In order for the Graduate Assembly (GA) to be an effective advocate for graduate and professional student interests, it is crucial to maintain a two-way dialogue between students and their representatives. This is why the GA has launched a new initiative this semester to facilitate direct conversations between graduate students from all disciplines and GA officers and delegates. Through these discussions, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the current work done by the GA on behalf of UC Berkeley graduate students, and let the GA know which issues matter to students in your department.
The goal of “Around the Campus in 80 Days” is to organize such forums in as many departments as possible from now until the end of April 2011. This includes both departments that are currently represented by Graduate Assembly delegates as well as departments that are not currently active within the Assembly.
See the campaign calendar for the list of departmental forums scheduled so far. If your department is not listed and you are interested in having such a forum, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org .
On February 11th, we held the first departmental forum in Earth and Planetary Science (EPS), with 15 students in attendance, along with representatives from both the GA and UAW2865 (the union representing Graduate Student Instructors). Here’s a brief report from this meeting:
- In EPS, students have a formal agreement with the department ensuring that they will be funded for the duration of their degree (through any combination of departmental grants, university grants, external fellowships, and GSI- or GSR-ships).
- Although GSI-ships are not EPS students’ primary source of funding, they still felt the impact of university-wide budget cuts on departmental resources (e.g., cutting office phone lines, relocation of administrative research support from the department to central campus).
- Students present at this meeting seemed favorable to the idea of a UC-wide “Graduate Student Bill of Rights” and suggested including it in information packets sent to incoming graduate students.