History 2018-04-19T12:17:00+00:00

The Graduate Student Council was founded in 1967 and was renamed the Graduate and Professional Student Council in the fall of 2014. This timeline is a compilation of all recorded information highlighting the important works of our graduate and professional students over the past 50 years.

1967 – 1968

  • Fall 1967
    • The Graduate Students Council (GSC) was organized by Dr. Wayne C. Gall, formed Academic Vice President and Dean of the Graduate College, as an advisory board to the Dean of the Graduate College.  It was housed in the Graduate College under Dean Dr. G.W. Kunze.
  • Spring 1968

1970 – 1971

  • Fall 1970
    • The GSC asked Mickey Land, President of the GSC, to resigned on the grounds that he is a full time staff member. Land was eligible to hold the position as the bylaws require members to be a “bona fide” graduate student: “a resident student admitted to the Graduate College and is registered for at least 8 hours”.  Land was classified as a full time faculty member but was taking 13 hours of graduate work by special permission. Due to this, Land resigned from his position as President.
  • Spring 1971
    • Since the establishment of the GSC, this group has worked to promote both educational and student-life policies designed to further the improvement of graduate education at Texas A&M.
    • The procurement of library carrels for graduate students doing research or studying for preliminary examinations was also a result of the GSC’s efforts.
    • The GSC voted to refuse a seat to a student that was elected to the GSC in the December election. Even though they were eligible to be an officer at the time of election, they have since become ineligible due to grade requirements.

1971 – 1972

  • Fall 1971
    • The GSC has recently investigated the possibility of having graduate student representation on various university committees, administrative advisory committees, and other committees. The GSC worked to evaluate which committees would be important to graduate student concerns.
    • Another initiative the GSC worked on over the year was the parking problems facing campus. A new proposed system would transport a maximum number of students in a minimal amount of time. Additionally, plans were put in place to develop a transit busing system that would transport people from the College Station area to peripheral campus depots.
    • Due to feedback received, the GSC worked with campus administrators to create additional student space for graduate students, and to designate two new spots for the Battallion to be distributed.
    • GSC was instrumental in preparing a short Graduate Student Handbook for incoming Graduate Students. It contained things such as information pertaining to fees, housing, parking regulations, information for working wives, explanation of the Teachers Retirement System and financial aid,  and entertainment and athletics available.
  • Spring 1972
    • The GSC agreed to formally ask the A&M Board of Directors to consider having a student on board as a non-voting member despite advice from campus administrators that this would not be an easy feat. Copies of the proposal were sent to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the Texas State Legislature.
    • A committee was formed to study the possibilies of having language requirements for Ph.D. students optional. The foreign language option was set to be voted upon by the Academic Council over the summer.

1972 – 1973

  • Summer 1972
    • The GSC collected complaints from off-campus students living in non-university housing concerning operations of the various apartment complexes. The intention was to have the GSC act as somewhat of Better Business Bureau to find valid complaints and follow them up with the landlords. The complaints were recorded so that the number and nature of complaints against a specific landlord would be made available for the information  of students moving into apartment complexes.
  • Fall 1972
    • The Graduate Council and Academic Council revised the language requirements for Ph.D. students.
    • Graduate students pressed for more information on the faculty insurance program. However, an insurance officer at A&M indicated to the GSC that the student policy is of good value because it is based on students ability to pay.
    • An amendment to the GSC bylaws that allowed for proxies to replace absent council members was passed unanimously. It was noted that the proxies must come from the original representatives College.
    • Graduate students considered an alternative to wearing caps and gowns at graduation. Students wishing to wear a suit and tie or dress to graduate could do so, with they money being spent on caps and gowns being donated to a common fund. However, graduating students who wished to wear the traditional cap and gown could still do so.
  • Spring 1973
    • The Texas Legislature planned to introduce a bill that would permit graduate students to choose their own retirement plan than having to mandatorily join the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. To support the bill, the GSC is planning to circulate a petition asking for support.

