Michael Le

Letter from ASGD President

Graduate Division

To my fellow UCSF graduate student,

I hope the start of the new academic year has been a very productive one. If you are new to UCSF, I welcome you to UCSF and hope these next few years will be as rewarding one as they have been for me so far. But whether you are just starting or have been at UCSF for a few years now, there are important changes in your student government structure that you should be aware of.

Those who have been at UCSF for a while are probably familiar with the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA), the student government charged with representing the interests of graduate, nursing, and physical therapy students at UCSF. The GSA worked with the Graduate Division and campus-wide administration to address student concerns on important issues that include, but are not limited to, housing, child-care and health care. Additionally, GSA provided career development opportunities via conference travel support, alumni functions and registered campus organizations (RCOs), and it also hosted social events to allow graduate students to meet other students in relaxing, non-academic environments.

Going forth, the Associated Students of Graduate Division (ASGD) will be the organization solely responsible for representing the specific needs and interest of graduate students at UCSF. While the discussion of campus-wide student concerns is now vested in the Graduate and Professional Students Association (GPSA), ASGD will continue GSA’s close relationship with Graduate Dean Liz Watkins and her Graduate Division administration in synergistically improving graduate student life at UCSF.

Some issues that ASGD is addressing in the current academic year are:

  • the benefits of and drawbacks to the unionization of graduate students,
  • the deficiencies in the qualification of graduate students for workers’ compensation, and
  • the impact the opening of the new UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay will have on graduate student life.

Furthermore, ASGD will continue the things that GSA did in years past, such as:

  • Conference Travel Award Program
  • Game Nights at Mission Bay/Parnassus
  • Career and Research Development Days, and
  • collaborations with the Graduate Division and other campus units in Student Academic Affairs and Campus Life Services.

Lastly, ASGD will continue to financially support RCOs that greatly benefit graduate students.

However, for ASGD to continue to be successful in serving graduate students at UCSF, it needs graduate students like you to be active part of it. The benefits of being an active member of ASGD include getting to know students outside your program or lab, gaining a deeper understanding of the issues that affect students at UCSF, familiarizing yourself with everything UCSF has to offer, exploring various non-academic career paths and contributing to the improvement of the graduate student experience at UCSF.

If you are interested in participating in ASGD or just want to learn more about how we can help you during your time at UCSF, please:

  • talk to me or any of our board members,
  • attend our monthly board meetings that occur on the 2nd Mondays of every month and alternate between Mission Bay/Parnassus, or
  • email us at [email protected].

Additional information about us and detailed board meeting info can be found on our web page at http://asgd-ucsf.org.

On the behalf of the board members of the Associated Students of Graduate Division, we look forward in serving your career, social and student life needs during your time at UCSF.


Michael Le

President, Associated Students of Graduate Division

PhD Candidate, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences

University of California, San Francisco