GSA Advocates for Students
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By Jenny Qi
During the upcoming academic year, the Graduate Student Association (GSA) will work toward greater inter-professional cooperation and continue its efforts to make UCSF an affordable and welcoming place for all students.
GSA is an organization run by students to advocate for students. Specifically, the GSA represents Nursing, Physical Therapy, Life Sciences and Social and Behavioral Sciences graduate students. The organization participates in university decision-making, provides resources to improve student life and foster professional development and promotes a sense of community in the Graduate Division.
It’s easy for students to get involved in GSA. All students can attend meetings to voice their opinions, raise awareness of important issues or simply “hear more about what’s going on around campus while enjoying a free dinner,” said Joseph Foy, GSA’s new president and a student in the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing.
“I want GSA meetings to be an inviting space for all represented students to learn about the issues going on at the campus and university level,” said Foy. “I also want students to feel welcome to bring their ideas, concerns and criticisms, so that the GSA officers can learn and better serve the student body.”
Notable accomplishments of the GSA over the 2012-13 academic year, during the presidency of Neuroscience student Jason Tien, include: 1) working with the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) to improve the student health insurance plan; 2) working with Graduate Dean Elizabeth Watkins to establish child care grants for graduate students, and (3) working with graduate program directors to increase student stipends.
“By working with the university, GSA can ensure that the school is able to provide an educational experience that meets the student body’s needs,” said Tien.
Regular events include trivia and game nights and Career and Research Days (CRD), which consist of seminars, panels and alumni student dinners that help students develop professional skills and explore career opportunities.
Jenny Qi is a third-year Biomedical Sciences student.