Sociology Graduate Student Association | Department of Sociology | SIU

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Sociology Graduate Student Association

At the meetings, we discuss various issues related to graduate student education and well-being at SIU, plans for future events, and receive reports from various officers.


Our officers' roles are as follows:

Sociology Graduate Student Association (SGSA)

The President is responsible for:

  • Renewing RSO status with Student Development.
  • Attending departmental meeting and reporting to the faculty on graduate student concerns/issues.
  • Coordinating a Colloquium series where scholars who match students' interests are brought to campus for a formal presentation and an informal lunch with interested graduate students.

The President, Vice President, and Treasurer are responsible for:

  • Organizing social events and creating a sociology t-shirt/hoodie/polo, etc.
  • Updating and maintaining the SGSC website.

The Vice President is responsible for:

  • Improving grad student morale, e.g. posting signs when students are defending dissertations, or sending out e-mails congratulating students for publications/awards.

The Treasurer is responsible for:

  • Collecting dues and handling money.

Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD) Honors Society

The President is responsible for:

  • Coordinating with the Faculty Advisor to renew RSO status for the chapter.
  • Soliciting suggestions from students/faculty for AKD induction speakers.
  • Coordinating with the Faculty Advisor to plan and execute the AKD induction ceremony.
  • Working with other AKD officers in securing travel funds, etc. from AKD
  • Informing graduate and undergraduate students of AKD guest speakers, ceremony, and party well in advance.

* The Vice President  - this position will be given to an undergrad student. In the event no undergraduate is available, a graduate student may fill the position. The VP is responsible for:

  • Serving as a liaison between graduate students and undergraduate students, in an effort to build up AKD. 

The Treasurer is responsible for:

  • Working to obtain AKD funding for students (grad and undergrad – who are current AKD members) to attend conferences.
  • Organizing AKD proffessional development workshops of interest to grad students, e.g. workshops on grant writing, going on the job market, etc. 

Graduate Professional Student Council

The GPSC representative is responsible for:

  • Attending GPSC meetings.
  • Reporting back via the email listserv.
  • Soliciting feedback from Sociology grad students in regards to voting issues.

Graduate Student Representatives

The MA and PhD representatives are responsible for:

  • Sending a brief summary regarding the faculty meeting, via the graduate student listserv.
  • Soliciting feedback from Sociology grad students in regards to voting issues.
  • Organizing nominations and elections in late Spring for the following school year, for all grad student positions.
  • Ensuring the job descriptions, and any updates, get passed on from year to year (A passing of the torch).

The graduate student representatives may also serve as a first channel in the expression of grievances by individual students, by groups of students, or by the sociology graduate students as a whole.  Grievances should be presented to the Chair of the Department and/or to the appropriate faculty member(s) for internal solution.  When possible, these grievances should be discussed without reference to the specific individual involved.

Furthermore: per the Sociology Department Operating Papers, graduate students are allowed 2 votes.

The graduate student representatives shall have voting rights on matters brought before the Department as except as follows:

  1. They shall not have voting rights in matters pertaining to the initial appointment, re-appointment, promotion, or recommendations on granting tenure to a faculty member.
  2. They shall not have voting rights in matters concerning the selection of the Department Chair, amendments to the operating paper, or program changes.
  3. They shall not have voting rights on specific matters deemed to involve a conflict of interest.  The existence of such conflict of interest shall be determined at the discretion of the Chair and with the concurrence of a majority of the Resident Faculty.
  4. In general, the graduate student representatives should attempt to represent student opinion on issues confronting the Department.  To facilitate such representation, the representatives shall solicit formal statements of opinion at their own discretion, at the request of faculty or at the request of students themselves.  These results shall be communicated to the faculty.

 

Graduate Studies Committee Representative

The represtnative meets with the committee as needed. They are responsible for representing graduate student interests, reporting back to students as needed (via email listserv), as well as representing the majority grad student vote.

From the Soc Op Papers:

The purpose of this committee is to consider all additions, deletions and modifications to the Graduate Program and curriculum, to make recommendations in such matters to the Department, and to select among applicants to the Department those to be given status as students in the programs for Master of Arts and the Doctorate. It will also recommend to the Chair candidates for stipends in these programs and candidates for instructional positions. The Committee is to be chaired by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Graduate student members of standing committees shall be nominated and elected by the graduate student constituency of the Department by the first departmental meeting of the Fall semester (i.e. the end of the previous year).

Each member of a standing committee shall have a vote on decisions or recommendations made by that committee.  A tabulation of such voting shall be incorporated in committee reports and/or recommendations to the Department.

Peer Mentor Coordinator

In order to help establish an inviting climate for new grad students, each interested incoming graduate student will be assigned a peer mentor. The Peer Mentor Coordinator is responsible for:

Gathering the names of volunteers from existing students. Getting the contact information of incoming graduate students. Along with their status (MA, PhD, being funded or not, etc), and their potential research interests.

Providing Peer Mentors with the information of their Mentees.

Arranging an initial get together of Mentors and Mentees.

Troubleshooting and ensuring the “match” works well for all.

Peer Mentors

  1. Graduate students are encouraged to volunteer to be a peer mentor to incoming grad students.

  2. Responsibilities include:

  3. Making initial contact with the incoming graduate student; in other words, not waiting for them to make first contact.

  4. Meeting with them twice their first month and then once a month for their first year (this is also negotiable between Mentor-Mentee).

    1. Mentorship may be around learning the language of graduate school, understanding school and department climate, familiarizing with Carbondale and campus, and teaching or research concerns.

Graduate Student Grievance Committee

* The student member of the Graduate Program Committee must have passed his or her comprehensive exams or completed two years of coursework in the Department” (Soc Dept Operating Papers).

This committee requires 1 MA and 1 PhD Representative. Both representatives meet with the committee as needed. They are responsible for representing graduate student interests, reporting back to students as needed (via email listserv), as well as representing the majority grad student vote.

From the Soc Op Papers:

The purpose of this committee is to provide a formal vehicle for the redress of grievances. Its composition and procedures are outlined in Section XIV below.

Graduate student members of standing committees shall be nominated and elected by the graduate student constituency of the Department by the first departmental meeting of the Fall semester (i.e. the end of the previous academic year).

Each member of a standing committee shall have a vote on decisions or recommendations made by that committee.  A tabulation of such voting shall be incorporated in committee reports and/or recommendations to the Department.

Instructional and Research Resources Committee

* A PhD student serves as a representative on this committee. The PhD student meets with the committee as needed. They are responsible for representing graduate student interests, reporting back to students as needed (via email listserv), as well as representing the majority grad student vote.

  1. From the Soc Op Papers:

The purpose of this committee is to monitor the condition of and recommend improvements upon or changes in the instructional equipment and research facilities available to the Department.

Graduate student members of standing committees shall be nominated and elected by the graduate student constituency of the Department by the first departmental meeting of the Fall semester.

Each member of a standing committee shall have a vote on decisions or recommendations made by that committee.  A tabulation of such voting shall be incorporated in committee reports and/or recommendations to the Department.

Ad Hoc Committees

  1. Depending on department need, Ad Hoc Committees will be created, and occasionally students will be asked to participate.

            Recruitment Committee – PhD Student

  • For the last couple years, a recruitment committee has been organized to recruit and interview potential new faculty members. The PhD student meets with the committee as needed. They are responsible for representing graduate student interests, reporting back to students as needed (via email listserv), as well as representing the majority grad student vote.