University of California, San Diego
Graduate Student Association
Council Meeting #11
Monday, April 08, 2013
6:00pm The Governance Chambers
I. Call to Order [6:08pm]
II. Approval of Agenda [6:08pm]
-Objection. Voted 19-26, so that the motion to approve the agenda as it was originally sent
out did not pass.
-Motion to have Item VII “Elections” moved to be immediately after public comment to read as
-Voted 25-21, passed.
-Motion to approve the amended agenda. Passed.
III. Public Comment and Announcement [6:16pm]
-Visitors from the strategic planning committee will be at the next council meeting in a
town hall style form.
-Graduate students at the past UCSA meeting proposed and agreed to gain more autonomy
and a full time UCSA staff employee to work on statewide and national issues that affect graduate students.
-Cafe Vita Lottery winners have been chosen. Pick up the items over the next two
weekends at Cafe Vita.
-Graduate Student Appreciation Week was last week.
-Ted Stinson announced his candidacy for Vice President Internal Affairs.
-Interdisciplinary Research wellness workshop at the Zone, a collaboration between VP
Internal and OGS.
IV. Elections [6:20pm]
-Emily Elizabeth Goodman
-Motion to limit discussion to 5 minutes. Seconded.
-After both candidates presented their platforms and responded to questions, Rahul
Kapadia was elected.
-Vice President of Internal Affairs
-H. Ted Stinson
-Motion to limit discussion to 5 minutes. Seconded.
-After both candidates presented their platforms and responded to questions, Ted
Stinson was elected.
-Vice President of Academic Affairs
-Motion to limit discussion to 1 minute. Seconded.
-After the candidate presented his platform and responded to questions, Jordan
Gosselin was elected.
-Vice President of Finance
-Motion to call the question. Seconded.
-After the candidate presented her platform and responded to questions, Negin
Nazarian was elected.
-Vice President of External Affairs
-Motion to call the question. Seconded.
-After the candidate presented his platform and responded to questions, Ash
Arianpour was elected.
-Vice President of Campus
-Motion to call the question. Seconded.
-After the candidate presented his platform and responded to questions, Jonathan
Monk was elected.
-Vice President of Diversity
-After the candidate presented their platforms and responded to questions, Don
Johnson was elected.
V. Finance Bills
-APRF 14: Motion to pass. Seconded.
Motion to adjourn at 8:51pm. Seconded. The remaining items on the agenda will be tabled until the next council meeting.
Members in attendance: Chris Ahn, Dan Jacobsen, Cory Stevenson, Jeremy Davis-Turak, Michael Yu, Marty Flores, Shigeki Miyake-Stoner, Fiona Nohilly, Chris Abdullah, Anna Wakeland, Timia Crisp, Holly Dembinski, Nathanial Wood-Cohan, Carson Dance, Dan Frost, Joaquin Contreras, Brie Iatarola, Roshni Chandrashekhar, Nima Nikzad, Russell Reas, Rakesh Varna, Garo Bournoutian, Travis Brayak, Shayla Melo, Sayanan Sivaraman, Joe Smalley, Martin Boston, Jennifer Mogannam, David Idol, Jorge Leal, Patrick Hennigan, Yutaka Ishida, Cynthia Vazquez, Haydee Smith, Wangzhong Sheng, Rahul Kapadia, Gregory Wagner, Brian Griffeath-Loeb, Jonathan Monk, Darcy Barron, Moses Marsh, Liam Kavanagh, Nicole Henniger, Steve Niemiec, Monika Sengul-Jones, Brandon Stephens, Lynn Waterhouse, Danielle Ishihara, Katherine Le, Jennifer Tseng, Lara Bullock, Emily Elizabeth Goodman, Mat Jarvis, Jordan Gosselin, Ash Arianpour, Don Johnson, Shannon Muir, Scott Guenther
Proxy forms: Ryan Aguinaldo, Bernadine Hernandez, Tram Dang, Hossein Sadeghi, Shuxia Tang, Lindsay Freeman, Jacob Stanley, Alex Mendez
VI. Move Into Closed Session (Roll Call)
VII. Move Out of Closed Session
VIII. Diversity Bylaws Presentation
IX. Additional Bylaws Presentation from Bylaw Committee
X. Constitutional Amendment Presentation
XI. Additional Bylaw Presentation
XIII. Call for Agenda Items
Appropriate $700 from Academic and Professional Request Fund to Monika Sengul-Jones and Chad Valasek for Feminist Infrastructure and Technocultures event. The event spans over two and half days, and involves performances, panels, presentations and lecture. Organizers expect at least 100 Graduate / Professional students to attend the event.
