GSC Finance Chair: Adrienne Perkins
Following the Graduate Student Council (GSC) annual May executive board elections, the Graduate Forum continues to profile the newly-elected board members. Below, Adrienne Perkins, a PhD candidate in biology from Illinois, reflects on her first year as GSC finance chair and looks ahead to her second term.
I seved one year on the general council before running for a position on the executive board. During this year I realized I did not know the source of our money or how it was budgeted. I saw an opportunity to improve the GSC and to learn more about finances and thus ran for the position of finance chair. As the finance chair last year, one of my goals was to make the financial plans of the GSC transparent to its members. This past year, I presented the full budget to the new council in November and explained where our money comes from and how the finance committee and I had allocated those funds. I believe the council members are able to make more informed decisions when they understand the GSC’s finances, and explaining the sources of the budget has helped to streamline the financial process.
The block funding procedure was also reorganized into one that is more flexible for the fluctuating GSC budget. Block funding allows GSC recongized student organizations to request funds which they can spend throughout the year on desired activities and helps limit the number of funding requests the GSC receives. This has helped the GSC plan its budget more effectively and has allowed student organizations to be flexible with their plans. One discovery I was most excited about was uncovering a significant mistransaction of funds. The extra finances that resulted from correcting this transaction are being used to provide more opportunities for student activities, community service, and social gatherings.
This coming year, in addition to my duties as finance chair, I want to continue to improve the process of our student government by further developing the relationships of the GSC with the administration, the other professional schools on campus, and the students it represents. I have enjoyed the camaraderie shared on the executive board and general council and look forward to seeing where we can take the GSC in the future.
by Adrienne Perkins