The second legislature of the Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA) convened Monday evening to approve a budget for Emory Pipeline, fund an Emory International Coffee Hour and welcome three new legislators.
GSGA voted unanimously to allocate a $1,000 budget to Emory Pipeline, an organization that has been on probation since Spring 2017 for violating the requirements necessary to be considered a Graduate-Wide Organization (GWO).
Emory Pipeline is a “multi-tiered, interdisciplinary mentorship and health science education program connecting South Atlanta School of Health and Medical Science students with Emory University undergraduate, graduate, public health and medical students,” according to its website.
In order to receive GWO status from GSGA, an organization must show a “Graduate-Wide Benefit” through its mission and practices, “include representation from half plus one (five of eight) graduate divisions,” ensure that “members from any one graduate division may not compromise equal to or greater than 50 percent of the membership of the GWO” and agree to undergo an annual charter and monetary review, according to the GSGA chartering bylaws.
Emory Pipeline was previously placed on probation for having more than 50 percent of its graduate membership come from Emory School of Medicine students and for failing to have representation from five of the eight graduate schools. Emory Pipeline currently has members from the Emory School of Medicine, Rollins School of Public Health, Laney Graduate School and the Emory University School of Law.
Emory Pipeline President Aditya Rali (14C, 18M) said that Emory School of Medicine students currently comprise 44 percent of graduate membership within the organization, but that there are still only four graduate divisions represented despite advertising efforts.
“We advertise to everyone … [but] we’re a School of Medicine-based organization,” Rali said. “All the events happen there, so obviously we have a huge presence. We’re there every Wednesday for three hours with these high school kids, so everybody there knows about it. Even though we advertise, people in the [Goizueta] Business School, people in the [Emory University School of Law] don’t know much about it.”
A previous misunderstanding about a federal grant also prevented GSGA from funding the organization.
Emory Pipeline received a three-year grant of $1.8 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2015 to fund the expenses for high school students, according to an October 2015 University-wide press release.
“The perception was that the [$1.8] million funded their organization, so there was less of a reason for us to give an additional $2,000 to fund the organization,” GSGA Chief of Staff Kyle Davis (18B) said.
Rali and GSGA Vice President of Finance Deepa Raju (18B) clarified that the money from the federal grant could only be used for the high school students within the program and not for any of the undergraduate or graduate students.
Rali sought funding from GSGA for the 40 graduate members in the organization, as its undergraduate expenses are covered by College Council (CC).
Raju noted that organizations on probation can receive a budget, but cannot receive funding, which would mean that in order to fund Emory Pipeline, the legislators would need to first lift the sanction.
Legislator Byron Wratee (18T) then moved to currently release $1,000 as a fall budget with a spring budget being released upon future review of the organization.
The motion carried unanimously.
Campus Minister Glenn Goldsmith sought $750 in funding from GSGA for an Emory International Coffee Hour, a hospitality event for international students that averages a weekly attendance of about 100 international students and scholars, according to the funding request.
“It’s basically a free lunch for international students every Friday, kind of the highlight of the week for a lot of students,” Goldsmith said. “It’s a great way for student government or different offices on campus to get some face time in front of that particular community on campus.”
GSGA moved unanimously to fund the $750 and will specify a date for the lunch at a later time.
GSGA also noted the presence of two new legislators, Jessica Anderson (20M) and Mary Coyle (18N, 18PH). New legislator Kaliana Chamberlin (17N, 18N) was welcomed but unable to attend.