As another academic year draws to a close, members of the GSA continue to work on new and existing initiatives to improve graduate students’ experiences at Yale. We would would like to share some of our recent accomplishments and plans for the future. In an effort to encourage and support graduate student mentoring, the Academic and Professional Development Committee has launched the “Common Grounds” program. We provide GSAS students with vouchers to take a Yale faculty member out for a free coffee or tea at the Blue Dog Café, Bass Library Café, KBT Café or Marigolds, to share any ideas or concerns pertaining to academic and professional matters. The program will run until June 30, 2012, and, if it proves popular among graduate students, will be continued in the Fall semester.
In addition, committee members have compiled a document summarizing the responses to Dean Pollard’s reports on graduate education that were collected by GSA representatives at GSA-sponsored departmental meetings. This document was presented to Provost Salovey, Deputy Provost Suttle, Dean Pollard and Dean Harper-Mangels by members of the GSA Steering Committee on April 16, and a copy will soon be available on the GSA’s website. We hope to carry on the conversation about the reports and the future of graduate education at Yale in the next academic year, and to continue representing graduate student opinions to the administration.
The Transit and Security Committee has been advocating for safer and more bike-friendly routes in New Haven. On April 4, it organized and sponsored a bike plan workshop to collect feedback from fellow graduate students and identify areas of the Yale-New Haven Hospital area most frequently used by graduate student bikers. The information gathered at this event will be summarized in a report and provided to the New Haven Department of Transportation, Traffic, and Parking to inform their infrastructure plans.
Finally, the Facilities and Healthcare Committee has been working with the Office of the General Counsel and the New Haven County Bar Association to get access to affordable legal services for graduate students.
A big thank you to the outgoing Assembly members and to everyone who has contributed the the GSA’s projects over the past academic year. We wish you all a wonderful summer!
— Ksenia Sidorenko (Comparative Literature)