GSA "SUCCESS 2012-2013"
Being a grad student is a challenging job. Each one of us wears a number of hats while trying to balance all the different tasks demanding our time. We are students, teaching assistants, lab demonstrators, marker-graders, research assistants, academics-in training, writers, researchers and employees. We are trying to write MRPs and theses, conference papers and journal articles while squeezing in time for workouts at the gym and maintaining some sort of a social life on a miniscule budget. Yes, being a grad student is at times an overwhelming job. But do not despair: your Graduate Student Association wants to help you out.
The GSA has developed Success 2012-13, a five-point plan to address some of the most pressing issues that graduate students face at Brock.
Money is always an issue for graduate students. We’re limited in how much work we can do and are dependent on funding from Brock and external sources for our tuition. It’s no secret that funding levels have dropped over the past several years. The GSA will be actively encouraging the University to increase funding for graduate students so Brock can remain a competitive institution.
With increasing support for students with disabilities at the undergraduate level and with more mature students coming back to school, accessibility for graduate students with disabilities has become a significant issue. Disabilities include not only visible mobility problems, but also invisible disabilities such as hearing problems, reduced vision, chronic illness and mental health. Some disabilities faced by graduate students are permanent and other are temporary, but disability can affect everyone: we are only one slip and fall away from a broken arm or leg! Recognize that graduate students with disabilities face particular challenges, the GSA is working to raise the profile of these students within the Brock community and to represent their concerns to Brock administration.
3. Equity and Advocacy
If, during your time as a graduate student, you find yourself in an unpleasant situation (including but not limited to harassment, discrimination or any circumstance you feel unequipped to handle) you can come directly to the GSA. We have established an Equity and Advocacy committee to support and aid our members. We can help guide you through the system while advocating for your needs.
4. New Space
Have you ever been by the graduate student lounge? Do you even know where it is? (MC D302). The GSA wants to see better space for graduate students on campus – space that we can call our own, where we can meet with fellow grad students to swap stories, commiserate over hardships, encourage one another, and just hang out. The GSA will be working with the Faculty of Graduate Students to secure a more visible and more functional space for graduate students.
5. Holistic Health Initiative
Our biggest project is the holistic health initiative. The purpose of this year-long campaign is the encourage health, balance living for graduate students. Okay, this may sound a little boring, but trust me, it will be far from boring! We’ll be continuing the traditional sporting events (such as soccer tournaments), but if sport aren’t your thing, we have a number of other events in which to participate. Activities such as; guided trips and tours, social events, coffee connections, workshops, and various other stress-relief options. Our goal is to encourage students to have healthy minds in healthy bodies. As usual, if there is any activity you would like to see offered please let us know.
This is, of course, a pretty ambitious plan for the next eight months, and we won’t be able to fully realize the plan’s potential without your help. The GSA IS you, so please consider ways you can get involved.
· Come out to GSA events and Council meeting
· Offer your suggestions, ideas and general feedback to GSA executives and representatives
· Get involved formally by offering your time and talent to work on GSA initiatives, OR
· Serve in a more formal way by sitting on a GSA committee or representing your program on GSA council.
Working with the GSA will not only give you something to add to the ‘service’ section of your CV and awards applications, but will improve the lives of future Brock graduate students.