Letter from the GSF Presidents (by Mandi Martinez and Lucia Lykke)

PresbiansIt has been a pleasure serving the Graduate Student Forum as your presidents this year! Thank you to all the officers of the GSF for your help and service to our department (and to Junie the pit bull, pictured here, for her constant emotional support to both of us). We collectively made it through an endless winter and a brief, but challenging, period while the dying fridge made the entire fourth floor smell like rancid cheese. Fortunately, we all met these challenges with fortitude, and the GSF was able to make some exciting strides this year.

We kicked the year off by welcoming our newest cohort of students during orientation. If you haven’t had the opportunity to get to know the current first years, stop by the gang office before the year is over – this batch of new graduate students has proven bright and engaging. We are looking forward to getting to know our incoming first years in the fall.

After literally years of battling with the volatile temperament of the fridge in the Mills lounge, behold! We have a beautiful new refrigerator. Special thanks to policy rep Tyler Myroniuk for heading up the effort to have the old fridge removed, to Mills rep Wendy Laybourn for cleaning out that abomination, and to treasurer Jonathan Jackson for coordinating changing the GSF’s account to a new bank so we could pay for the new one. We are happy that this year’s GSF will leave a legacy of a functional refrigerator for years to come! The GSF also administered a survey to students, spearheaded by Tyler Myroniuk, to figure out what career trajectories graduate students intend to follow after graduation. We hope that this information will help the department support us as we pursue our long-term goals.

We agree that our favorite thing about this department is its collaborative spirit. As we move through the program, we are impressed by how graduate students are engaged with one another and with faculty, support and assist each other rather than compete with each other, and work to make our department the best it can be. Thanks to our fellow students and faculty for making our tenure as presidents enjoyable and productive.

Lucia Lykke & Mandi Martinez

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