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GAPSA Three-year Strategic Plan

At the final 2001-2002 University Council Meeting, outgoing Graduate and Professional Student Assembly ("GAPSA") Chair Christopher Leahy (Law JD 2002) and Vice Chair for Special Projects Mike Stevens (Wharton MBA 2002) presented the recently approved GAPSA three-year Strategic Plan. The plan, with the stated mission of "Growing Twelve Graduate & Professional Schools into One Penn Community," was the process of several months of work by the GAPSA Executive Committee and General Assembly. The following is an executive summary of the plan:

GAPSA, the formally recognized representative of all Penn graduate and professional students, serves to enhance the quality of academic, cultural, and community life of the graduate and professional students at the University of Pennsylvania by:

  • Providing centralized representation and implementation of student needs and interests through active leadership and participation in identified campus committees; direct advocacy to the University administration; policy recommendations by the General Assembly; and support of constituent student groups;
  • Sponsoring and coordinating university-wide academic, social, community service, athletic and arts events in conjunction with the Graduate Student Center and GSAC; and
  • Funding and communicating cross-school, cross-cultural extracurricular activities initiated by recognized organizations to strengthen bonds between schools and students and broaden individual students' academic and personal horizons.

The plan provides an overview of GAPSA's organizational alignment between its Executive Board, internal committees and General Assembly (made up of representative from the 12 schools) and each body's complementary functions.

The Plan identifies eight primary goals and objectives for GAPSA:

  • Student Leadership, Advocacy and Representation;
  • Graduate Student Center partnership;
  • Committee Representation;
  • Policy Management;
  • Student Affairs;
  • Finance and Treasury;
  • Communications and Logistics; and
  • Special Projects (Social, Academic, Cultural, Athletic, etc.)

An appendix to the Plan elaborates on the steps and processes necessary to accomplish these goals.

The Plan also identifies four primary steps to implement the plan:

  • Define Vision & Mission (Completed);
  • Create Awareness & Educate (Initiated);
  • Obtain Feedback; and
  • Implement Objectives

Incoming GAPSA Chair Jeremy Korst (Wharton MBA 2003), closed the presentation by noting that the Plan is a work-in-progress and is meant to be flexible enough to adapt to changing student needs. He noted that the Plan and other information about GAPSA can be found at the organization's website at


  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 6, October 1, 2002