Graduate and Professional Student Assembly set goals to tackle increased tuition rates for graduate students at their first meeting Thursday. The first meeting also included University President Bob Bruininks, who discussed the struggling economy. In BruininksâÄô address, he asked for studentsâÄô help in improving the economy. âÄúWe havenâÄôt been controlling our economy very efficiently,âÄù he said. âÄúI just think weâÄôre headed for a difficult situation.âÄù Bruininks explained the value of the University and why it should be invested in. âÄúThe history of this University is very much the history of this state,âÄù he said. âÄúI donâÄôt think anybody should put a dime into the University of Minnesota unless we use the money well, we invest it well and that weâÄôre efficient in how we use resources.âÄù GAPSA president Kristi Kremers echoed his statements. âÄúWeâÄôre looking at the issues that the U.S. is facing now,âÄù she said. âÄúWho are the people that are going to solve these problems? I think we have to look around the room and you have the answer.âÄù Other items discussed in the meeting were goals for the school year. They include increasing visibility of graduate and professional students and the issues they face, increasing awareness of debt among grad students and sponsoring conferences both in the fall and spring. GAPSA plans to promote events such as the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students conference at the University, beginning Oct. 29. Vice President of Public Affairs Elizabeth Morrissey encouraged grad students to attend and become involved. âÄúWe want to inform all of the other GAPSA organizations out there about our abilities to get our voices heard because a lot of times undergrad students are heard so much louder than graduate students so we really want to change that.âÄù At-large director, Hunzie said there will be several speakers including Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak as well as social activities planned during the conference. GAPSA also appointed the new at-large director Lexie Hunzie and elected a new vice president of finance Xiao Jin.