1973 – 1974

  • Fall 1973
    • The GSC considered library expansion and the Texas A&M bookstore material selection policies as issues for revision.
    • A proposal for selections of distinguished graduate assistant teach awards was presented, and 3 awards for $200 each was recommended.
    • A motion for a revision of a fine policy set with the GSC a number of years ago was made. The specific change suggested was in regard to setting an upper limit on the library carrel key fine of one dollar per day for an unreturned key. A committee was appointed to further investigate the fine policy and the recommended fine limit.
  • Spring 1974
    • The GSC warned their fellow graduate students that an old law and new interpretation may force graduate students to pay more for taxes, and that Texas may be held as a test case for the supreme court’s “no strings attached” interpretation of Section 117 of the IRS code.

1974 – 1975

  • Fall 1974
    • A new type of paper will be used for dissertations entailing a 20% increase in price, but the margin changes allowing for a 25% increase in content volume will offset the price rise. Both regulations were unanimously approved by the GSC.
    • GSC also discussed an amendment to its constitution which would limit its size to 21 members. At this time, the GSC accepted 1 rep for every 500 graduate students.
  • Spring 1975

1976 – 1977

  • Fall 1976
  • Spring 1977
    • The GSC submitted a proposal to the Student Government Association for the creation of spouse activity cards. Part of the purpose of the proposal is to provide access to University facilities to spouses of Texas A&M students, alleviating a potential economic hardship to those families on a limited budget. The card would allow spouses to attend MSC activities, check out books from the library, write checks on campus, and attend sporting events when space is available. This is something the GSC has discussed every year since the council was created.

1980 – 1981

  • Fall 1980
    • An initiative over the year was to work to allow graduate students to live on campus.
    • The community education committee of the GSC is organizing a community education program in which people give short classroom talks in their area of expertise.
  • Spring 1981
    • Of the major accomplishments of this year’s council was the creation of a formal graduate student orientation similar to orientation available to undergraduate students.
    • The GSC was also instrumental in getting the Student Senate to consider a bill which created a section in Kyle Field for graduate students, their guests, and whoever wishes to sit during football games.

1981 – 1982

  • Fall 1981
    • GSC auctioned graduate students as tutors to raise money for Student Bonfire.
    • GSC focused their efforts on a variety of initiatives such as trying to get the deadline pushed back for graduate students to QDrop a class.  This came up as most grad students have not had a test before the Q-Drop date, so they do not have a clear picture of how they are doing in their classes
  • Spring 1982

1982 – 1983

  • Fall 1982
  • Spring 1983
    • GSC reorganize to ensure better representation of graduate students. The reorganization involved more members on the council and will give more specific jobs and titles to its members. Part of the reorganization included acquiring new programs for the council.

1983 – 1984

  • Fall 1983
    • The GSC, in collaboration with the Corps of Cadets are sponsoring an ‘adopt a fish’ program where graduate students can ‘adopt’ a freshman in the Corps for a year.
    • The GSC submitted a resolution to the Development Council recommending that the University set up a specific fund for generous alumni who may not know where their gifts are needed. This GSC collected suggestions for gifts and submits this list of needs with their resolution.
  • Spring 1984
    • The GSC amended its constitution to limit the number of members to a smaller group

1984 – 1985

  • Fall 1984
    • GSC participated in the Adopt a Fish program again with the Corps of Cadets.
  • Spring 1985
    • GSC elected members from each college in which there are graduate students to provide adequate representation for this group in the Faculty Senate, the MSC Council, the Student Senate, and the Graduate Council.

1989 – 1990

  • Fall 1989
  • Spring 1990
    • The GSC, in co-sponsorship with the Student Government Association, hosted a forum for a distinguished panel of university officials and representatives to share their views on campus issues.
    • GSC hosted its annual Spring Fling competition for graduate students and their families.
    • The GSC Kunze Award was given to Nan El Sayed, the A&M Thesis Coordinator.

