Six Announce GSC CandidaciesBy Vipul Bhushan
The Graduate Student Council will elect new officers at its next full council meeting on April 5. There are currently two candidates each for President and Vice President, and one each for Treasurer and Secretary.
The GSC full council is composed of the four officers and representatives from each degree granting program and each living group. Any graduate student may run for office, and nominations remain open until the election takes place.
Christopher M. Gittins G, the current vice president, spoke highly of the candidates. They are all experienced people who seem committed to graduate student concerns, he said.
Roger G. Kermode G cited his current work as a chairman of the Activities Committee and his past involvement in undergraduate student government as qualifying him to be GSC president. Coming from Australia, he feels he can also identify with foreign students' concerns.
Kermode praised the many activities sponsored by the GSC, but said there was a need to increase student involvement. Students become involved with the GSC through two channels, he said. Some experience or perceive problems, and see the GSC as a vehicle for solving them. Others are involved in planning and participating in activities.
Kermode also recognizes the problems of the increasing cost of hiring Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program students and graduate research assistants.
Stan J. Reiss G lauded the abundance of GSC-sponsored social activities, but said they needs to increase their academic focus, perhaps including providing advice to incoming students and those writing theses, as well as sponsoring speakers.
Reiss would also like to increase the GSC's presence with the academic departments and to "make it beneficial to departments to have representatives," he said. The GSC also needs to make being a representative "more attractive."
GSC Vice Presidential candidate Joseph J. Bambenek's principal motivation is to "help make MIT better," he said. His priorities would be to fill graduate student vacancies on Institute committees, "fill the gaps," and help out in other GSC efforts. He would also like to have graduate dormitories fitted with ethernet connections.
Assef A. Zobian G said he feels that being vice president can be less time-consuming than being president, but is still effective. He also would like to increase student involvement in the GSC, but recognizes that many don't participate because they "feel a high level of satisfaction" with things as they currently are.
Zobian supports the notion of department level councils, saying they could organize such things as social and sports events and career seminars.
Treaurer and Secretary
Patrick S. Wojdowski G is the only candidate for treasurer. He does not have any specific platform, but said his priority, if elected, would be to sponsor many activities to "get graduate students together," and to address their concerns as they arise.
Susan L. Ipri G is the sole candidate for secretary. She said she would strive for "improved involvement and awareness of the GSC on campus" and make the GSC a genuine representative of the student body.
Ipri advocates printing a monthly newsletter to keep students aware of GSC issues and activities. She also cited weekly Tech advertisements as being instrumental in keeping students informed.
Ipri also feels that the GSC's focus should be more toward academic and policy issues. She sees health care and the source and management of RA support among important upcoming issues.