The Graduate College

Winter 2011

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GSO Update
Sheena Kaupilla, GSO president

GSO Goes National

Big changes are underway for the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) at NAU.

1. This semester the GSO joined the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students (NAGPS), and the executive committee attended the national conference in Boston in November. I gave a presentation on "Becoming an Independent Graduate Association" in which I presented the GSO’s progress towards independence and got feedback and advice from other graduate associations who are already independent, in the process of becoming independent, or exploring the benefits of becoming a governing association.

At the conference, the GSO executive committee was able to network with many of our peer institutions and understand the issues facing graduate students on a national level. We look forward to our continued and growing involvement with NAGPS. Any graduate students interested in working on national committees for NAGPS (including legislative affairs, employment concerns, international student concerns, or social justice) can contact gso@nau.edu

2. On the local level, President Haeger gave a presentation to the GSO in November and answered questions from graduate students. As always, 100 percent tuition remission for graduate assistants is one of the students’ main concerns, but we also discussed the quality of professors and teaching assistants and how quality can be maintained with the growing enrollment of undergraduate students.

3. The Arizona Students’ Association, the student advocacy organization in Arizona representing students at the three state universities, is also starting to look at graduate issues and has formed a Graduate Affairs Committee. Any student can join and discuss issues pertinent to graduate students statewide. 

4. The GSO is taking major steps towards independence. Currently, GSO representatives are reviewing the proposed constitution and bylaws. In the spring, we will be sending the documents out to students and departments to review before moving forward. This is an exciting time to be a graduate student at NAU: our voice is growing louder as we move towards independence.

As we join the national and statewide graduate student voice and look at the larger issues facing us today, we become more knowledgeable and powerful. However, the GSO can only represent your interests if you let us know what they are. Please fill out our quick Graduate Student Priorities Survey and/or become involved today with GSO!


—Sheena Kauppila, M Ed CounselingStudent Affairs student and GSO president