1990 – 1991

  • Fall 1990
    • At this time, the GSC was partly recognized as Student Government and they were trying to change this to make GSC its own student government. The executive branch of the Student Government Association remained as is, but the legislative body consisted of Student Senate and the GSC.
    • GSC received an official seat on the Graduate Operations Committee.
    • The GSC sponsored a Graduate Student Workshop to help graduate students start, maintain, or rejuvenate a departmental graduate student organization.
    • Graduate students received a new voice on campus with the creation of the special assistant for graduate affairs position with the Student Government Association.
  • Spring 1991
    • The GSC, in collaboration with the International Student Services office, held a tax seminar to help students avoid confusion with tax returns.
    • There was a possibility Texas A&M University Board of Regents would approve across the board tuition increases for graduate students, which caused the potentially affected students to request assurance that the extra money will directly benefit them. Administrators conveyed to the GSC that no needy graduate students would be deprived of an education because of the increases, and that all new money would be used to improve graduate programs.

1993 – 1994

  • Summer 1993
    • Per an approval by the Faculty Senate, GSC looked to change its name to the Graduate Student Government. This change would allow GSC to represent all full-time and part-time graduate students, and the Student Government Association would become the undergraduate student government to represent all full-time and part-time undergraduate students. However, TAMU President Dr. William Mobley decided to keep SGA as the only representative body for all full and part-time students admist disagreement from GSC leaders.
  • Fall 1993
    • A Teach-In was held by the GSC in coordination with National Teach In efforts to recognize the contributions of graduate students to the education process at A&M. It was marked by graduate students holding class outside and wearing maroon and white to demonstrate the prominence of TA’s on campus.
  • Spring 1994
    • Tuition increases at the university are likely, while the increase would help better fund graduate education at A&M,  the President of the GSC said they would treat it like a tax hike.

1994 – 1995

  • Fall 1994
    • The GSC voted to called themselves the Graduate Student Government. However, when the new constitution was submitted to Student Activities the change was stalled because A&M already had a Student Government Association. As a result, a task force was formed to deal with the misunderstandings between SGA and the GSC. This allowed the two groups to work out their differences in a way that would maintain each group’s autonomy while still allowing the groups to work together successfully.
    • TAMU President, Ray Bowen, reviewed preliminary proposals for an on campus day care center; something the graduate community is very supportive of.
    • GSC hosted its first ever, university-wide graduate research poster competition in an effort to increase the visibility for Texas A&M graduate and professional student research, demonstrate the vital nature of such research and showcase advanced degree programs to those interested in graduate school.
  • Spring 1995
    • The GSC opposed a proposal to consolidate part of the student services fee with the health center fee. This was due to the fact that members of the GSC said they want graduate students to have an option of receiving and paying for on campus health care.
    • The Texas State Legislature considered eliminating in-state tuition waivers. This would mean approximately 70% of the graduate student population would have their tuition increased by thousands of dollars.

1995 – 1996

  • Summer 1995
    • Representatives of the GSC said they support the proposed increase in the general use fee because graduate students may gain more than they lose from the increase.
  • Fall 1995
    • The GSC introduced a resolution supporting SGA’s efforts to achieve student representation on the Board of Regents. This student would be elected from the Chancellor’s Student Advisory Board (a group of student government representatives from each campus in the Texas A&M System). The resolution indicated that the student would not vote, but would have full speaking privileges at board meetings and membership in board committees.
    • A resolution calling for the immediate halt of the Student Government Student Services Fee Allocation Committee’s activities because of bylaw violations regarding graduate student representation on the committee.
  • Spring 1996
    • Discussions were had surrounding the safety of the Grenade Building, the future site of the on campus child care center. The GSC wanted to support the University sponsored child care, but could not support the location. As the University continued to move forward with the location of the child care center, the GSC passed a resolution calling for A&M to find another location.

1996 – 1997

  • Fall 1996
    • Due to safety concerns, the GSC researched ways to improve pedestrian safety on the stretch of Wellborn Road passing through campus.
  • Spring 1997
    • A presentation titled “Science and the Media: What Graduate Students Should Know” was brought to campus as part of the Science and Technology Journalism Lecture Series and was held in conjunction with the GSC’s 3rd Annual Research Competition.

