Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS)

Mission Statement: To address the concerns and enhance the non-academic experience of graduate and professional students.

Description of Organization: The Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) is the official voice of the graduate and professional student body at the University of Southern California. Elected Executive Board officers, senators (department/school representatives) and special interest committees tackle issues specific to graduate and professional students and provide venues for interaction beyond the academic realm. Funded by student programming fees ($31 per student per semester), GPSS uses this money to provide advocacy; to program social, academic, and community service events, and to fund recognized student organizations throughout the year.

The Campus Affairs Committee addresses graduate and professional students' concerns regarding the non-academic aspects of their tenure at USC and serves as a means for students to bring concerns to the attention of GPSS. The responsibilities of this committee include, but are not limited to, monitoring health insurance, day care, student parents, Campus Safety, Trojan Services (transportation, housing, hospitality), and recreational/social needs.

Current Eco-Initiatives: Some of the goals for the Campus Affairs Committee this year are to create programs of awareness in areas surrounding healthy eating as it relates to purchasing power, local economies, and agriculture. The committee is currently organizing a workshop on the Politics of Food that will take place in early Spring 2011.

The committee will also continue its work on student transportation, including bicycle safety and the subsidized transit program and also making sure that all students receive proper access to transportation services on and off campus. Student advocacy in the University's Master Plan and to University Administrators are also part of the committee's responsibilities.

Past Eco-Accomplishments: GPSS conducted a workshop with South Central Farmers where they discussed the local agriculture and economy. There was also extensive research and surveying conducted for the Subsidized Transit Program.

Future Eco-Goals: Collaborating with the LA County Metro, GPSS is working on creating said Subsidized Transit Program, whereby students would have access to student-priced bus passes. The hope is that the passes and ultimately the completion of the Expo line will trigger increased student interest in and usage of public transit in the LA area. They are also looking into the possibilities of providing more diverse and healthy food vendors on campus.

URL: http://www.gpssusc.com/home

Location and Time of Meetings: TCC 224

Current Organization Leaders: Ana Paulina Lee, Comparative Literature 3rd year; gpsscamp@gmail.com

Number of Members: 5

What are the obligations of members?: Bring forth concerns regarding sustainability issues on and around campus and to create programs that deal with those issues.