Photo by Andrew Saulters

Johann and I have been asked to convey our goals for the ’13-14 academic year, and it’s our hope that this letter will help give you all a better sense for what we hope to accomplish, as well as where we’re coming from.

During my past three years at GT, I have had the honor to serve an executive role within Grad SGA as Vice President of the Graduate Conference Fund as well as a representative on multiple campus wide committees.

During this time, I have witnessed much growth, significant change, and great progress. My goal as Graduate Student Body President will be to guide this change in a way that best represents what we, as a student body, would find most helpful.

I will continue to voice our shared concerns regarding growing fees to administrators as well as the Board of Regents so they understand that even a small increase poses very difficult consequences for us.

Additionally, I will strive to offer opportunities that make us into even more competitive job applicants as we begin looking for our careers. This will involve an expansion of the very popular Communication Certificate Program into more areas as determined by a Needs Assessment Survey.

The success of the certificate program demonstrates that additional programs are paramount to continuing to raise future Tech alumni into an even higher regard.

While the primary goal of a graduate student is to have a successful dissertation, there is more to the life of a grad student than lab or field work alone.

The undergraduate body has such a wide array of activities to help build a sense of belonging and community to enhance their experience. Johann and I feel that we deserve the same.

We will build upon the success of the Woodruff Arts Center collaboration and the Graduate Student Picnic by rolling our new way to foster the graduate community outside the confines of a laboratory, or academic building.

Johann and I both feel strongly about increasing communication to the campus.

This will be a bottom-up approach where the Senate will be better involved within their departments as well as student organizations. In line with this, we believe that creating a stronger relationship with undergrads, both those in and out of SGA, will help to unify the campus even more, and make our voice even louder.

With Johann’s experience as the jointly appointed Vice President of Campus Organizations, these relationships already exist and will be fostered in the coming months.

Good campus communication will be very important as we develop this programming and wish to notify the campus of critical issues.

An example of such an issue is that of mental health and the steps being taken to ensure that we all know how to seek out help.

No student should feel alone or not know where to turn for help, no matter what their personal challenges may be. We must educate, inform, and support students as we progress through our programs in all respects. We will work to make sure we always know where to find this help.

Thank you all!

Go Jackets!