The second legislature of the Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA) convened Monday evening to discuss transition plans for future legislatures and the timeline for the spring elections.

GSGA Vice President of Finance Deepa Raju (18B) requested that the divisional representatives to GSGA implement mandatory transition plans for their successors to avoid future complications and confusion when handling GSGA finances.

“This year … has been a nightmare,” Raju said. “We [Raju and Associate Director of Student Government Services (SGS) VonYetta Hunter] have had to learn from scratch, just hours and hours of us trying to figure out processes. … It was just an uphill battle.”

Raju informally proposed that all divisional councils earmark $5,000 in their anticipated budgets as “pending” in order to prevent over-budgeting. The divisions set and approve budgets in the spring, but their allocated amount is typically received in the fall semester. As such, divisional councils can approve student organizations’ request for funding, but they can’t disperse the funding until the divisional councils actually receive the money — after Add/Drop/Swap ends. Budgets for the next semester are typically based on the previous semester’s budget, but GSGA cannot guarantee exactly how much each organization will receive.

Raju said that setting $5,000 aside could protect the divisions from any unanticipated funding needs or fluctuations.

“[For] 90 percent of the divisions, everything is fine, but you have the one or two divisions that unfortunately get screwed,” Raju said. “[Sometimes] the [enrollment] numbers change drastically and now [the divisional councils] don’t have enough money to fund all the approved budgets.”

Legislators asked Raju to develop a written proposal regarding the transition plans, which Raju agreed to do.

Elections for the GSGA president and executive vice president will most likely take place March 27 to 30, according to GSGA Chief of Staff Kyle Davis (18B). The campaigning period likely will begin March 18 at 12:01 a.m., Davis said.

“Basically we get back from spring break, there will be two weeks of campaigning and then … Emory votes,” Davis said.

GSGA plans to hold candidacy information sessions throughout February, and students are advised to declare their candidacy by March 1, Davis said.

Davis also announced that the two joint legislative sessions of the spring semester between GSGA and Student Government Association (SGA) will take place Feb. 19 and April 16.

The April 16 joint legislative session will occur at the Miller-Ward Alumni House and serves as “an opportunity for the new presidents of the grad students and the undergraduates to address the joint session, the administrators there, the faculty, potentially, the divisional representative,” Davis said. He added that the session will include discussion “about the upcoming year, celebrate the year that we’ve had together.”  

The student governments hope the event at Miller-Ward Alumni House will become a tradition, Davis added.