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Friday, October 24, 2014

Editorial: MSA, GPC must improve communications

If communication does not improve between MSA and GPC, neither organization will be able to successfully support the MU student body.

June 3, 2014

Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Maneater editorial board.

Just because the Missouri Students Association and Graduate Professional Council are two separate organizations doesn’t mean they shouldn’t cooperate with one another.

This past year, MSA and GPC showed a serious lack of communication between themselves. Although both organizations’ offices are located in the Center for Student Involvement, they still deemed it necessary to set up official meetings in order to talk with one another. The Articles of Cooperation between the two student governments state that the MSA president is an ex officio of GPC, and vice versa. Why haven’t we seen this rule used more this year?

While we understand these organizations are two separate entities for a reason, we know that nothing will get done unless there is communication between MSA and GPC.

After the collapse of the University Village Apartments in February, MSA wrote and released a resolution about what they thought was necessary. GPC, however, took until March to release their two resolutions regarding what happened at University Village. The collapse of the apartments directly affected graduate and professional students, and yet the resolutions from GPC came later than from MSA.

We feel if GPC and MSA had been cooperating and communicating properly, their resolutions would have come out around the same time. This is one of many issues from this past year that would have been resolved better had there been more communication between the two organizations.

GPC is constantly used as a model for other graduate and professional councils within the SEC and on a national level. MU is hosting the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students’ annual conference in November, when councils from around the country will be coming to our campus to participate. GPC is a nationally recognized and respected university organization, and yet, this year it lacked serious communication with other organizations on its own campus.

In 1982, the decision was made to separate GPC from MSA in order better support the non-undergraduate students that make up MU’s campus. MU has shown over the years that having two separate student governments works, or else GPC would not be as nationally recognized as it is. But this system of dual governing cannot function if there is no communication between the branches. The organizations, students and officials will all suffer if this happens.

So, to the new GPC President Hallie Thompson, we say this: please make an effort to improve relations between MSA and GPC. We know that you want what is best for the graduate and professional students on campus, but unless there is significant and productive communication between the two organizations, no one will be better off. We need to see a significant improvement in communication between our two student government organizations.

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