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Dear graduate students,

please see the message below from Yang and the attachments regarding updates from university leadership. Currently, a taskforce is discussing how to improve the situation of graduate students. Your input to this process is very much valued.

Thanks to Yang for his time and dedication in representing our graduate students and our department!

Best,

Martin Slawski
Department of Statistics
Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MS 4A7
Fairfax, VA  22030-4444

Office: Nguyen Engineering Building, Room 1708
Phone: (703)993-1690

https://sites.google.com/site/slawskimartin/
________________________________
From: Yang Long <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, October 29, 2021 4:40 PM
To: Martin P Slawski <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Messages from the October GMU GAPSA (Graduate and Professional Student Association) Meeting


Hi Dr. Slawski,



I attended the recent GMU GAPSA meeting as a general assembly representative of our department, and there is information on University Career Services, news about graduate student housing and request for feedback on “Graduate Education Reimagining Task Force” that I would like to share with my fellow graduate students. It would be so much appreciated if you could help spread these words from our GAPSA president:



University Career Services:



Career Services presented all the opportunities they have for graduate students, ranging from resume review to practice interviews to drop-in hours to weekday evening Zoom office hours. I have attached the presentation slides, and please take advantage and use these great services!



Student Housing:



  1.  VP of University Life Rose Pascarell mentioned that there are opportunities coming up to offer more graduate student housing. We're excited to share that one of these opportunities went LIVE this week: For Spring 2022, there will be housing available on Fairfax campus for graduate students (see more info here<https://housing.gmu.edu/housing-options/graduate-students>). Moreover, we've spoken to the Dean of Housing, and their goal is to put graduate students together into the same area of apartments on campus, separated from the undergraduate students, thus creating a bit of a "graduate student space". However, in order to do that, they need enough grad students to apply for housing in Spring 2022. The application will begin on November 2 on the Housing Portal<https://secure-web.cisco.com/1u-Q4_0Ur0bAhifMQ1XQSzs7_ut9zOogrsUc__klkAptnTq-TwO3Np-9X_4Hw9dnBdi2lVf2iYyrguBGMZRoLOkqwqWxMhZykBUKohlh1Z2fu1xzuBozimUC6fOKoiT7FNIwC0GdfVXYuvp69yjvqyvWQJaaPd4dMHSifhxg1XxAxfdFLIcaPEtIPndXc12V-3fCSvY8dZHAWht0Q9-AI2y-CKM3LgVO1jD7_o7M-tin7orGzjAhvN4ptRDW65IzoRLL5EjwxmmgaZoE4--2ux8tmeNPWze6L4LtVPinR53Iz9arAM3tYRAdli30a2800UrVBBF2-KUWKf-DuwiPJJgjiVpN1a5kwnqZOgWzmT8ns-SlKz6PvAnh_BS31T95UyDZrUjDrQidmhHkJy_6UNY6rxuVnzSw8m9v-ObjP4o1k4OxQJycCEvTLUY_2szb5o3WAjWkY3BfftQGO5BtqvA/https%3A%2F%2Fgmu.starrezhousing.com%2FStarRezPortal%2FCA12C339%2F1%2F1%2FHome-George_Mason_Housing%3FUrlToken%3DF80DBAD7>.



  1.  Also related to housing: We also have confirmed that next Fall 2022, Mason plans on leasing out several townhomes located north of campus (between campus and Old Town) to graduate students specifically. This is not live yet, as applications for Fall will open sometime in Dec/Jan. Again, in speaking with the Dean of Housing, the goal is again to create a "graduate student space" by reserving an entire row of townhomes for grad students; however, to do that, there will need to be enough grad students who apply to live in these townhomes.



Feedback on “Graduate Education Reimagining Task Force”:



Mason is considering a new initiative to implement a graduate division/school that would oversee all of the graduate students and programs here at Mason. This initiative would potentially allow for better collaboration (for example, easier access to classes or research or mentors outside of your department), more efficiency (for example, fewer forms and easier-to-navigate paperwork), and improved services (for example, more scalable services such as career support, counseling, etc.).



Of course, such an initiative could come with challenges as well. We are currently soliciting feedback on these ideas from faculty, staff, and graduate students. You can find the full report at the website here: https://provost.gmu.edu/initiatives/graduate-education-reimagine-task-force. The full draft report and a summary from one of the GA reps are attached in this email as well.



I would like to invite you to review the report and email me if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas. Specifically, we are looking for answers to these key questions:
1. What are some of the challenges you currently face as a graduate student? More importantly, how might centralized support (i.e., support from outside of your department) help address some of these challenges?

2. What should our top priorities be in addressing graduate student concerns? Of all the challenges mentioned in the report, which do you think are most important to find solutions for?

3. What are some current centralized services that you use, if any? These are services provided by people or departments from outside of your immediate program.



Students can send the feedback, comments, questions, ideas directly to me at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> and I will forward to our president, and the deadline is November 5. Thank you so much!



Best,

Yang