The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Graduate Student Assembly meets to discuss events, Graduate Student Lunches, and more

On Tuesday, February 3, the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) gathered in the Eastside Main Conference Room for their second meeting this semester to discuss issues relevant to the graduate student body.

The meeting began with a discussion of events that would, “specifically appeal to graduate students,” according to Assistant Director of Student Affairs Hallie Arena, who led the meeting.

The first was the Mongolian Grille with Guest Grillers, scheduled for Thursday, February 5 at bd’s Mongolian Grill at SouthSide Works. Although $25 seemed steep to some, Arena said, “If you think about it, it’s all you can eat, all you can drink, and it’s supporting Relay for Life.”

Next, GSA talked about the Graduate Student Lunches, the next of which is scheduled for Wednesday, February 11.  According to Arena, the first ever Graduate Student Lunch last month generated, “lots of angry emails” from students who did not get a voucher.

“There are only so many people I can buy lunch for on a budget,” she said.

Arena’s main concern is making this program better suit graduate students.  Last month, there were 30 vouchers available on the Shadyside campus and 30 on the Eastside campus.  One proposed alternative was to host one Graduate Student Lunch per campus every other month, with 60 free lunches at Eastside one month and 60 free lunches at Anderson the next.

A decision will be made when it can be determined whether Eastside’s café can accommodate such volume.

Other upcoming events include Brews & Yoga on Thursday, February 12, when, for a fee, students and guests can come to the Woodland Art Gallery and Café Rachel for a yoga class, a free drink, and snacks; the “Pack the House” event at the home Basketball Game on Saturday, February 14, which will be a family-friendly event at which the first 145 attendees will receive a free t-shirt; a Mug Club meeting on Thursday, February 19, in Café Rachel; and the graduate reading series Word Circus on Friday, February 20, at Most Wanted Fine Arts in Garfield.

Next, GSA continued their discussion about the GSA Excellence Awards. The application will be accessible on My.Chatham, and students will be able to submit one PDF document electronically, as well as hardcopies of letters of recommendation if they so choose.

GSA discussed the Excellence Awards’ timeline, and they decided that the application should be made available in mid-February and be due in mid-March.

Next, GSA discussed funding requests.

They granted $250 to Fermentation Club to cover their needed supplies and activities for the rest of the semester. They allocated $95 to the Chinese Student Association to fund a Dumpling Making Event for Chinese New Year. Finally, they dispensed $300 of a $400 request for a graduate student to travel with the English honor society Sigma Tau Delta to an international conference in New Mexico.

This leaves GSA with a budget of $382.50 for the rest of the semester.

GSA ended their meeting, as usual, with an Open Forum.

First, they discussed equipment in the Athletic and Fitness Center. The treadmills and exercise bicycles have been fixed. One of the elliptical machines and one of the stair climber machines are irreparable, and they will be removed and replaced soon.

To respond to a query from GSA’s last meeting, Arena contacted IT regarding the expiration of Chatham passwords without warning. According to IT, students can change their email settings so that emails regarding email expiration do not go to their junk folder.

GSA also discussed the new wireless network, which may cause difficulties initially; the user-friendliness of Moodle; the option of an online live chat with IT so that students need not call when they have technological problems; computers kicking students out of design programs in the middle of their work until they enter a password; a possible waitlist for a sought-after spin class; and denied card access to buildings in which students have classes.

Several GSA members have received peer complaints about the Eastside Shuttle not running on schedule. Beginning this semester, the shuttle has been making stops at the Negley Busway upon request. Physical Therapy student Matt Repko suggested that the Oakland shuttle take on the trips to the Busway since students often use the Eastside shuttle to get to classes on time. Arena said she would look into this possibility.

The next GSA meeting will occur on Tuesday, March 3 at 5 p.m. in the Conover Room in the Shadyside campus’s Mellon Building.


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