Dear Members of the Graduate and Professional Student Community,
My name is Emily Elizabeth Goodman. I am a PhD candidate in Art History, Theory, and
Criticism in the Visual Arts Department. Over the past year, it has been my privilege to serve as
the Executive Vice President of Internal Affairs for the GSAUCSD. During this time, I have
come to understand the ways in which the GSA can, and does, impact change regarding major
issues that are pertinent to graduate and professional students and our larger university
community. In particular, I have observed the unique ways that students on this campus can
speak up and make a difference, improving the overall campus environment for present students
and for future generations. It is with this in mind, that I am running for GSA President for the
2013-2014 academic year.
As GSA President, I would like to focus our efforts on three main things: advocacy,
accountability, and activity. I believe very firmly that these are the fundamental tenets upon
which this organization was founded and it is my goal to help expand these efforts in the future.
At present, the GSA does a great deal to advocate on behalf of students at all levels of the
university and beyond. We bring graduate student voices to the table on university committees,
system wide issues, and even to the state, local, and federal governments. We are an organization
that has the power to speak up for all graduate students, past, present, and future, and I want to
increase our ability to do so. I would like to expand our presence on this campus in terms of
advocacy by increasing communications with the graduate and professional student population to
help better inform graduate and professional students on issues within our community and to
better represent the concerns of students to all levels of administration and government.
Moreover, I believe that it is our responsibility to hold the powers that be accountable. As GSA
President, I will advocate on behalf of graduate and professional students for the university to be
more transparent in their practices and to disseminate important and impactful information to the
student population, so that we are better able to help facilitate meaningful change in the
university itself and to help address ongoing student concerns. I will also advocate for greater
accountability between the executives and council, as well as between reps and departments,
seeking to enhance communication across our community so that we can champion the issues
that are important to us and hold the university accountable to the student population.
Furthermore, I will seek to enhance the feeling of community on this campus through increasing
graduate and professional student activity. I maintain that one of the best things that the GSA
does is to sponsor programming and put on events for the graduate and professional student
population. As President I will work with various executives to increase this activity. By
focusing specifically on how we can develop and implement more diverse, high-quality
programming on this campus, I believe that we as an organization can do a great deal to increase
the sense of community on this campus and to make the graduate and professional student
experience better overall.
Thank you for your consideration.
Emily Elizabeth Goodman
Rahul S. Kapadia for GSA President
I am a 5th year PhD student, working on Heat Flux manipulation and control in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, a department I have represented on the GSAUCSD Council since 2008. To gain significant experience in student government, I have been extensively involved in the Grad Life Steering Committee, Budget Review Workgroup, Academic Integrity Review Board and Fair Trade Advisory committee. I’ve attended two University of California Student Association (UCSA) – Student of Color Conferences (2009,11), a UCSA Congress (2012) and two Student Lobby Conferences (2008,10) at Sacramento where I helped lobby with legislators over concerns about graduate student issues.
I was admitted into the PhD program after completing my Masters in 2010 from UCSD. Having been self-funded for a few years, a TA for 14 quarters and a GSR for 3 has given me a better understanding of the struggles non-funded students face and the differences in funding and other problems for TA’s and GSRs. In 2009-10, I helped revitalize the GPSES survey to include questions that were relevant to both Masters and PhD students versus the old structure, which was just for PhD students. With this opportunity to experience the myriad aspects of being a graduate student, my vision as GSA President is “GSA for All”. Having represented MAE for three years before taking over as VP Finance for the last 1.5 years, I bring a dual perspective to the working of GSA from the viewpoint of both a representative and an elected officer.
