“I want GSA meetings to be an inviting space for all represented students to learn about the issues going on at the campus and university level." Joseph Foy, GSA president and nursing student.
Advocating for Students and Building Community
The Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) is an organization run by students to advocate for students. Specifically, the GSA represents nursing, physical therapy, life and social and behavioral science graduate students. The organization participates in university decision-making, provides resources to improve student life and foster professional development, and promotes a sense of community in the Graduate Division.
Notable accomplishments of the GSA during the presidency of neuroscience student Jason Tien in the 2012-13 academic year include (1) working with the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) to improve the student health insurance plan, (2) working with Graduate Dean Elizabeth Watkins to establish childcare grants for graduate students, and (3) working with graduate program directors to increase student stipends.
“By working with the university, the GSA can ensure that the school is able to provide an educational experience that meets the student body's needs,” emphasizes Tien.
Regular events include trivia and game nights and Career and Research Days, which consist of seminars, panels, and alumni student dinners that help students develop professional skills and explore career opportunities.
On the agenda for the 2013-14 school year are increased inter-professional cooperation, for example through the proposed United Student Government which would represent all schools, and continued efforts to make UCSF affordable and welcoming for all students.
Importantly, it is easy for students to get involved in GSA. All students can attend meetings to voice their opinions, raise awareness of important issues, or simply hear more about what’s going on around campus while enjoying a free dinner.
“I want GSA meetings to be an inviting space for all represented students to learn about the issues going on at the campus and university level. I also want students to feel welcome to bring their ideas, concerns and criticisms so that the GSA officers can learn and better serve the student body,” encourages the new GSA president Joseph Foy, a student in the nursing MEPN program.
Go to the next GSA meeting on September 17 at the Mission Bay campus in Byers Hall 215 or visit the GSA website to find out more about the group's activities.
This story was contributed by Jenny Qi, student in the biomedical sciences graduate program. Photo by Pax Gethen on Flickr.