1997 – 1998

  • Fall 1997
    • The GSC, the Student Senate, and the Student Leader Advisory Board submitted a resolution requesting graduate students be able to receive their Aggie rings upon reaching a Ph.D. candidacy.  This resolution was created after the GSC approached undergraduate students with this issue and received overwhelming support, and was presented to the Association of Former Students.
    • Discussions were taking place with undergraduate students and the administration to deal with the issue of parking on campus.
  • Spring 1998
    • The GSC Research Competition evolved into a campus-wide Student Research Week.

1998 – 1999

  • Fall 1998
  • Spring 1999
    • The GSC gave its support to a Texas House of Representatives Bill designed to give graduate student with assisntantships tuition waivers once they have completed their coursework.
    • The most important accomplishment of the GSC this year was the creation of the position of the Omsbudsperson for Graduate Studies.

1999 – 2000

  • Fall 1999
    • A non ad-hoc Strategic Plan Committee was created to help do long-range planning for the GSC.
    • A resolution was passed to oppose the 5% rent increase at the University Apartments.
  • Spring 2000

2002 – 2003

  • Fall 2002
    • The GSC constitution was changed to allow non-departmental organizations to participate in the GSC.
  • Spring 2003

2003 – 2004

  • Summer 2003
    • After the State Legislature “reduced the amount of money the state will contribute to it’s part-time employees health insurance coverage”, the GSC recommended for the University to either fully cover health insurance premium increases or to give graduate assistants a pay raise to help offset this cost. TAMU President, Robert Gates, responded and announced that graduate students in a health care plan would see increased compensation.
  • Fall 2003
    • The Rainbow Graduate Student Association was admitted to the GSC as a non-departmental student organization, and the first topic they wanted to address was benefits for domestic partners at the university level.
  • Spring 2004
    • The GSC passed a resolution in support of the student services fee increase.
    • The Rally and March for Diversity was held by the Faculty Committed to an Inclusive Campus to promote Diversity on campus. A resolution was passed by the GSC to support this event.

2005 – 2006

  • Fall 2005
    • The GSC proposed a resolution to commend the Leadership of Texas A&M University and extends its gratitude and recognition for the contributions their efforts on the Graduate Tuition Payment Plan have made in enhancing the overall experience of Graduate Students at Texas A&M University.
  • Spring 2006
    • Graduate students did not pay a Writing Center Fee and had limited access to Writing Center resources. Based on feedback received from graduate students, they would like to have more access to the Writing Center resources, and a resolution in support enacting a Writing Center fee was proposed to the General Assembly.

2006 – 2007

  • Fall 2006
  • Spring 2007
    • House Bill 3578 was introduced and stated “that oral and written communications between the Omsbudsperson and faculty, staff, and students are confidential, privileged, and not subject to discovery and may not be used as evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding”. The GSC recognized this will allow the Omsbudsperson to better perform their job. Thus, a resolution was proposed to the General Assembly in support of House Bill 3578 to be entitled an Act.

2008 – 2009

  • Fall 2008
    • The GSC sent a representative to the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students (NAGPS) to discuss issues including discussion and adoption of NAGPS legislative platform and sharing ideas or concerns related to graduate student organizations.
  • Spring 2009
    • A resolution in support of  increasing the fee cap for Student Health Services from $75 for each regular semester and $37.5 for each summer session to $150 for each regular semester and $75 for each summer session was passed.
    • The Graduate Student Mentor Program was re-introduced. This program pairs more experienced graduate students with incoming graduate students to help with adjustment to Aggies. The officers began recruiting mentors for Fall 2009.
    • Grad Camp was introduced to the general assembly with the first session being held in August 2009. Grad Camp was designed to help with the transition to Aggieland as well as provide resources and knowledge on traditions at A&M.
    • The Graduate Student Council hosted the 2009 National Association of Graduate and Professional Students (NAGPS) South Central Regional Confrence.

