Spring 2009 Presidential Letter

Dear Graduate Students,

Welcome back after what I hope was a relaxing break for all of you. I am sure all of you are well into the swing of things this semester. This is the second of the two GSA President’s letter going out to all graduate students, and aims to give you an update of our activities since last fall and what our goals for the remainder of the semester. I would like to welcome all the new students who have joined the University this semester and we hope you will have a wonderful experience at Brandeis and create lasting friendships along the way.

We had a great Fall semester in which we were successful in forming the new GSA Executive Committee and the Senate body. One of my primary goals was to spread the awareness of GSA, which we accomplished during our visits to each of the three Graduate Schools. Furthermore we have been working on reducing decision making time for various requests, improved visibility of GSA representatives on campus, more social events, and forming stronger alliances between the University and students.

Our educational and social events have been very successful this year. We organized an apple picking, a trip to Wrentham outlets, Ski trip to Sunday River etc. TGIFs especially have been very popular this year. We have received several complements regarding the structure and selection of food offerings during this event. I am aware of all of you who would like to have it more often than just once a month. I assure you, that we are working diligently to look into all potential options, and we will do our best to meet your demands within the perimeters of our budgetary constraints.

We will be having a poster symposium in April, awarding travel and research grants, and conducting several other educational workshops this semester. Also, we will be holding elections so you can elect your representatives for the next academic year. Our website just went through a complete redesign, and the new website is up and running. Please take a moment to view it at www.Brandeis.edu/gradstudent/gsa. Our goal is to make it more user friendly, and become to go-to place for everything GSA, including dates and instructions for the above mentioned activities.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Alwina Bennett, Assistant Provost for Graduate Students for her mentorship and guidance, and Robin Hennessey, Graduate Center Coordinator at the Graduate Student Center for her continued support. I also would like to thank all the EC members and Senators, for all their hard work and commitment towards serving the Brandeis community. And last but not the least, a big thank you to all of you—the Graduate Students at Brandeis University—for your continued support and feedback. We hope you will continue giving us constructive criticisms as we go through our final term in office and we will continue serving you in the days to come.

Sincerely,

Ram Iyer 
GSA President 2008-09 
Brandeis University