The second legislature of the Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA) convened on Monday to permit an exemption for Emory Club Sports to remain a University-wide Organization (UWO) through Fall 2018 and to discuss meeting with Interim Vice President of Campus Life Paul Marthers.
Club Sports President Jared Linsky (18B) and Vice President and President-elect Samuel Stein (19B), both undergraduate students, presented information on the club’s initiatives to increase graduate student participation and requested that the legislature grant the exemption because Club Sports would face funding issues if it lost its UWO status.
UWOs receive funding from both the Student Government Association (SGA) and GSGA. For an organization to be eligible for UWO status, 15 percent of members must be graduate students, there must be participation from at least five of eight graduate schools and at least one graduate student must serve on the executive board. Additionally, members from one graduate division may not comprise more than 50 percent of the total graduate membership.
Club Sports meets all of the UWO eligibility requirements except the 15 percent graduate student membership. Stein said that graduate student participation is currently at 8 percent. The Wheel reported in November 2017 that graduate student participation was at 7 percent, but Stein said that a recent increase in graduate student participation is not reflected in the percentage because there was also an increase in undergraduate student participation.
GSGA Vice President of Finance Deepa Raju (18B) said that temporarily granting the exemption is not the same as providing funding for the group, noting that there is a separate funding process for UWOs handled by the Joint Executive Council.
GSGA President Mark Neufeld (18B) said that currently, SGA provides Club Sports with about $50,000 in funding and GSGA funds about $5,000. The Woodruff Physical Education Center (WoodPEC) matches funding by the student governments and not granting the exemption could have significant implications on Club Sports’ finances, Neufeld said.
Stein said Club Sports is launching a task force to increase graduate student participation. He said he believes the issue can be resolved through increased marketing.
The legislature unanimously granted an exemption for Club Sports to remain an UWO by a vote of 10-0.
Neufeld also discussed the possibility of a GSGA meeting with Marthers. At last week’s meeting, Neufeld said that he was trying to schedule a time with Marthers to meet with the GSGA legislature to discuss GSGA’s priorities and how he can help the graduate student community.
On Monday, Neufeld said that Marther’s communications liaison told him that Marthers is not available at GSGA’s meeting time of 8:15 p.m. during any week.
Neufeld said he would try to set up a private meeting with himself, Marthers, GSGA Vice President-elect Elyse Cooke (20T) and the winner of the GSGA presidential run-off election.
Neufeld expressed disappointment that Marthers declined to meet with the entire GSGA.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” Neufeld said. “I think he can be flexible for half the student population representation.”