In my two terms as VP Finance of GSA, I have made the process of funding requests and approval more accountable and transparent, by working with Student Business Life Operations to make sure all the reimbursements are thoroughly scrutinized and applicants adhere to the GSA Financial By-laws and also University policies. I have established a workflow that ensures all approved Finance bills are posted regularly on the GSA Website. I strongly believe that we should be fair and transparent in our expenditure of student money, and have worked quite hard to enhance the general sense of fiscal responsibility in GSA. The working of our executive committee and council needs to be more transparent and accountable to the complete Graduate and Professional student population at UCSD. As President, I plan to establish regular Office hours for all GSA Execs, to provide opportunities for students to interact with the Execs and understand their roles, ensuring a strong widespread student input in all our actions. I also believe we should work to maintain stronger ties with AS to resolve problems concerning the entire UCSD student body like Health Insurance and Transportation.
I was an active member of the Jacobs Graduate Student Council (JGSC), serving as the Vice President of Finance in 2010-11. As an MAE representative I have been actively involved in intra and inter departmental graduate student activities, and recently set up the MAE Graduate Student Council in 2012. To improve and foster diversity on campus, I helped revive the Association of Indian Graduate Students in 2010 as it’s President by streamlining the events conducted and encouraging the incoming students from India get a good sense of community and inclusion being in a foreign country. Being an International student, I can empathize with minority student groups over problems they may face in their student experiences at UCSD. I feel we need to strengthen our office of Diversity and ensure adequate support is given to all underrepresented students and ensure their voice is adequately heard by the Administration.
Another issue I feel strongly about is the general awareness of GSA in the minds of graduate and professional students. Instead of popular knowledge about GSA as providers of free food and beer, we need to work more proactively to be known as the collective graduate student voice. With increased awareness, we can truly represent the graduate student population, and be open to hearing and resolving any issues they may face while dealing with administrative entities at UCSD.
Finally I feel the role of GSA President is to act as a facilitator of needs and desires of all students along with being a good leader. Thus I have met with leaders of various graduate student organizations over campus and many of my fellow GSA Reps to hear about their views on GSA and how we can improve our organization over last two weeks. I plan to continue doing this if elected GSA President and make sure we do not have any unheard voices on this campus.
If elected, I promise to act responsibly in my position and fulfill my duties in an efficient, helpful, and considerate manner.
I, Jordan Gosselin, have the distinct pleasure of being nominated for a second term as the GSA Vice President of Academic Affairs. As Vice President of Academic Affairs this year I have filled all my committees, successfully coordinated the GSA presence at orientation, planned and organized the 3rd Annual Interdisciplinary Research Awards (a great event, thanks to all of you that came), and am in the process of organizing the 5th annual PhD Career Conference.
By working closely with Graduate Council and the Academic Senate, the GSA President and I have passed the Graduate Student Bill of Responsibilities and Rights through the Graduate Council. The Graduate Student Bill of Responsibilities and Rights has been through a great number of reviews over the past few years, and hitting this mile-stone is a great victory.
Over the summer I worked with the library to adjust the circulation privileges for graduate and professional student. Operating under the principle that graduate students are junior colleagues at this University I successfully argued that our library access should be the same as faculty. As a result, the graduate and professional student body now has extended borrowing times and an extended number of renewals for library materials.
I also worked this year to develop a new award for graduated students, the Chancellor’s Dissertation Medal. This will be a distinguished honor available only to one graduating student per division. Developing momentum for this project required coordinating with the Chancellor’s office, the Office of Graduate Studies, the Office of Research Affairs, and the Deans of the Divisions.
The three projects listed above, while not delineated in the bylaws for the position, have given me the opportunity to develop strong working relationships with the administration of the University. This puts me in a good to position to advocate for the graduate and professional student body with the University administration over the next year.
The Interdisciplinary Research Awards was a great success this year. By aggressively marketing the award to the Chairs and Grad Coordinators of the departments and the leaders of the Organized Research Units, the number of nominations more than doubled compared to last year. I changed the format of the event to be less formal and the attendance increased by over 20%.
