GSC General Meeting: Wednesday March 4th at 7pm

Our second meeting of the semester will be held Wednesday, March 4th @ 7pm in the Graduate Student Lounge.

See here for our agenda for the March 4th meeting and here for an updated Spring 2015 budget; please take a close look at the latter, as we will be voting to approve the budget during the general meeting next week.

The executive board has also determined that though the GSC voting membership accepted amendments to the bylaws last year, the public records have not reflected these changes. In review, we recommend grammatical and organizational edits (spelling; spacing and format; consistency in vocabulary, etc.) as well as the following changes to align with actual committee activities and existing practices:
Article V, Section 5 — Treasurer and Financial Committee
Article IX, Section 2 — Master’s Student Advocate Description
Article X, Section 4 — International Graduate Student Advocate and Advocacy Committee
Article XI, Section 1b — Elections for Internal Committee Members
Article XVI, Section 1 — Grant Funding process
See here for the updated bylaws and please review the above items, as these changes will be brought to a vote at next week’s meeting. As a reminder, only departmental representatives may vote on GSC motions, though all members of the graduate community may attend GSC general meetings.

As usual, we will provide pizza and beer. Looking forward!

Campus & Personal Safety Discussion: February 25th at 6:15 pm

From Brian Walton, Associate Dean for Administration, and Beverly Larson, Director of Communications:

The Department of Public Safety and the Graduate School are co-sponsoring a Campus & Personal Safety Discussion for graduate and medical students. Members of DPS will provide a campus safety update, overview of safety services, and practical personal safety strategies on Wednesday, February 25, at 6:15 pm in Barus & Holley 166. The building is located at the junction of Hope and George Streets.

We want to hear your concerns and will be present for the discussion.

Please also be aware of DPS safety tips and resources, including the Brown Guardian mobile app and the personal safety alarm.

Additional Positions for Grad Students

The University Resources Committee (URC) has one vacancy for a humanties/social sciences representative. Applications are due Friday, February 20th by midnight. As evidenced by the 2015 Report of the University Resources Committee to the President (see here), continued graduate student representation is needed!

The Graduate Student Council is now accepting nominations for the Wilson-DeBlois Award. This award is given to a staff member who has recently made outstanding contributions to graduate students and the graduate school. Nominations are due February 27th.

The graduate student commencement speaker application period is now open as well. One graduate student will be selected by the Graduate Student Council department representatives to give an address, 8-10 minutes in length, at the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony. The student must be graduating in May 2015. Applications are due February 23th. Note: the application does not require the speech to be complete.

Semester Kick-Off Social: Friday February 20th at Hanley’s

Facebook Event Page

The Brown GSC invites you to kick off the spring semester with us in our first social of the year! On Friday, February 20th we will be hosting a social at Hanley’s Ale House located at 52 Pine Street, Providence RI. The event begins at 8:30pm, so come early to ensure you get your drink tickets and can grab a bite to eat.

Each Brown Student (with ID) is permitted to bring one guest, and our first 300 attendees will receive two complementary drinks tickets. One drink ticket will cover a beer or mixed drink (well liquor only). As usual, if a drink exceeds the value of the ticket, two tickets will collected.

Food will also be served between the hours of 8:30pm and 10:00pm. After this time, Hanley’s dance floor opens up for you to dance the night away!

So make room on your schedules to mix and mingle with your fellow grad students for a night of food, drinks, and fun!

Vacancies on Important External Committees

The GSC is still looking for graduate students to serve on several university committees. It’s important for these vacancies to be filled as soon as possible: representatives provide crucial input in these roles, and serving on a committee is typically the only direct means for informing administration of deficiencies in support services and matters of campus life. It’s a great opportunity to work with Brown to make things better for graduate students. Apply by Wednesday, Feb 18, 5pm for the following committees:

Brown-Tougaloo Partnership — one vacancy
Graduate Student Observers of the Faculty Meetings — nine vacancies
Graduate Library Advisory Committee — two vacancies
Library Advisory Board — two vacancies
Information Technology Advisory Board — one vacancy
Academic Technology Steering Committee — one vacancy
Campus Center Advisory Board — two vacancies
Please feel free to direct any questions to Torrey Truszkowski,

Graduate Program Associations (GPACs)

We are pleased to announce a new pilot program for the creation of Graduate Program Associations (GPACs).

