The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Graduate Student Assembly holds last meeting of the year

On Tuesday, April 7, members of the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) met in Eastside Main Conference Room for their final meeting of the 2014-2015 school year.

The meeting began with Assistant Director of Student Affairs Hallie Arena, who facilitated the meeting, introducing Jess Edwards, the new Associate Director of Graduate Alumni Relations, to the group.

The relatively new position was created to foster relationships with graduate student alumni, who have, “different needs than undergraduate alumni,” according to Edwards.

Edwards and Arena were interested in getting feedback from GSA about how to best connect current students with alumni. The members of GSA had no specific suggestions at the time of the meeting, but Edwards assured members that she is, “an open door to take good, bad, and ugly feedback.”

The agenda then moved to GSA’s budget. At the beginning of the meeting, GSA had $379.50 available. This month, there was a proposal for a new Keurig machine to replace the broken one at Eastside; for this, GSA granted $119.99. There was also a request for a new toaster to replace the broken one in Eastside’s downstairs kitchenette. The exact price of a new toaster was unknown, but GSA agreed to purchase one.

Counseling Psychology student Jason Lucarelli suggested that the previous Keurig machine might have broken because they are only supposed to be used with filtered water.  Arena said she would contact facilities to see if a Brita water filter could be put on the faucet of the kitchenette sink, and GSA agreed to pay for the filter if it was possible.

Next on the agenda were the GSA Excellence Awards. Only 14 students applied for the awards, which, according to Arena, decreased from last year’s approximately 22 applicants. Eight applied in the category of Professional Excellence, two in the category of Empirical Excellence, and four in the category of Creative Excellence.  Winners will be notified at the Student Organization and Leadership Awards Banquet on Tuesday, April 14 in the AFC Gym.

Next, Arena discussed events that may interest graduate students. First, she discussed the Hunger Banquet on Saturday, April 11 at Eden Hall Campus. At this event, students will have a chance to enjoy food made by students in the Food Studies program served in bowls made throughout the school year by students through the Empty Bowls program.

Closing Convocation is scheduled for Tuesday, April 14 at 4:30 p.m. in the Chapel.

On Wednesday, April 15, there will be a Military Student Lunch. Students in the military and veterans, many of whom are graduate students, will receive a free lunch in Anderson Dining Hall.

The Global Focus program will host a concert on Saturday, April 18 by Zambian musician Mathew Tembo on the Quad at 6:30 p.m. The rain location will be the AFC Gym.

Moonlight Breakfast—during which students will receive a free meal served by faculty and will have the chance to win prizes through a raffle—will take place on Tuesday, April 21 at 8 p.m. in Anderson.

University Day and Buckets and Blossoms will take place on Friday, May 1 beginning at 9:30 a.m. Students will have the opportunity to help beautify the campus by planting bulbs and distributing mulch. Afterwards, there will be a free picnic lunch on the quad.

The final event Arena mentioned was the Graduate Student Reception—“Basically a fancy Mug Club that your families are invited to,” she said—on Thursday, May 14 at 4:30 p.m. in the Melon Board Room. The event will be hosted through the Alumni Relations Office, and students may bring one to two guests. Students are requested to RSVP.

GSA finished the meeting with an open forum. There were complaints about computers at Eastside running especially slow, which Arena said she would look into.  Professional Writing student Nyota Robinson asked why there was only one color printer on the Woodland Road campus; Arena said that it was to save on expenses. There were also complaints about the Internet connection at Eastside and in graduate housing being faulty.  Arena said students should use the old Wi-Fi connection, “ChathamWifi0910.” This option will disappear when the new Wi-Fi begins working properly.

Finally, Arena addressed concerns about GSA recruitment for the fall of 2015. She said that attempting to recruit members in the spring often doesn’t work because students, “change their minds over the summer;” fall is the best time to recruit. Although the September meeting is usually light in attendance, GSA is still able to, “get the ball rolling,” she said.

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