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2023-2024 GPSS Executive Board Election

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The Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) is officially accepting applications for the 2023 - 2024 Executive Board. As a member of the Executive Board, you will play a key role in ensuring that the GPSS continues to serve the best interest of the graduate and professional student population at Virginia Tech. The Executive Board consists of seven (7) positions, all of which are described below and in the application package. These positions also come with an additional, small fellowship for your work (not an assistantship).

If you would like to run for an executive board position for the 23-24 academic year, email your complete candidate packet to the Elections Subcommittee Chair and include your statement of intent and platform statement.

Applications are due February 20, 2023.

Current: Benjamin Beiter 

The President of the GPSS is responsible for setting the senate's agenda, managing the meetings, and for whatever products are put forward to higher levels of shared governance from the GPSS. The President sits in meetings representing the GPSS and graduate students as a whole with admin and university officials. The President helps organize and follow-through on larger initiatives of the senate especially when interacting with organizations outside of the senate. They should empower the constituents to lead the legislative agenda by facilitating robust discussions about issues that energize the graduate students and champion that agenda once it leaves the senate. This position should be taken with an ethos of democracy, transparency, and accountability to the whole graduate student body.

Time Commitment: 8-12 hours per week.

Current: Chloe Robertson

The Vice President is responsible for maintaining the organization of the senate including: writing and disseminating the meeting minutes, organizing senate membership, appointing senators to roles on commissions and committees, organizing and disseminating meeting agendas, and working with the GPSS graduate assistant to organize food for each meeting. As necessary, the Vice President will also be asked to serve on task forces and committees in lieu of other members and when asked by organizations at the University. Further, the Vice President must be willing to respond to the needs of the senate on a “as needed” basis to ensure the senate is organized and runs smoothly. The Vice President also chairs the Policy and Internal Affairs Committee which is tasked with drafting resolutions on behalf of the GPSS and assisting senators who bring forward resolutions to the GPSS.

Ideally, this role will be fulfilled by someone who is willing to adhere to university policy and committed to fairness, equity, agency for graduate students. The role can be demanding, so it is advised that applicants consider their academic and personal schedules before applying.

Time commitment: 10-12 hours per week is usual, but hours can exceed this depending on “as needed” tasks on behalf of the senate.

Current: Noor Tasnim

The Director of Communications' main role is to disseminate information related to the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) to external parties. This information includes meeting updates, resolutions, and ongoing programs/events. Regular responsibilities include maintaining and updating the GPSS website and managing the senate’s social media accounts. The Director of Communications also designs graphics to promote GPSS-sponsored opportunities and events to the community. They regularly collaborate with the Executive Board to create, edit, and publish official statements and can serve as the point of contact for external organizations requesting information from the GPSS.

Experience with Ensemble, the Web Content Management System for Virginia Tech, and graphic design softwares/platforms is helpful, but not necessary.

Time commitment: 1-3 hours most weeks

Current: In Transition

As a still relatively new position the director of advocacy has the opportunity to define their role but currently it is twofold. The first is to facilitate the formation of departmental-level graduate student groups and to assist them in building a community of graduate students, advocating for themselves within their own departments, and fostering democratic involvement of all students. The second is to identify and coordinate issues raised by graduate students and find ways to make them concrete, actionable items with a path forward to implementing solutions. This involves speaking with students about their concerns and connecting them with the proper University departments and channels to get the assistance they need.

Time commitment: 4-7 hrs per week

Current: Yohan Sequeira

The director of events for GPSS is responsible for planning, coordinating, and overseeing a variety of events and activities that engage and support the graduate student body. This includes working closely with other members of the graduate student senate to identify and prioritize events, coordinating with campus departments and organizations (event services, fleet services and America-to-go for food orders) to secure necessary resources and facilities, and managing budgets and timelines to ensure that events are successful and run smoothly (working closely with the director of finance and keeping good records). The director of events should have excellent organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills, as well as a strong understanding of the needs and interests of the graduate student community. This position requires a high level of collaboration and coordination with other members of the graduate student senate, as well as campus partners, to ensure that events and activities align with the overall goals and objectives of the organization. The main events that the director of events are in charge of include the welcome back barbeque, the graduate school fair and little hokie hand-me-down. Smaller events can include social events for the GPSS as well as other events for graduate students.

Time commitment: variable, 1-2 hours per week, or up to 5-8+ hours during events

Current: John Barbish

The Director of Finance position has two main roles: Treasurer of GPSS and Chair of the Graduate Student Budget Board. As the treasurer of GPSS, I maintain the finances of the Senate. This includes maintaining a yearly budget, requesting payment from the controller's office for vendors, being in charge of the finance committee, requesting yearly funding from SAFAB, and meeting with staff and administration in the graduate office and Student Engagement and Campus Life (SECL) as needed. This part is mostly processing paperwork and keeping good records. It needs around 2 hours/week. 

As the chair of GSBB, I oversee the allocation process for Registered Graduate Organizations. This entails keeping track of requests through the approval process which includes reviewing requests, facilitating GSBB meetings, and finalizing requests. Additionally, the chair of GSBB also meets with SECL staff as needed. In addition to facilitating GSBB, the Director of Finance also sits on and may help run the Student Activity Fee Allocation Board to oversee the distribution of student activity fees to all student organizations. Overall, the time commitment for this part is around 6-10 hours per week. 

Time commitment:
8-12 hours per week

Current: Cissy Ming

In consultation with the full executive board, the Director of Programs administers the Travel Fund Program (TFP), the Graduate Research Development Program (GRDP), the Graduate Research Symposium (GRS) and Cap and Gown Loan Program. The Director of Programs leads the development of rules and procedures for allocation of TFP and GRDP money, including: when to open/close applications, who is eligible, how to divide money, how the review process works, etc. Although the Director of Programs does not personally select ‘winners and losers’, they are responsible for recruiting graduate student volunteers to review applicants for funding. They answer graduate student queries through all stages of each programs application cycle. They oversee two Graduate Research Symposium co-chairs and the GPSS programs committee. Expect to work closely with Gwen Davis in the Graduate School finance office. Work over the summer is required. The Director of Programs is ineligible for the TFP and GRDP. 

Time commitment:
Highly variable – 1-3 hours most weeks, 7-10 hours per week during programs application review periods (2-3 weeks per semester)