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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

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GSS planning new moves

As GSS enters the fall semester, they will be tackling issues such as sexist signs during move-in weekend.

Michael Smith, this year’s GSS president, said GSS did planning for Grad Bash, which took place August 19, over the summer.

“It’s basically a lunchtime hour that GSS plans and supports and pays for,” Smith said. “[Grad Bash is] for all incoming grad students who are receiving stipends here on campus.”

On September 12, GSS will have its first meeting, which will be opening with discussion of the “sexist” sign resolution that was previously tabled. These signs appear on Wooster Street during move-in weekend. Some feel they are sexist in nature and have called for their use to be considered sexual harassment by the University.

Smith said he doesn’t have a definite opinion on the issue, but is interested in hearing what all sides have to say about the issue.

“I’m keeping a fairly open opinion on it,” he said. “I want the GSS students to hash it out and see what they would like to see happen.”

Another issue GSS will be dealing with is funding for different departments and grad student stipends, said Julia Largent, this year’s GSS vice president.

Erin Bortel, a GSS senator who serves on subcommittees such as Accenture AROC and Academic Affairs, says she wants to focus on making communication better with the rest of the University.

“We would like to work on more efficiency of voicing student opinion,” she said. “We have the best interest of the students in mind.”

While GSS has been operating over the summer, the time has been “quiet,” Largent said.

She said the GSS secretary left this summer, which made their work more difficult.

Smith said their secretary had been there for decades before leaving. He said the summer was hard because there were “challenges organizing things” and things such as authorizing payments couldn’t be done. A new secretary was recently hired for GSS, he said.

Much of the summer has been spent in “preliminary meetings,” Smith said. This meant the members of GSS were planning what they would do in the coming year.

One of these meetings involved the executive leadership of GSS meeting and discussing ideas and goals, he said.

Smith said he thinks it’s important for everyone on GSS to “have a voice” and to be heard.

“I think people would be more invested if they had a say as well,” he said.

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