial allocation for their department!
What are the requirements for being a Senator? Being a Senator is not a huge time commitment! Senators are expected to attend monthly meetings of the Senate, which are typically held the first Tuesday of each month during the academic year. In addition, Senators must hold at least one town hall meeting with students in their program to share important campus resources and to provide an opportunity to hear the concerns of your constituents first-hand. Finally, Senators should communicate relevant news, resources, and events to their constituents throughout the year.
What are Senate meetings like? For the 2020-2021 year, all senate meetings were held remotely, which increased the average length of each meeting relative to previous years. However, we are actively looking into ways to run our meetings more efficiently. For 2021-2022, senators will still have the option to attend meetings remotely, and we are exploring options for a hybrid format as well. During meetings, you can expect to hear from guest speakers (e.g., administrators or campus resource offices), discuss and vote on legislation, and hear updates from our executive board.
What else can I do as a Senator? We welcome and encourage additional participation from our Senators! Below are some ways to be involved:
Senators can sit on one of six standing Senate committees, where they can write legislation, oversee the GPSG budget, review funding requests for travel or student organizations, review appointments to GPSG leadership, or identify and curate important resources to be communicated to all graduate and professional students. Service on a Standing Committee is also rewarded with an allocation bonus for your unit at the end of the year! For more information on Senate committees, please reach out to President Pro Tempore Kendall Winter (email@example.com) or Senior Vice President Kat Furtado (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In addition to committees, Senators can nominate themselves for the position of President Pro Tempore, who will work alongside the Senior Vice President and help in leading the Senate. Self-nominations from elected Senators are welcome before the first Senate meeting, and the President Pro Tempore will be elected by the Senate during its first meeting of the year. For their service, the President Pro Tempore will receive a modest stipend.
Finally, both Senators and constituents can fill External Appointments or serve on Cabinet Committees. These positions provide a great opportunity to help perform the work of GPSG in a more direct and specialized way, either on campus or in the community. Applications for these positions are currently open! For more information on these opportunities, please reach out to Chief of Staff Amanda Smythers (email@example.com).
How do I run? Any graduate student or professional student that pays student fees is eligible to run. Those interested in running for Senate are strongly encouraged to register as a candidate for the Fall General Elections so that their name can appear on the ballot. Candidate registration will open on August 23rd through the HeelLife page for the Board of Elections, and the registration deadline is August 25th. However, if you forget to register you can still run as a write-in candidate on Election Day, August 31st!
Please see below for a list of units with available seats for Fall General Elections. The number of seats available is listed next to the name:
- Accounting: 2
- Advanced Dental Education: 2
- American Studies: 2
- Applied Physical Sciences: 1
- Biochemistry and Biophysics: 2
- Bioinformatics & Computational Biology: 2
- Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP): 2
- Biomedical and Health Informatics (MPS): 2
- Biomedical Engineering: 1
- Biostatistics: 2
- Business Administration (MBA): 1
- Chemistry: 1
- City and Regional Planning: 2
- Classics: 2
- Communication Studies: 2
- Computer Science: 1
- Dramatic Art: 2
- Economics: 2
- Education: 2
- Environmental Sciences and Engineering: 1
- Epidemiology: 2
- Exercise and Sport Science: 2
- Folklore: 1
- Genetics and Molecular Biology: 1
- Geography: 2
- Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literature: 1
- Global Studies (MA): 2
- Health Behavior: 2
- Health Policy and Management: 2
- Information and Library Science: 2
- Maternal and Child Health: 2
- Media and Journalism: 2
- Microbiology and Immunology: 2
- Musicology: 2
- Nursing: 1
- Nutrition: 2
- Pathology: 2
- Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD): 2
- Pharmacology: 2
- Philosophy: 2
- Physical Therapy: 1
- Physics and Astronomy: 1
- Political Science: 1
- Psychology: 2
- Public Administration: 1
- Public Health Leadership: 2
- Clinical Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling: 1
- Social Work: 2
- Sociology: 1
- Statistics and Operations Research: 2
- Toxicology (PhD): 2
- Toxicology (MPS): 1
For any questions about the Senate or Elections, please reach out to Senior Vice President Kat Furtado (firstname.lastname@example.org) or President Pro Tempore Kendall Winter (email@example.com). We hope you will consider this opportunity to support and represent your colleagues!