Each one of the successes I have enjoyed this year has come as a result of me working with my fellow executives, members of council, my colleagues across campus, and the University administration. The experience I have operating as the VP Academic and the relationships I have developed over this year will facilitate my work next year.
Moving forward I would like to continue to fine tune the research awards. With some minor adjustments to event format and a major bump in marketing, I think we could make it a very successful event.
I would like to design an outreach lecture series, which would develop leadership and service opportunities for graduate and professional students across the campus. Ideally I envision this as a project that will develop momentum of its own continuing to provide the graduate and professional student body an opportunity to advertise its work to the surrounding community.
I have also begun to meet with the Office for Students with Disabilities to work out a plan to better prepare TAs for working with students who need accommodation. From speaking with my colleagues I have discovered that teaching assistants are often poorly informed of the best way to deal with accommodations, and I believe I am in a good position to facilitate communication between these groups.
Increasing representation from the humanities and social sciences at the Career Conference was a goal of mine this year that I plan to continue in the next year.
I hope to have the pleasure of serving you again next year.
Negin Nazarian – nominee for GSA VP Finance
I am a 2nd year PhD student in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department and my current research focuses on a numerical simulation of a street-scale urban environment. I am currently working as Vice President of finance in “Graduate Women in Science and Engineering” which is a student organization focused on issues important to graduate-level women in STEM fields. I have also been extensively involved in the formation and activities in “MAE women group”. By organizing various events in these groups I was able to practice leadership, team work and interpersonal and professional communication beside the engineering context. Most importantly, I was introduced and exposed to UCSD regulations and policies and got an opportunity to attend several GSA finance and council meetings which kindled my interest in taking more advanced actions and be a part of diverse family of GSA.
I have chosen VP of finance due to my previous experience in GradWISE and since I believe there are rooms for advancement in this specific committee. I believe that GSA finance committee can benefit greatly from being in closer relationship with student organizations and inform them about funding opportunities that is provided by GSA. By electing me as the VP of finance, I will insure that the executive committee of each student organization will receive updates from GSA finance committee as well as guidelines and details on how to benefit from GSA opportunities. This goal can also be achieved by making one-page brochures with the summary of the essential information or frequently asked questions about funding requests, that can be sent to graduate student organizations quarterly. Although this information are provided in various resources, the experience in finance meetings shows that considerable percentage of requests received by GSA are filled without that knowledge.
Finance committee can also encourage student organizations to allow more time for funding requests since it would increase their chance to get funded by GSA and also put less pressure on the members. I also believe that by applying few changes in the website, we can be more transparent about regulations and norms in funding processes. Providing samples for the funding request accompanied by comments and recommendations would be of many changes that can help both finance committee and student organizations to work more efficiently.
I also believe that previous enhancements in policies of finance committee have caused a great advancement and if elected for this position, I will continue them.
My name is Ash Arianpour and I am running as the VP External for the UCSD GSA. Over the past year I have served as the current VP External to the GSA, and I was the U.S. Legislative Liaison in the previous year. As the next Vice President of External Affairs I plan to do the following:
1. External Committee
I will establish a committee that would meet periodically to discuss and review issues that relate to external affiars. Over the past year I have spoken with students that have suggested taking part in external affairs. With a committee that can review and examine policies, we can increase our advocacy while making our practices efficient and increase the number of students advocating on behalf of graduate students. These same students will also have an opportunity to attend lobby events and learn to advocate on behalf of students to lawmakers.
2. Advocating UCSD Administration
Since the beginning of the year I have been speaking with OGS and the Vice-Chancellors office with regards to the work of the External Team. I have worked to build relations with the administration, were very impressed with the efforts from the Sacramento trip. They have suggested that there may be events in the future that would like to contribute to. I found that during our discussions, the administration also make efforts to lobby the state and federal government. This provides an opportunity for us to lobby our own administration so that they their stances on issues would be the same as ours, and thus increasing graduate student advocacy.
