Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Graduate Student forUM

The mission of the Graduate Student Forum (GSF) is simple:
to provide graduate students in the Department of Sociology
with representation and a voice concerning matters relevant to
their academic, professional and personal lives while here at the
University of Maryland.

According to the GSF “Constitution,” the elected members’
primary functions include, but are not limited to, the following: (1)
facilitating faculty-student relations; (2) serving as representatives
on departmental committees; (3) assisting the academic and
professional needs of the graduate student body; (4) providing an
outlet for student grievances in a safe environment; (5) handling
administrative graduate student needs; and (6) building and
maintaining community peer interactions and relationships.
While the mission of the GSF is focused as a body that advocates
for us, the graduate students, there are multiple ways in which to
participate. First, it is an open venue for all current graduate students
in the University of Maryland’s Department of Sociology. Second,
there are elected positions that comprise the GSF’s administrative
and foundational body.

Perhaps you recently saw an email from us (Heather Marsh and
Nathan Jurgenson -- in case you are part of the new cohort, we
are the 2008-2009 co-Presidents) calling for election nominations.
The structure of the GSF is being changed this year to make the
GSF more up-to-date and relevant and we hope to do this through
“Teams” that work together on common projects and report to, and
work with, the other GSF Teams.

The Teams include: an Administrative Team (2-3 members) that is
made up of the President and/or Co-President and Treasurer; a
Community Building Team (5 members) that includes the Department
News Reps (2), the C. Wright Mills Rep (1), and the Social Chairs (2);
the Representative Team (8 members), includes a Pre-candidacy Rep
(1), a Ph.D. Rep (1) and General GSF Reps (6); and lastly, there are
Committee Representatives (4 members), including Admissions Reps
(2), a Policy Committee Rep (1) and an Awards Committee Rep (1).
Your browser may not support display of this image. Perhaps the
biggest different between the updated GSF this year and the GSF
of old will be the addition of six General GSF Reps. The General
GSF Reps will work to stay in touch with issues concerning
graduate students and bring these issues to the GSF meetings,
organize informational seminars and be available to serve on various
department committees as needed.

In case you were wondering about the “forUM” in the title of
this article or the logo (credit for our new logo goes to Nathan
Jurgenson), this is a play on the word suggested by our own John
Pease that combines “forum” with “for UM” or “for University of
Maryland.” On behalf of the outgoing GSF, remember to pay your
dues (thanks Molly Clever!) and vote in the upcoming GSF election.

-Heather Marsh and Nathan Jurgenson

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