Home CGSA Executives 2016-2017
*Chair: Kylie Lanthorn
*Secretary: Victoria Alcazar
*CDSJ: Alex Bordino
*Alumni & Outreach: Christine Olson
*GEO Stewards (2): Katty Alhayek
*GSS Senator: James Owens
*Social Coordinator and New Student Outreach: Taliah Mortensen
*Graduate Studies: Elizabeth Nielsen
*Communication Coordinator: Nii Nikoi
*Personnel Committee Representative: Dasol Kim
Chairperson (or Two Co-Chairs)
This position serves as an internal coordinator for the Comm-Grads Graduate Student Association. He or she (or both co-chairs) will track the overall business and functioning of the Graduate Student Association. This/these person(s) will call and announce meetings, request and prioritize agenda items (with input from GSA members), facilitate meetings, record ongoing and new issues, and maintain regular communication with the Department Chair and GPD on graduate student issues. This position will be available to attend faculty meetings as a graduate student representative when appropriate. This position will oversee elections for the following year.
Generally responsible for the accurate and impartial documentation, collection, and dissemination of information. Includes keeping minutes, distributing minutes, ensuring the reception of important news and announcements, overseeing the publishing of relevant news and information via e-mail, newsletters, and websites and such.
Graduate Student Senate (GSS) Senator
The Graduate Student Senate (GSS) allows as members any UMass graduate student. GSS is one of the formally recognized governance bodies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. It is a democratically elected council of graduate students which serves to represent the views of UMass graduate students and advocate for and protect their interests. The GSS is a body intended to represent the interests of all graduate students. It consists of 4 elected members and 4 officers elected campus-wide at the end of the Spring semester. GSS pursues policies and objectives that serve to advance the social, cultural, material and academic needs of graduate community. GSS is committed to provide services devoted exclusively to graduate students’ concerns and needs. After hearing all requests for funding in a given meeting the full Senate will consultatively decide how to distribute resources available. Responsibilities: The GSS representative must be willing to attend GSS monthly meetings, inform Comm-grads (see below) of the issues discussed in GSS meetings that concern interests of graduate students in general and Comm-Grads in particular, and speak up on behalf of communication graduate students in the decision making of GSS. This person would also serve as the treasurer for CGSA, which includes maintaining a bank account. If looking for funding s/he is responsible for submitting proposals to the Communication department and/or GSS one week prior to any Senate meeting and should attend that meeting in order to make a presentation to the full Senate. This person is responsible for making sure that the Communication GSA (CGSA) maintains an active status with GSS.
Graduate Employee Organization (GEO UAW Local 2322) Steward(s)
Stewards are the vital communication link between the GEO staff, the elected leadership, and the academic departments, research labs, and other worksites where GEO/UAW members are employed. Typically the representatives represent the union in the department, and relay information and answer questions about GEO and current contracts to colleagues and co-workers. Stewards also help GEO find out about problems in different departments and make sure that members receive the benefits of union contract. Stewards also form a decision-making body — the Assembly of Stewards — that plays a vital role in the overall direction of the union. Responsibilities: As a steward, you would be expected to attend the monthly meeting of the Steward’s Assembly, relay information to and from your department or worksite, help post flyers for GEO events, help mobilize members in your area of campus for GEO campaigns and actions, and help out with the grievance process for members in your worksite. Stewards are offered trainings in both organizing and grievances. There may be up to TWO stewards in the Communication Department. Stewards are elected by their departments, generally for one year.
Graduate Studies Committee Representative
Responsibilities: Serve as a liaison and report the graduate students’ collective views and interests and conversely, let graduate students know about specific issues, decisions, and policies raised in the committee. Graduate Studies representative is not responsible for reviewing incoming graduate applications and will be excluded from any business in which confidential student colleague information is discussed. Time commitments vary based on needs of the committee, but usually meets about four times a year to review course offerings, requirements, and other department business related to graduate curriculum.
Personnel Committee Representative
Responsibilities: Serves as a liaison between graduate students and faculty regarding hires. Encourages graduate students to write letters during hires, mini-tenures, and tenure reviews. Representative is responsible for communicating with other graduate students prior to and after meetings in order to assess and represent the graduate students’ needs and preferences. Personnel Representative will be excluded, according to MSP Union rules, from any business in which confidential faculty information is discussed. Time commitments vary based on needs of committee and yearly budget lines that allow for hiring new faculty.
Community, Diversity, and Social Justice Committee
One graduate student serves on this committee with two faculty members. The mission of the CDSJ Committee is here: http://www.umass.edu/communication/committees/cdsj.shtml
Alumni and Outreach Committee
One graduate student serves on this committee with two faculty members.
The Social Coordinator is responsible for pairing all incoming graduate students with current graduate students who can answer their questions and make them feel welcomed into the department (coordinating “buddies”). Information packets about the university and the Pioneer Valley area are also assembled by the Coordinator and mailed to the incoming cohort at least one month prior to the arrivals to the area. Additionally, the Social Coordinator is also responsible for organizing a social event at the beginning of the fall semester where incoming students have the opportunity to meet members of the Communication Department. Additional entertainment and social events are up to the discretion and energy of the individual selected for this position. Time commitments vary, does include some summer preparation prior to the cohort arrival on campus.
How They Are Appointed
Graduate student contribution to the academic vitality of the department is secured by elections each year. These representatives are responsible for organizing meetings with fellow graduate students at least twice during each semester as a time to discuss student concerns and convey department business, procedures and policies. The current representatives are also responsible for calling for nominations and making sure that elections are held in the late spring to select the representatives for the following academic year. Typically, these have been rotating positions, with new people stepping into the positions each year. At the appointment, it is understood that each representative will do his or her best to organize and inform the graduate students of ongoing departmental news and activities; and that he or she will represent the collective graduate student body at each meeting. Should there be an immediate issue that needs addressing, each representative will do her or his best to contact all graduate students via email if possible prior to decision making; otherwise, personal discretion will be used during committee meetings, with the understanding that any final decisions will be reported back to the larger graduate student body.