3. Continuing and Increasing Advocacy With Other Organizations
Currently UCSA, SAGE, and NAGPS are organization that we have worked with in advocating on behalf of students. Within those organizations, we have worked with other universities and collaborated on issues related to graduate students. This Fall the External Team and I worked with other universities to ensure that certain tax credits offered to graduate students would not expire during the fiscal cliff crisis. I have also worked with UCSA and our own GSA to write resolutions in response to the UCSHIP debt in order to prevent drastic fee increases to our insurance plan. These efforts will continue in the next year, and our work with our own organization and others will increase.
These are specific examples that I have come up with. However, as the next Vice President of External Affairs, I am completely open to listening to others and using feedback from students and from council to better my job, and to more precisely execute the will of graduate students. This past year was successful in our efforts, and I plan to continue them in the following year.
Platform for GSA Vice President of Campus Affairs
As Vice President of Campus Affairs I will continue to pursue an agenda to enrich the social and cultural opportunities for graduate students at UCSD by focusing on three main areas:
1. Social Events: roaming socials, happy hours and quarterly parties
As the current VP Campus, I have organized and promoted several successful social events. These events have proved to be both fun and very successful at introducing graduate students to new people from different departments. I will continue to expand our collaboration with campus establishments such as The Loft and Porter's Pub to promote more happy hours with specific themes like Nerd Nites, poker nights, concerts and more. Our quarterly parties offer social interaction on a larger scale than Roaming Social hours, and as such are more difficult to plan and manage. As current VP Campus, I have experience planning and running the quarterly parties. I will continue to ensure these parties run smoothly.
2. Cultural events: tours, concerts and plays
I will continue to support and encourage cultural events both on and off campus. This includes discounted tickets to plays and concerts as well as field trips and tours to local areas of interest such as wine tasting in Temecula. Additionally, we have made progress towards opening Cafe Vita as a programming space for cultural and social events. I will continue to lead this push.
3. Marketing and Outreach
Great social and cultural events are worthless if grad student's don't know about them. I have worked hard to reach out to the graduate student community regarding GSA social events. I will continue to improve GSA's presence in social media websites such as facebook and twitter. This will continue to improve attendance at GSA events. Furthermore, I plan to work more closely with my counterparts on the executive council as well as department representatives to expand this marketing to other GSA activities.
The three areas above contain some specific examples that I personally believe will make a difference to graduate student campus affairs. However, as VP Campus I will be continue to be dedicated to listening to the ideas of my fellow graduate students. In this spirit, I hope that we can work together to keep improving the social and cultural opportunities for graduate students at UCSD.
“Each person has their own curiosity, their own questions; it is a matter of understanding that curiosity and crafting it. A gardener will be a great gardener if they are always improving their technique and questioning their work in a productive manner.” – Chester M. Thomas (Grandfather)
Dear GSA Representatives and Graduate Community,
My grandfather taught me this important point while pulling weeds in the front lawn of his house in the hot Houston, Texas sun. For a 5 year old, it meant to pull the weeds from the roots. For me today, it means to constantly do the best job. When I first stepped into this office, my daughter had not been born, and my goals were inspired by my own personal experiences as a graduate student. Now, as an incumbent candidate, I am inspired by my daughter to serve and enhance our lives as graduate students. She reminds me that we leave something behind. Some people call it a legacy whereas I call it a foundation. Since taking this office, I looked to my grandfather’s lesson in working to be a great officer for the GSA and the graduate community. I am not finished with my work, and I hope that this GSA council will consider me for a second term as the Vice President of Diversity Affairs.
For me, diversity relates to the variation of thought and identity on this campus, however, diversity does not explicitly answer the question of enhancing our community, building a more inclusive and less apathetic graduate community. Based on my identity, this is my definition of diversity. As a result, it has been difficult to not go beyond the definition of this office. For the past two quarters, I have spent much time developing this office into an effective voice for all graduate students. The Vice President of Diversity should not only seek to promote a diverse community but an inclusive community. The VP Diversity must seek to attain equity for all groups on campus. Most importantly, the VP Diversity must push for and seek to promote the importance of service to the UCSD and San Diego community at-large. Diversity, Service, Equity and Inclusion are all cornerstones of this office. As a result, I have sought to rename the position, the Vice President of Diversity, Service, Equity and Inclusion Affairs.
