2017-2018 GPSC Officers Elected!!

The following graduate and professional students were elected to serve as officers for GPSC in the coming school year:

  • Johnathan Flowers, President
  • Dianah McGreehan, Vice President for Administrative Affairs
  • Clay Awsumb, Vice President for Graduate Affairs

The following students were chosen to serve as GPSC Representatives to The Graduate Council:

  • Sheena Hart
  • Jordan Maddox
  • Derrick McDowell
  • Lauran Schafer

Please welcome the new leadership team for GPSC!

GPSC Career Development Funds

As of today, May 10, GPSC will no longer accept Career Development Reimbursement Forms for the 2016-2017 school year! Unfortunately, we have depleted our allocated resources for this purpose. We will begin processing reimbursements again in the fall.

2017 GPSC Research Award Winners

GPSC would like to thank everyone who submitted an application for the 2017 GPSC Research Award! The competition was stiff with 83 proposals reviewed, six applicants were chosen! Congratulations to the following graduate and professional students selected:

  • James O’Donoghue
  • Hannah Giang
  • Gabriel Torrelba
  • Sudip Pandey
  • Lindsey Roberts
  • Justin D’Agostino

To celebrate their achievements and dedication to excellent research the Graduate School Dean, Dr. Yueh-Ting Lee, and GPSC will honor them at the GPSC Research Award Ceremony on April 25th at 7pm in the Hall of Presidents (located on the first floor of Morris Library).

Tyranny Unexplained and Unhinged; the student trustee process


Student Government exists to be the voice for students, advocating for student interest, representing their views to the Administration. While the interest of the Administration and students often align, there are times when they diverge. Case in point – the Administration may have a preferred candidate for specific elected student positions, who is more wiling to toe the Administration line,in contradiction of student opinion and thought. In order to ensure students are adequately represented, in a student-centered manner, student government serves that purpose. In essence, we as student government speak truth to power.

That is why it is imperative for the Administration of any institution of higher education to be as hands off from the processes of student government as possible. In order for students to trust their elected representatives, the administration cannot and should not be seen as meddling in student government affairs. Otherwise, we look like puppets or mouthpieces of an, at times, competing constituency.

To this end, the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) updated Student Trustee Election Guidelines that put the power of appeals for said elections in the hands of students, not Administrators. When the Undergraduate Student Government leadership and senior officials in the Office of Student Affairs rejected this concept, GPSC agreed to a compromise that would transfer appeal authority to representatives from Faculty Senate and Graduate Council, bodies that would be seen as neutral between the undergraduate and graduate/professional student constituencies.

On Tuesday, the chairs of Graduate Council and Faculty Senate agreed that representatives from their respective bodies would serve in an appeal capacity for Student Trustee Elections and was communicated to all parties earlier today. In spite of this development, the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs chose to unilaterally upend the reasonable compromise between the Administration, GPSC, and USG. In a message sent to the GPSC President, VC Stettler claimed supreme authority to override the workings of student government and decided to approve drafted, not yet agreed to guidelines that would normally need approval from the heads of both student government bodies at SIU Carbondale.

Such a power grab is exactly the behavior we hope students would not model in the real world. This, in light of the fact that GPSC met with VC Stettler prior to Spring Break to get the revised guidelines approved in a timely manner. The Vice Chancellor’s rationale, “Time is of the essence,” falls flat given the effort of GPSC to produce guidelines that represent the best interest of students broadly, regardless of their classification at the beginning of March.

GPSC will not participate in a process that does not represent our constituency and will not recognize a Student Trustee that is selected from the aforementioned process.  We firmly believe these actions violate state law and the Board of Trustees’ Charter requiring the election of a student trustee through a campus-wide, STUDENT-led and driven election. The actions taken by VC Stettler are in contradiction with what the Carbondale campus has long established qualifies as a campus-wide student election. We ask the Administration to stand down, allow student government to do its work, and run a student trustee election that we all can be proud of with procedures made by and for students. The Administration’s unwillingness to do so represents tyranny and such action will not go quietly into the night.

