At their November meeting, the Graduate Student Forum (GSF) voted to move the group’s election process from September to May. Currently, the GSF solicits nominations and undergoes its elections process for new officials and representatives at the beginning of the academic year. Consequently, this often means GSF business does not get rolling until early October. Moving these elections to the end of the academic year is thought to have multiple advantages, the greatest of which is that the GSF can hit the ground running first thing in September. This is good news for many reasons, including having the first social events earlier in the fall semester and having consistent student representation on faculty sub-committees even at the earliest meetings.
The biggest drawback to moving the GSF elections to May is that incoming first year students would be absent from the elections process. To address this, the GSF has decided to reserve at least one spot on the representative team for a first year student (e.g., “first year cohort representative”). Elections for this position(s) will be held at the beginning of the fall semester once the new students have joined the department. The details of which and how many positions to reserve for first year students will be addressed by the GSF in our first meeting of the coming spring semester.
The new elections process will take place in late April/early May, following departmental announcements of funding decisions and TA/RA assignments for graduate students. The elections process itself, including nomination solicitation, voting, and announcement of results, will continue to occur via email as it has in the past.
Kathleen is a 3rd year PhD student & is the current GSF President.