Question. Investigate. Critique. Design. Analyze. Advance. While these are all activities Berkeley graduate students are used to doing in their academic lives, the dedicated students in The Graduate Assembly have added “Advocate” and “Lead” to their portfolios.
From regular Graduate Student Happy Hours to the Empowering Women of Color Conference, from free tax consultation to workshops for student parents, from The Berkeley Graduate online journal to the Queer and Transgender Advocacy Project, the Graduate Assembly works to improve the lives of graduate students and create a vibrant and inclusive graduate community.
In addition to funding student groups and serving as the official legislative body for all graduate students, the GA provides resources and advocacy through various projects and events.
Why Get Involved?
While many students have attended New Graduate Student Orientation or requested funds from the GA, most “don’t realize the full scope of our organization,” writes Marketing Director Lizz Niemeyer. “The Graduate Assembly also hosts amazing free events every week, provides over $150,000 per year in funding to student groups, and advocates for graduate student rights on issues spanning healthcare and sexual violence.”
By joining the GA, students get to work on the projects that they are passionate about. For example, Graduate Student Wellness Project Director Dax Vivid focuses efforts towards creating a more inclusive campus at all levels, working with the Emancipatory Sexuality Education program, engaging graduate students in trainings organized by the Restorative Justice Center and Multicultural Education Programs, and many other groups.
Not convinced? At first, Internal Vice President Aaron Smyth wasn’t either. He joined after being pressured by other students to be an alternate delegate. As he learned more about issues facing his fellow students, the more energized he became at the thought of giving back to the graduate community at large. Last year Aaron decided to run for the office of IVP and was elected! He also served on the workgroup to create the new Graduate Professional Services Center in Graduate Division, a collaborative effort that he believes is an outstanding testament to what can be accomplished through productive partnerships.
How to Get Involved Now
- Subscribe: Stay up-to-date with GA events by subscribing to the mailing list and following them on Facebook or Twitter.
- Speak Up: Make your voice heard during the public comment period at an Assembly meeting or weekly Executive Board meeting; communicate with your department’s GA delegate; or meet new colleagues during an upcoming Project Event.
- Participate: Put your passion to work by joining a GA Project (full list here) and getting involved in events and advocacy on campus and in the community. If you are interested in becoming a delegate for your department, visit http://ga.berkeley.edu/delegates.
Next Meeting of Graduate Assembly Delegates
Thursday, March 3, 5:30 pm
Senate Chambers, Eshleman Hall