Eric Koester: Calling on all graduate students

GW’s graduate programs produce some of our finest alumni doing leading work in medicine, law, academia, engineering, business and more. In fact, there are more graduate students on campus than undergraduates.

Why, then, isn’t there a unified voice for graduate students?

Why does virtually every other university have a dedicated organization representing all graduate students – a Graduate Association or Graduate Student Council – yet GW does not? From Harvard and Stanford to the University of South Carolina and the University of Arizona, they all have them, and we at GW remain without that voice.

Why do graduate students put in the same amount of money to the University and the Student Association, yet see far fewer benefits in return?

Why hasn’t anyone taken up graduate issues such as housing, parking, transcript prices, etc.?

Simply put, it is time for graduate students at this school to finally ask for a voice and get one. It is time for a unified voice of graduate students to advocate on our behalf and work to ensure better services for this majority of the student body.

So what can you as a student do about it – either as a graduate or an undergraduate? Well, you can participate in the Graduate Affairs Commission, recently put forth by SA President Audai Shakour. This group is tasked with finding ways to work with the SA, the Office of Graduate Life and the various graduate student organizations to reform how graduate students work together and help them speak with one voice.

We need graduate students to work together and determine our path rather than have it dictated for us. So if you want to get involved, let us know. We want your help and want a new path for graduate issues and students.

Contact me at sba@law.gwu.edu if you want to help or to offer your ideas.

It is time for a new voice – ours. Help make that voice loud and clear.

-The writer, a third-year law student, is president of the Student Bar Association.

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