What’s happening beyond the bench?

Graduate Division

The Associated Students of Graduate Division (ASGD) met for their first meeting of the quarter on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at Mission Bay. The meeting was well-attended with representatives from the various graduate programs, leaders of registered campus organizations (RCOs), and the ASGD executive board. ASGD entered the year looking to improve communication and transparency, strengthen student services and cultivate a graduate community. Meeting attendees did not waste any time approaching these goals; several key points were brought up:

1. What are RCOs doing?

Ten different RCOs requested funding for the fall quarter! As support for building a graduate community and enhancing the student experience, all RCOs received their requested funding. This means that we should expect a full slate of professional, networking, social, and academic events this fall. Look out for upcoming programing from groups such as Scientists 4 Diversity, Graduate Queer Alliance, Women in Life Sciences, and JewCSF.

2. Is student health adequately protected?

Discussion buzzed around the topic of student health because although all registered students are automatically enrolled in UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC-SHIP), several do not feel covered in the event of an injury. In the case of trauma, several students were referred to San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH).

Despite serving as a teaching hospital for UCSF residents, SFGH is an out-of-network provider under UC SHIP – leaving students with exorbitant medical bills and forcing some to cancel follow-up appointments because of the financial burden. The system is confusing. Navigating deductibles and network providers is the last thing sick or injured students should have to do. Including SFGH in UC-SHIP would ameliorate the issue of students foregoing medical care. With the student health advisory committee in the process of forming, this will be an interesting issue to keep an eye on.

What happens if you are injured in your lab? What if that injury prevents you from performing experiments for an extended period of time? Pipetting may not be a dangerous activity, but these questions carry serious consequences. Currently, students do not have worker’s compensation insurance and are not eligible for any form of restitution if something does go wrong while working. Look out for clarification on what the university plans to do in these scenarios.

3. What events are coming up?

Debate continues over the UCSF all school formal, currently scheduled for Saturday, January 30, 2016. The formal historically boasts the largest turnouts of all student events, but it is occurring during graduate recruitment season and, in past years, the $40 ticket price has limited graduate student attendance. ASGD is looking to boost graduate participation by potentially hosting a pre-formal event, but is also brainstorming alternatives such as a student carnival, outdoor movie, or barbeque.

ASGD also has a slate of planned events including Game Night at Mission Bay (Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m,), a panel with key administrators from UCSF housing and transportation (Thursday, November 12, 2015), and one-day dodgeball tournament in late-November.

Interested in advocating for students or voicing student concerns? The next ASGD Board Meeting will be Tuesday, November 10, 2015 (6:00 - 7:30 p.m.) at Parnassus. It will be a busy and exciting year for student government. For updates go to the website (asgd-ucsf.org) or like them on Facebook (UCSF ASGD).