Graduate Student Senate, Graduate Professional Council unify to create Graduate Student Council

On March 24, the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) and the Graduate Professional Council (GPC) voted affirmatively to unify into a single representative government. The Graduate Student Council (GSC) will serve all graduate students at CWRU effective June 1. The council looks forward to working with university leadership, including the dean of the School of Graduate Studies and the vice president for Student Affairs, to forge new partnerships and begin the work of the unified government.

Since 2012, cooperation between GSS and GPC has increased. They have co-led social engagement, professional development, and collective bargaining initiatives to enhance the experience of more than 5,800 graduate students at Case Western Reserve University.

In 2013, GPC/GSS leaders suggested a unified government would further enhance this experience and requested CWRU Division of Student Affairs facilitate a conversation with graduate students on unification. A CWRU Committee on Graduate Student Governance Unification was formed, led by and composed of graduate student leaders. This committee unanimously recommended that unification occur. Chiefly, they argued unification would create a unified graduate student voice, facilitate interdisciplinary and silo-breaking activities that foster university-wide graduate student community, and unify fiscal resources to support inter-school graduate student events. The committee also recommended details of government structure, branding and timeline of formation. Its findings were summarized in writing to senior CWRU leaders.

To manage and coordinate a potential unification, an intergovernmental task force was formed, composed of GPC/GSS leaders to build consensus on key features, models, and logistics of unification, and bring their findings to the general bodies of GSS and GPC.