Tsai, Brown are new GSC co-chairs

April 29, 2010, 1:02 a.m.

Approving the fiscal year 2011 budget, outgoing Graduate Student Council members smoothly passed the torch to the new council on Wednesday night and concluded their terms with occasionally sad goodbyes.

Without skipping a beat, the newly elected council chose officers for the upcoming year. Jessica Tsai and Justin Brown now head the graduate student branch of Stanford student government.

Although the council had previously discussed decreasing ASSU executive salaries, this week council members decided not to further pursue the issue after the Undergraduate Senate shot down the proposed salary decreases 7-1 at Tuesday’s meeting.

Without the changes to salary, the proposed budget up for vote more closely resembled the 2009-10 budget.

“I think the [salary] issue’s dead,” said GSC Financial Officer Ryan Peacock, a graduate student in chemical engineering. Peacock was eager to pass the budget to allow for GSC transition to new members, adding, “If you vote against it, I will kick you in the face.”

GSC members unanimously approved the proposed budget without executive salary changes for fiscal year 2010-11.

Fourteen members were sworn in, with one member absent. Evan Berquist, the School of Law representative, was reported to be abroad in China.

Every GSC position has been filled, after Imeh Williams, a third-year education student, was chosen as School of Education representative. Williams was elected after receiving three write-in votes.

In preparation for the upcoming year, GSC members voted on new officers while leaving some spots open.  Hoping to get more graduate students involved, the GSC plans to recruit from non-voting member pools for positions such as equipment master.

However, the three positions that require candidates to be voting members were filled quickly.  Jessica Tsai, a medical student, and Justin Brown, a graduate student in geophysics, were elected co-chairs, while Ping Li, a business student, was elected to be the new financial officer.

Krystal St. Julien, a graduate student in biochemistry, was voted as Funding Committee chair last week. On Wednesday, St. Julien said she was still seeking more graduate students for the committee before ultimately deciding on a deputy chair.

ASSU executives Angelina Cardona ’11 and Kelsei Wharton ’12 provided an update, explaining they were in the process of conducting cabinet interviews.

Council members approved $1,100 for the Black Graduate Students Association, $1,300 to fund the Rains Block Party and Field Party, $7,000 for the Fire on Fest event and $120 for the Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Stanford. GSC members will also use $2,000 for their upcoming new and returning members bonding retreat.

The meeting concluded with a hug between outgoing GSC co-chair Eric Osborne, a law student, and returning GSC member Addy Satija, a graduate student in energy resources and electrical engineering.

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