Fall 2009 Presidential Letter

Fellow Graduate Students,

On behalf of the 2009-2010 Graduate Student Association, I'm happy to officially welcome all of you to the 2009-10 academic year. To new students, welcome to the Brandeis community. I'm sure this is one of the best decisions you've made in your life, so I want to tell you that we are delighted to have you on board. To returning grad students welcome back home! The present letter is the first of a series of Graduate Student Association (GSA) President’s letters in which I will provide you with some updates on the GSA Executive Committee and the GSA Senate's activities.

Before I begin, I would like to highlight that the elections are upon us. If you are interested in running for the senate, we will start accepting nominations for potential senators on September 21st. Look for an email from the Senate Chair, Orlee Rabin, soon!

The 2009-10 Executive Committee (EC) is committed to building upon the foundations laid by last year's team and establishing new initiatives to strengthen the graduate student community. We look forward to a rewarding year and share some of our goals and future activities for the year. Please check out our website for more information.

Our Goals for the 2009-2010 year are as follows:

  • Increase awareness of the GSA through organizing unique activities that will bring together students from the different schools – The International Business School, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, and The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
  • Present the goals and concerns of the graduate students to the University by building working relationships with faculty and administration through our representation in various University Committees and through our representative for the Board of Trustees, Scott Motyka.

Check out the GSA website for the most up-to-date information about our social programming. Upcoming Activities include:

  • Election night and Grand Opening of the Graduate Student Study Lounge (located on the first floor of Gerstenzang (G-zang) Science Library on Thursday, October 24. Stop by between 5pm-7pm for snacks and to learn more about how to become active in the GSA—or how to run for Senator to represent your school or program!
  • A trip to a local farm to pick apples and admire the fall foliage, as well as a trip to the Wrentham Premium Outlet Stores.
  • Discounted tickets to various cultural events in the Boston area including the ballet (Giselle), the opera (Carmen), visiting Broadway shows (Fiddler on the Roof) and the Boston Symphony Orchestra Beethoven's 4th & 5th Symphonies)! Sign up on the graduate cultural arts mailing list (lists.brandeis.edu/wws/info/gscac), the GSA mailing list (lists.brandeis.edu/wws/info/gsa), join our Facebook group.
  • Movie nights--complete with popcorn and candy--on the last Wednesday of every Month in the Graduate Student Center.
  • The 8th annual GSA Ski Trip during February break and day trips to local sites, based on student suggestions.
  • TGIF!!! The first Friday of the month we arrange for a “Happy Hour” at the Stein: free drinks, snacks, and music for all graduate students.

Additionally, we would like to highlight some of this year's past events:

  • A joint GSA/MIT Cruise party: This event allowed the new graduate students to dance away and meet MIT graduate students while cruising through the Boston Harbor.
  • An International Potluck Dinner for Brandeis and MIT students.

Finally, I want to acknowledge the phenomenal work that the Assistant Provost for Graduate Student Affairs, Alwina Bennett, and Center Coordinator Robin Hennessey have done at the Graduate Student Center. They made the transition for the current EC a great success!

Therefore comrades, I now want to wish you a successful and fun-filled semester. Please, do not hesitate to knock on our door (either at the Graduate Student Center or at the new Graduate Student Study Lounge in G-zang) because it is up to you to make Brandeis a better community of scholars.

Sincerely yours,

Joao Bernardo Vieira
GSA President 2009-2010
Brandeis University

For more information about the GSA, elections, activities, and policies, please check out our website (http://www.brandeis.edu/gradstudent/gsa), join our Facebook group (http://brandeis.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2213016934), check out our blog (http://brandeisgsa.blogspot.com/), or subscribe to our email list (lists.brandeis.edu/wws/info/gsa).