Our own EE graduate student Gorkem Kuterdem has just completed tenure as the President of the University GPSS (Graduate and Professional Student Senate).
Gorkem had a great chance to learn about the various processes of the University, and ways to address the concerns and desires of a wide variety of student constituencies. Gorkem reports that this was a very time-consuming effort but that it was worth all the time and energy.
Gorkem says that GPSS worked on a variety of issues last year, especially diversity, improving graduate education, labor issues (GSEAC/UAW) and legislative concerns such as tuition. Especially successful was the effort to push for better recruitment efforts to improve the diversity of UW student body and to retain these students when they do come here. GPSS also helped take a critical look at the RA/TA/SA experience at the UW as part of graduate education, and compared it to our peers. The report from the Landolt/Hodge committee should be coming out soon, addressing some of the issues identified. GPSS also managed to keep tuition increases at a reasonable level. Also, they partnered with the University in rebuilding the Sandpoint Childcare Center.
The future of GPSS will include addressing campus climate issues, obtaining more childcare services for students, more improvement for campus diversity, pushing for an exclusive and third party arbitrable contract for GSEAC/UAW, and any other issues that pop up.
The entire EE Department congratulates Gorkem on his significant contribution to the campus community.