There have been some significant accomplishments and efforts by this office since I was elected. For one, we have the VP Diversity position for next year. The position was in trouble of being taken away for several reasons, but the main reason was that no previous GSA VP Diversity actually defined the role and focus of this office. We can also site the poorest turnover rate amongst all the other Vice Presidents, ineffective by-laws and poor organization of resources such as the Diversity Discretionary Fund. Since taking office, I worked to define this role for future VPs by having a focus (“clean house”), draft effective by-laws, and make resources accessible and plentiful to cultural organizations. In actively pursuing those three avenues, I have been able to make some stride in improving the campus climate.
This office has also expanded to include the very active Diversity Committee and potentially very fruitful Cultural Student Organization Council. Drawing together members of council and cultural student organizations, I aim to efficiently and effectively build a more active, networked and inclusive community of graduates. These two groups will become beneficial advisors to GSA council and my office. Without serving a drop of beer, I aim to quench the apathy in the graduate community through well-planned and effective programming efforts.
Since taking office, I have made it important to seek and represent all graduate students. In particular, I have called for “common sense and ethical” legislation. For example, I worked on, sponsored and pushed for the reimbursement and elimination of the failed Residential Wireless Internet through GSA Resolution 03. It was not right to be charged for a service we never received. As a result, HDH heard council’s suggestion through GSA Resolution 03 and reimbursed the residents with a credit. Working with Garo, I am sponsoring three constitutional amendments that serve to give more collective power back to the GSA council, and promote council activity rather than apathy.
It is one measure to have diversity in numbers, but an important measure to have diversity and inclusion act dependent of one another. I have spearheaded an effort by the GSA VP Diversity Committee, with Alexandra, to request and study the real time statistics that are being generated for graduate student retention. In particular, I have been interested in comparisons between departments for 1st, 3rd and completed PhDs. Chris Murphy has been a great resource for this information, and Michael Weinfeld, our institutional research officer, has been very instrumental in providing the data.
My first concern as a parent was not about diapers or clothes it was about childcare. The average daycare cost can be as high as 900 dollars in our area, and this number is on the rise. The child development center currently cost roughly 1400 dollars for infants. A subsidy by the UCSD child development center may get you lower (some slots at around 900-1000 for an infant), however, this is for limited spaces. As a result, I work with Brie and Brandon to find ways to lower childcare rates amongst grad families. I am happy to hear that GSRs will now receive up to 600 dollars in childcare reimbursement per quarter, however, this reimbursement currently only amounts to 1/8 of the average cost per month of childcare. If there is a way to lower rates for grad families while keeping the current measures in place, we may be able to meet a reasonable gap.
As I have said in the past, I will be a Vice President that serves the graduate community and the GSA general council, not the administration. Since taking this office, I have had to internally “clean house.” Committee appointees have been appointed, however, this office constantly finds campus-wide committees fail to contact our appointees for meetings. Since my efforts have been focused on improving graduate student representation on these committees, I have also found the current graduate student representation to not be adequately heard by administration. These problems all come from having a poor turnover of this office. If we do not take this office seriously, the administration will do the same. As your current VP Diversity, I have made it a point to visit most of the campus-wide committees under my office. I work with Jorge, Mychal, Lesile, and Alina to develop ways in improving graduate student representation on the current campus-wide administrative committees. For example, the climate council only has one representative from the graduate student body; however, the undergrads carry 4 seats in the room. This sways the dialogue to undergrad issues. My initial work to approach this inequitable representation is through the formation of the GSA cultural student organization council. This council will be able to deliver a single voice to committees like the climate council, which is chaired by the VC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. In the mean time, I aim to address this inequity in representation through the general council and seek a solution for placing more representatives on these very important campus-wide committees. I have also been caught being tough to administration for not recognizing the graduate student community. I find myself in some cases being too tough on administration, and for this, I aim to dial back my aggressiveness and passion to serve. It is important that the VP Diversity seeks to grow on a personal level while in this position to the ever-changing dynamics of the position and the campus climate.