Initiated by the GSC and sponsored by the Graduate School and the Office of Institutional Diversity, the GPAC Program supports graduate students in expanding and improving structures for advocacy and representation, building community events, and fostering communication within existing departments and programs. This pilot was created in response to information gathered in a recent GSC survey on department-level support structures within the graduate student community.

The application period is now open; proposals are due by February 25, 2015. For full information on the pilot program as well as FAQs, please see the following link:

Open Forum on Sexual Harassment and Assault For Graduate Students

There will be an open forum on sexual harassment and assault for graduate students on Feb 4th, 7 PM during the regularly scheduled GSC meeting at the Grad Lounge.

This past fall, President Paxson convened a Sexual Assault Task Force to review existing university resources, policies, and prevention practices. The Task Force is charged with producing a number of recommendations on how to improve resources and grievance procedures for students, and ultimately cultivate a culture of safety and mutual respect at Brown. Community input has been vital to the Task Force’s evaluation process thus far, and this semester members of the Task Force hope to hear from graduate students and medical student on the unique ways this issue affects advanced study at Brown. On Feb 4th, the GSC is co-sponsoring an open forum for graduate students. This is an opportunity to learn about existing resources, ask questions, and, most importantly, offer suggestions to the Task Force on how to best meet the needs of graduate students. We especially hope to hear your thoughts on the recommendations made in our interim report, which you can read here. Prior to the forum, a panel of administrators and staff will introduce themselves and explain what resources their office provides to graduate students, and what options are available to graduate students who have been harassed or assaulted. Your input and experiences are important, and we hope to hear from you on Feb 4th at 7 PM.

If you cannot make this meeting, you can email your input to, or you can email any of the members of the task force directly and they will be sure to keep your input anonymous. You will find a complete list of the task force membership here.

Prior to the forum you will hear from:
Liza Cariaga-Lo, Associate Provost for Academic Development and Diversity; Title IX Coordinator
Brian Walton, Associate Dean of Administration; Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Gail Cohee, Director of the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center
Yolanda, Castillo-Apollonio, Associate Dean of Student Life and Director of Student Conduct; Interim Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Frances Mantak, Director of Health Promotion
Ruth Rosenberg, University Ombudsperson

First General Meeting of 2015: Wednesday, Feb 4th at 7pm

Welcome back! I’m Joel Simundich and I will be serving as GSC President for 2015. I’m writing to announce the first Graduate Student Council meeting of the semester, introduce the new members of our Executive Board, as well as post a few important calls for positions.

Our first meeting will be held Wednesday, February 4th @ 7pm in the Graduate Student Lounge. The Grad Lounge is located on Thayer St. between Charlesfield St. and Power St. As usual, we will provide plenty of pizza and beer.

Please join me in welcoming the members of the new GSC Executive Board: Anni Pullagura (Vice President of Communications), Torrey Truszkowski (Nominations Officer), Benjamin Fancy (International Student Advocate), Lauren Combs (Masters’ Advocate), Lauren Watts and Anastasia Vedenko (VPs of Social Events and Student Life), and Kevin Cannon (Technology Officer)!

We’re excited to meet new students and department representatives as well as see familiar faces.

During our February 4th meeting, we will hold elections for the remaining GSC positions. Please see below for the two open positions:
Vice President of Representation and Advocacy
If you have any questions or would like more information, feel free to contact me via email. If you wish to nominate yourself for a position, note that you must be present at the February 4th meeting.

We will also host an Open Forum on Sexual Harassment and Assault for Graduate Students during the meeting, in collaboration with the Sexual Assault Task Force. For more information, see the agenda; a reminder email will be sent out shortly.

In addition, the Campus Planning Advisory Board has one vacancy for a graduate student representative. Applications are due February 6th; a reminder email will be sent out shortly.

Again, if you have any questions, please email me at Hope everyone is safe and warm, and looking forward!