Why is the February Blood Drive Off-Campus?
Last spring, the Doctoral Students’ Council passed a resolution formally stating its position that blood drives should be moved off-campus until the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lifts its ban on the blood of men who have or have had sex with men. The DSC’s position was that events that discriminate against students, faculty, and staff should not be held on campus. We put forward this position in meetings with administrators and the New York Blood Center, and were successful in establishing this policy. Going forward, blood drives will not be held on-campus, and any advertising of drives will be paired with a campaign to end the ban. The drive on February 21 will be held in a FDA medical bus parked nearby the Graduate Center.
What are these flatscreens that have been installed throughout the building?
The Graduate Center was awarded capital funds several years ago to install digital signage throughout the building. There are several screens that will be installed at the entrance to the elevators in the lobby, where there are currently bulletin boards on easels. In addition to the lobby entrance, there are screens in the glass display cases beside the elevators on each floor. Some screens will include an automatic feed from the GC’s events calendar, and most will display a rotation of “flyers.” Any student, or other member of the community, can submit a flyer to be included in the rotation. The template for these flyers, a PowerPoint slide with a GC logo in the corner, is now publicly available on the GC website: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/About-the-GC/Resource-Services/Communications—Marketing/Digital-Signage. This page also provides information on which entities manage which screens—students and other members of the community will have to contact the “owners” of the different screens to have their flyers included in the rotation. Communication & Marketing will manage the lobby and display case screens. In addition, Event Planning, the Library, the James Gallery, the Science Center, Student Affairs, and the DSC each control at least one screen. The GC has also announced plans to eliminate many of the bulletin boards on easels. The DSC has expressed concerns about this move and is working to ensure that bulletin boards remain available, especially until we see how these screens will work out.
Students who want flyers included in the rotation on the DSC’s screens (which are in the 5th floor DSC hallways, and outside 5409) should email the PowerPoint slides to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include with each slide the dates that the flyer should be visible, and provide at least three business days ahead of the start date for the DSC to respond to the request.
If you have suggestions or concerns about the screens, the Communications & Marketing department at the Graduate Center has set up an email account to which the community can direct comments: email@example.com.
How can I impact the running of the Graduate Center?
The Doctoral Students’ Council makes its own policy and represents student interests to the GC administration. Nominations to serve on the DSC are open this month—until March 1. Consider nominating yourself or other students you believe would represent your interests. The DSC has two kinds of representatives—program representatives, for which you can nominate registered students in your program, and at-large representatives, for which you can nominate any registered student at the Graduate Center. DSC officers and committee members are selected from those elected to the DSC. Representatives vote on the DSC’s budget, which is funded from the student fee. Meetings happen once a month and are a good way to hear about developments at the GC from guest speakers, DSC leadership, and other DSC representatives. Programs must be represented on the DSC to collect their program allocation, which programs often use to fund social events, conferences, reading groups, and lounge improvements.
What about Program-level elections?
Programs should also be holding elections for student representatives on program standing committees and the Graduate Council this spring. Every program should have active Faculty Membership, Curriculum and Examinations, Admissions and Awards, and Elections Committees, and all of those committees should have elected student members, according to the Graduate Council bylaws. As members of the committee, these student members should never be asked to leave meetings. Students can review the Graduate Council bylaws to see whether their program’s governance documents and practices are up to date and in compliance with the bylaws. In addition, the Grad Council bylaws grant powers to a critical mass of students to bring structural and curricular changes directly to Graduate Council committees. If you have questions on these issues, or would like to share what happens in your program, please contact the DSC.
How can I get in touch with other Graduate Center Students?
The DSC launched two listservs last semester. The DSC-L is open to all students to join and post messages. DSCAnnouncements-L is open for all students to join, but only DSC officers will be able to post messages. To join either of these DSC listservs, find the list you wish to join at gc.listserv.cuny.edu, and follow the links to subscribe, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.