GUEST EDITORIAL: Graduate Student Government

Aaron Fowler

Graduate Student Body President

On behalf of the Graduate Student Government, let me first welcome you to one of the finest research institutions in the world. At Tech we pride ourselves in our technological innovations, environmental stewardship and giving back to the community, locally and globally. I am humbled to serve as your Graduate Student Body President this year, and look forward to improving graduate student life.

As graduate students at Tech, we have much to be excited about: our graduate programs are ranked among the best in the nation, we have numerous research opportunities on and off campus, and we live in a dynamic city which not only offers many entertainment outlets but also provides graduates with ample employment prospects. There are also several opportunities on campus that new graduate students may be unaware of.

The Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) is committed to supporting the professional development of graduate students. Graduate students are encouraged to participate in the TA workshops offered each term. All graduate students, even if they are not Teaching Assistants (TAs), interested in a faculty career should also consider attending CETL’s monthly faculty teaching seminars. Workshops for graduate students on mentoring undergraduates in research are also offered each term. CETL offers graduate-level courses (for credit) on academic writing and academic presentations. CETL will also consult one-on-one with graduate students and TAs on topics related to teaching, educational technology, academic career planning, teaching philosophy statement and portfolio preparation, and academic writing and presentation skills.

Most of you will be attending class and working part-time for Tech in some research capacity. Unfortunately sometimes the occasion arises when a graduate student needs someone who can confidentially facilitate a fair resolution to problems that arise on campus, especially those that have not been adequately addressed through usual channels. Russ Callen is our Graduate Ombudsman and is a great resource for those in tough situations. He is a designated neutral that provides confidential and informal assistance apart from formal grievance procedures, for resolving Institute-related concerns. You can reach him by e-mail at [email protected]

While it is unlikely that you will have much free time in between your studies and research, you are going to need to set aside some time to relax and destress; attending Tech sporting events is a great way to do this. As a graduate student, you have the opportunity to attend any sporting event on campus for free and graduate students are guaranteed a certain percentage of student tickets for all football home games. You can currently pick up your football vouchers at the Athletic Association Ticket Office located at Techwood & Bobby Dodd.

Lastly for those of you who are interested in the direction of Tech, I encourage you to get involved with the Graduate Student Senate. The Student Government Association is tasked with distributing over $4 million to various campus organizations, and we welcome your participation in the process. We are currently accepting applications for departmental senators until September 2nd at 5pm. Elections will be held Sep. 9-11. Applications can be found in the Student Government Association’s office or online at www.sga.gatech.edu.

We are here to serve you; please don’t hesitate to contact us with problems or concerns.