From the Executive Officers of the Graduate and Professional Student Council

2017 GPSC Research Award

As a service to the graduate and professional students we serve, the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) annually gives out research awards to deserving graduate and professional students to aid in their particular field of study. Awards can be used for travel to support research, to purchase equipment and supplies, or any combination thereof. Award applications are initially vetted by an independent panel of graduate and professional students. During the 2016 cycle, awards were given up to $1,000! Will you be a winner this year?

Apply for this year’s research award at the link below.


Applications are due by Monday, April 3. If you have any questions, contact GPSC at gpsc@siu.edu or (618) 536-7721. May the odds ever be in your favor.

Submit Your Abstract for the Graduate and Professional Students Creative Activities Research Forum (GPCARF)

The Graduate and Professional Students Creative Activities Research Forum will be held on April 4, 2017. This event is to acknowledge, enrich, and support the research and creative activities of all graduate and professional students at SIU from all disciplines. Abstract submissions are due on or before February 28, 2017. For more questions, please contact CURCA at Curca@siu.edu or call 453-4433, or stop by at our office in the Student Services Building, Room 126.

SURVEY: Graduate and Professional Students Do Not Attend Student Programming Council Events

Last semester, the Fee Allocation Board (FAB) of the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) conducted a survey to measure graduate and professional student’s participation in campus activities. In addition, the survey asked graduate and professional students whether more resources should be allocated to GPSC to support events and programming targeted to graduate and professional students.

“We want to thank the 294 graduate and professional students who took part in our first survey,” said Willie Lyles, III, Vice President for Administrative Affairs and Chair of the FAB for GPSC. “GPSC made this issue a top priority at the beginning of the year and this survey is proof of progress,” said Brandon Woudenburg, President of GPSC. “This survey informs what we already knew. Graduate and professional students are not participating in activities sponsored by the Student Programming Council (SPC) and don’t feel included in such programming,” said Lyles.

Students were asked, “Would you say non-educational school events are more for undergraduate students?” 82% of respondents answered yes. Only 17.24% answered no. When asked which events student center events and activities do graduate and professional students regularly attend a plurality stated “I do not attend student center events or activities” (43.82%). The “Sunset Concert Series” was the second top vote getter at 33.92%. Movie night came in third, 24.03%.

Graduate and professional students generally attend departmental events or lectures, 42.76% and 18.28% respectively. These students attend aforementioned programming because it helps to advance their academic and/or professional pursuits. (see Question 10)

“A majority of students who took the survey were either somewhat or very dissatisfied with how student activity fees are spent. We found strong support for a greater portion of student activity fees being allocated to GPSC to support conferences, guest lectures, and the like,” said Lyles. Almost 90% of students who took the survey wanted a reallocation of the student activity fee for programming they attend.

“Graduate and professional students are very engaged on campus through their participation in student clubs or organizations. GPSC supports the events of graduate and professional students but our ability to do so has been constrained by the decrease in enrollment. We currently have $1,800 to fund such events for the rest of the year. A reallocation of the student activity fee to GPSC would allow us to do more for our constituency. This is the message we intend to take to Administration,” said Lyles.

Click here to view the entire survey.

By the Numbers

  • The student activity fee is currently $46.48.
  • SPC receives 17.21% of the fee.
  • Campus safety, child care operations, and fine arts receive a combined 42.77% of the fee.
  • $18.60 goes to support GPSC, USG, and support staff. Out of this, GPSC receives 20.5% based on the number of graduate and professional students paying fees.

Participate in the Diversity Survey TODAY!!!

Please take a few minutes to complete the following confidential survey asking about your views and experiences related to diversity on campus.



Your input will help ensure that the plan reflects the needs of every student regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or ability or disability. Again, your responses are completely anonymous. Please complete the survey by FEB. 3 in order to be sure your voice is heard.

If you have questions about the survey or technical issues as you complete it, please contact the Office of Institutional Diversity.

Chancellor Colwell Joins GPSC Tuesday!!

GPSC will be meeting Tuesday, November 1, at 7:00 PM in the Student Center, Third Floor, Activity Room D. Chancellor Colwell will be present for our meeting, taking questions from student government leaders. In addition, GPSC will consider a fee presentation from the Student Legal Assistance Program. Join us for this conversation!