Minimum GPA requirement for Board members can now be appealed
Though a seemingly small change, the amendment to the Executive Board Bylaws adding an appeal process to the 2.5 GPA minimum for membership of the E-Board emerged from a tense half-hour long discussion.
The amendments to the Bylaws were originally presented to remove the 2.5 GPA minimum altogether, and instead impose only the requirement of “good standing.” This was loosely defined by President of the Union Justin Etzine ’18 G’19—who was presenting along with Policies Committee Chairperson David Raab ’19—as “good enough standing to receive your diploma.” He defended the amendment by adding that GPA is a “terrible indicator” of leadership abilities, and that he turned away 10 Board applicants who were in “good standing”, but did not have a 2.5 GPA. Raab expressed his disagreement, “I’m still not entirely convinced that a 2.5 GPA is too high a bar to reach.”
Later, when discussion on the merits of the bylaw amendments turned to the GPA minimum, Business Operations Committee Chairperson Brian Mansaku ’20 began the conversation by arguing that the GPA requirement is a protection for struggling students, whose main focus should be their academics rather than E-board duties. Board members Ryan Delaney ’21 and Yaseen Mahmoud ’22, along with Grand Marshal Stefanie Warner ‘19 all expressed disagreement. Mahmoud added, “The Board should represent as much of the student body as possible … there are students that have below a 2.5 and they should still have representation.”
The discussion continued, with board members Cody Kazakoff ’21, Raab, and Mansaku supporting the GPA minimum. Raab motioned to amend the original motion to keep the minimum, and during discussion, the Board came to the conclusion to create an appeal process. Rather than amending the current motion, the Board voted on and failed the motion to keep the GPA minimum. They then proposed a new motion to keep the GPA minimum with the ability to appeal to the president of the Union as part of the interview process already in place. This motion passed 9-7-2. The overall amendment to the Bylaws passed 14-2-0.