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VT Graduate and Professional Student Senate hopes to inspire change

A Virginia Tech banner on campus in August of 2021.
A Virginia Tech banner on campus in August of 2021.(Will Thomas)
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 6:34 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - It was formerly known as the the Graduate Student Assembly and is now the Graduate and Professional Student Senate. Technically every graduate student at Virginia Tech is a part of it, but there are around 100 senators at each meeting.

GPSS focuses on improving standards of living for graduate students. It does this by identifying the needs of graduate students, passing resolutions and ultimately bringing those to university representatives. GPSS’ Director of Communications, Amanda Burroughs, said it’s important that thousands of graduate students are represented.

“No one else is going to do that for graduate students, we have to help each other.”

GPSS operations have just begun for this school year, but is hoping to bring resolutions to VT reps in the coming months. For more information on the group, you can visit its website here. If you want to get involved, you can email Amanda at aburroughs1@vt.edu.

Below is more information Amanda provided about the group.

“This semester, we are working on several major Resolutions that will hopefully create millions of dollars worth of changes at Virginia Tech. Each Resolution in our first batch (found here under “out to shared governance”) passed the GPSS vote by large margins.

Thursday, a new batch of Resolutions will be read for the first time. This includes a Resolution to defund campus police and reallocate those funds toward social services.

Vote Results:

A: 51 Yes; 8 No; 6 Abstain (establishes task force policies)

B: 52 Yes; 7 No ; 6 Abstain (extends grad student assistantships from 9 months to 12 months)

C: 56 Yes; 5 No ; 4 Abstain (improves financial transparency regarding the Virginia Tech Foundation)

D1: 45 Yes; 11 No ; 9 Abstain (expands ethical oversight regarding policing and surveillance technologies)

D2: 48 Yes; 7 No ; 10 Abstain (expands ethical oversight regarding anti-immigrant research projects)

E: 57 Yes; 2 No ; 6 Abstain (moves transition of power to spring)”

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