2009 – 2010

  • Fall 2009
    • The first Grad Camp was held on August 13, 2009 at Messiah’s Ranch in Bryan, Texas.
    • This is the first year that the GSC has been bale to offer Travel Awards to graduate students as a professional development opportunity.
    • The Student Research Week Director position became a paid Graduate Assistantship.
    • The Department of Residence Life neglected to get feedback from the residents from the Proposed Rental Rates for the University Apartments before submitting same to the TAMU President for approval. In addition, the GSC strongly believed that the Proposed Rental Rates for University Apartment hindered TAMU’s pursuit of Vision 2020. Thus, a resolution was passed in opposition to the Proposed Rental Rates for University Apartments for the fiscal years 2010 and 2011.
  • Spring 2010
    • Based on a Fall 2009 childcare survey, the GSC passed a resolution in support of a campus wide movement to increase childcare availability either through expansion of the Becky Gates Children’s Center, building of an additional center, or by working with an outside daycare company.
    • Additionally, based on the same childcare survey, the GSC passed a resolution to the September 1, 2009 change removing children ages 8 weeks to 12 months from the Becky Gates Children’s Center.

2010 – 2011

  • Fall 2010
    • The GSC proposed a resolution that strongly supported the Matthew Gaines Initiative and the establishment of a statue celebrating Gaines and the Texas legislators of African descent, who fought for the creation of what is now Texas A&M University.
  • Spring 2011
    • The GSC proposed a resolution opposing an amendment before the Texas Legislature to require GLBT resource centers to provide matching funds to traditional sexual education, and asking that such funding not be acquired through increased student fees.

2012 – 2013

  • Fall 2012
    • Associate Provost for Graduate Studies, Dr. Karen Butler-Purry sought feedback from the GSC on a proposal to remove the listing of previous degrees from the commencement programs for all doctoral degree candidates. The time required to ensure the proper listing of all previous degrees earned exceed 150 staff hours. After hearing this presentation, the GSC passed a resolution to support the removal of said degrees from commencement programs.
    • GSC had discussions with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies regarding the feasibility and costs of printing at least the academic college name and, if possible, the academic department on doctoral diplomas and adding the college dean’s signature to the signature block.
    • GSC hosted a Food Drive Competition to support the Aggies CAN Competition.
  • Spring 2013
    • Student Senate introduced a bill titled “The GLBT Funding Opt-Out Bill” that proposed “allowing students who object, for religion reasons, to the use of their student fees and tuition to fund this center to opt out of paying an amount equal to their share of the Centers funding from their fee and tuition bills.” In response to this, the GSC passed a resolution opposing the Student Senate Bill.
    • The General Assembly discussed the Kyle Field Renovation Project. A memo was sent to TAMU President Dr. R. Bowen Loftin requesting the Office of the President to formally conduct a campus-wide referendum allowing students to accept or reject a funding proposal put together by student leaders on campus, and for the Office of the President to not support any Kyle Field Parking Garage option that would results in additional cost to the students.

2013 – 2014

  • Fall 2013
    • The Outreach Committee was formed to assist with recruiting graduate students to attend events and to become more involved with the GPSC. This committee would also focus on seeking representation from departments that were not sending delegates to GPSC meetings.
    • A resolution in support for a graduate and professional student “Aggie Wildcat” along with the creating the mechanism to determine and select said wildcat was passed.
    • Based on feedback received, a resolution recommending that the University and its faculty reschedule graduate courses currently starting at 5:00 pm to now start at 5:30 pm to facilitate better transportation options for graduate students was passed.
    • Due to national inflation and no increase in graduate stipends, the GSC passed a resolution voicing support for the recommendation by Dr. Karen Butler-Purry, for Texas A&M Universtiy to pay for graduate student fees in lieu of stipend increases that have no occurred in conjunction with increases in the cost of living.
  • Spring 2014
    • The Executive Committee had conversations with members of the Student Senate to possibly incorporate seats reserved specifically for graduate and professional students within that respective body during a possible reapportionment phase. However, the General Assembly directs the Executive Committee to express disapproval of incorporating specific graduate and professional student Senator positions within the Student Senate.
    • A resolution was passed to voice strong support for Student Body President, Reid Joseph, during his impeachment trial.
    • A resolution was passed to thank Dr. Kevin Heinz for his service as a graduate and professional ombudsperson and his support of the GSC at Texas A&M University.