My work and goals are still in progress. I still see places to improve and grow. I found myself this year being a grass roots VP, leading from behind. For the cynics, it has galvanized them to challenge this work and goals through dirty, back door politics. For the GSA, we are less apathetic than before. We have grown into a consistent working body this year. Now, my efforts lie in improving the ties between my office the various VCs, including the chancellor. From the moment I took this office, I promised to ensure the prosperity and equitable representation of the graduate community. I believe council and this office carry the unique responsibility to directly and comprehensively address campus climate issues for the graduate community.
In voting, I hope you take these comments into consideration. I also hope to have generated important dialogue as I hope to hear from colleagues. If I am not chosen for this position by you, please pick the person who will only continue to grow and enhance this office beyond its current state.
Thank you. It has been an honor to work with everyone on council!
Timia Crisp for VP of Diversity: an Active Advocate
The UCSD campus climate is an issue at the forefront of institutional and national conversations. Studies have shown that campus climate and diversity impact students’ sense of belonging on campus and their success as a student.1,2 The Graduate Student Association has an obligation as representatives and leaders of the student body to foster and promote community, diversity, and equity on campus. The Vice President of Diversity should positively impact the campus community (1) by facilitating and promoting programming and outreach to incorporate graduates of all backgrounds and (2) by acting as a liaison with campus administration to ensure the voices of graduates are heard. As VP of Diversity, I will proudly and reliably undertake the following responsibilities:
1. Create community through inclusive social events on campus
The VP of Diversity is responsible for developing and hosting diversity-promoting events on campus. Traditionally, these events have focused primarily on an individual group or organization. I recognize that student organizations are our campus leaders, and in developing an infrastructure between these groups through social events, we can set an example of inclusion and cooperation that will resonate with the rest of the student body. As VP of Diversity, I will organize social events on campus to include various organizations and employ the collaboration between these student organizations to help build community on campus.
Additionally, programming should be diverse. Each graduate student has a distinctive background, a unique home life, and varying interests, and events on campus should celebrate this diversity. We, as an organization, cannot hope to promote diversity and inclusion if our programming is not diverse and inclusive. Therefore, GSA Diversity programming should be diverse in interest, but inclusive in organization. Especially in light of the growing numbers of families on campus, the VP of Diversity should be involved in organizing events that allow all types of family units to participate. As VP Diversity, I will strive to have programming that highlights diversity issues, promotes participation of a multitude of student organizations, and accommodates graduate students of varying interests and home lives.
2. Promote outreach and volunteerism
Inclusion and equity are not issues limited to our campus, but are also issues facing the greater community. GSAUCSD should be a pillar of the community, and the VP of Diversity should facilitate this interaction with the community through service and outreach programs. Food drives, beach clean-ups, school outreach programs, and partnerships with community organizations are but small ways GSA and the graduate student population could integrate into the community and act as examples of diversity and inclusion. As VP Diversity, I will organize service and outreach programs that promote diversity and give graduate students the opportunity to interact with various organizations in our community in hopes of highlighting the diversity on- campus and encouraging acceptance throughout the community.
3. Foster productive discussions and communicate with administration The VP of Diversity is not a position centered on the officeholder, but rather the partnership with the student body and administration. The VP of Diversity should develop and nurture his or her relationship with the student body by facilitating discussions through student organization leaders, surveys, and feedback forms to solicit comments and concerns from the graduate student population. The VP of Diversity position is a platform for interaction with administration that must be utilized to initiate change on campus the student body needs and wants. As VP of Diversity, I will foster this relationship and encourage this communication with the student body in order to then advocate on the graduate students’ behalf.
The VP of Diversity position has immense potential to positively impact the campus. Though there has been some development of this office, I hope to make the position an active participant in the campus and surrounding communities and to be an advocate for the individual and groups on campus. Promoting diversity and inclusion is a broad initiative that commands a multi-faceted approach, but each approach should be centered on cooperation and respect for all individuals and their respective stories. If voted VP Diversity, I will continue to honor the university pillars of teaching, research, and service from the viewpoint of the office and develop UCSD into a more welcoming community.
1 UCR Campus Climate Report 2 Linking Diversity with the Educational and Civic Missions of Higher Education