2014 – 2015

  • Fall 2014
    • After receiving feedback the Graduate and Professional Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities was drafted by the Legislative Affairs Committee. It included a concise statement of the academic and social rights and responsibilities of graduate and professional students while they pursue their advanced degrees and was intended to serve as a long-term policy guidance document for the GSC. Additionally, it was meant to serve as a handbook for graduate and professional students to reference policies in matters of advocacy and is not intended to be used as a mean of support in a conflict.
    • The Graduate Student Council was renamed the Graduate and Professional Student Council to better reflect the students they are representing on campus.
  • Spring 2015

2015 – 2016

  • Fall 2015
    • A research ad-hoc committee was created to launch a human subject research website for researchers to utilize across campus.
    • A resolution was passed to oppose a U.S. House Resolution intended to redesign when University student conduct investigations can occur, sanctions possible, and to override the University.
  • Spring 2016
    • A resolution was passed to support increased funding to Transportation Services from the University Advancement Fee to allow for a more effective budget, paying for student transit bus services, restarting the bus replacement plan, and to increase the bus fleet to provide full service to the Texas A&M student population.

2016 – 2017

  • Fall 2016
    • The Multicultural and Diversity Affairs Committee was renamed the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
    • The Student Veterans Association was approved as a non-departmental voting organization.
    • The General Assembly passed resolutions to support the Student Council Service, Becky Gates Children Center, Veterans Resource Support Center, and the Department of Multicultural Services funding requests presented to the Student Affairs Fee Advisory Board.
    • With the assistance of the GPSC, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department created their own Graduate Student Association.
  • Spring 2017
    • The International Student Affairs Committee was created.
    • The GPSC received over ten separate, personal reports of voter intimidation by members of a Student Body President campaign. A resolution in approval of a letter being sent to and published by The Battalion was approved by the General Assembly.
    • There were some committees restructured: the Outreach Committee was renamed the Recruitment Committee, the Programming Committee and the Selfless Service Committees were consolidated to the Programming and Service Committee, and the Legislative Affairs Committee was split to the Legislative Affairs – Internal and Legislative Affairs – External Committees.
    • Due to a lack of consistency in graduate and professional students offer letters, a resolution to promote the use of comprehensive offer letters including specific information such was passed by the General Assembly.

2017 – 2018

  • Summer 2017
    • The GPSC began its 50th session serving their fellow graduate and professional students.
    • After collaborating with various campus administrators, the 30 minute parking spots in lot 122B were extended to 60 minutes to increase student’s accessibility to the Student Services at White Creek complex.
    • Based on previous feedback and work with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies throughout the 2016-2017 academic year, alternative test scores could exempt students from taking the English Language Proficiency Exam (ELPE). Additionally, four custom bus routes were created and provided on exam dates for those students needing to take the ELPE.
  • Fall 2017
    • In collaboration with Muslims for Life, the GPSC hosted a Blood Drive where 76 donations were collected and 228 lives were saved. Blood collected from this drive were donated to Houston hospitals to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
    • GPSC Delegates are now eligible for the Advanced G.R.A.D. Aggies Certificate facilitated through OGAPS, once they achieve the basic and intermediate certificate individually.
    • Additional funding secured from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies to send 2 students to Washington D.C. to participate in the national SAGE conference and to advocate on behalf of our graduate and professional students.
  • Spring 2018
    • For the first time since transitioning from GSC to GPSC, a new organizational logo was established.
    • A GPSC YouTube Channel was created in order to better serve the graduate and professional students by live streaming and archiving General Assembly meetings.