joined the group Caucuses: Graduate Student
Posted Thursday, May 30, 2019
This page is a shared space for grad student members to network, blog, and participate in forums. The page is administered by the current UFVA Grad Student Representative.
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The biggest issue was one of respondents to student work. Two reasons for Graduate Students (GS) to come to a conference like UFVA are to get feedback from faculty other than their own and to be seen by faculty who might be in a position to hire them some day. What ended up happening more often than not was the pairing of two GS in one session which means that few if any faculty showed up. The Caucus felt it would like to have at least one faculty respondent to student work, or to allow for a GS screening to be paired with a faculty screening. It was also mentioned that we would like the opportunity to respond to faculty work. We are conscious of the fact that faculty who are submitting for tenure purposes need to responded to by faculty, but feel that our need for both feedback and recognition is as valid. Many faculty submit WIP, but most of the student work, with a very rare exception, are finished pieces. Presentation of papers and speaking on panels took place in a mixed setting it was felt, but care should be taken to make sure that the GS student work is not segregated either.
Speaking to WIP, we feel it necessary to clearly delineate in the program what is being Juried, what is being considered "formal screening” and what is a WIP (work in progress).
Once the Student Board Member is chosen, the caucus would like to task them with coordinating and hosting the Open Graduate Screening for the Wednesday or Thursday night of the conference. We felt that a "show what you brought” format would be best until such time as it became completely unruly and impractical.
The final four issues all dealt with the conference cost. We are grateful that there is a 45% discount for conference registration. It was mentioned that care be shown to make sure that acceptance to screen/present at the conference isn’t given so near the "regular registration” deadline that it made it difficult to file the appropriate paperwork and get funds from GS departments to pay for registration.
The next issue is the cost of the banquet. While we are cognizant of the fact that the price is fixed by the hosting school, and little can be done to alter it, we wanted to register that the price quite often is just too high for students on a limited budget. Any gathering where GS can get more face-time with faculty is a good thing, and many can’t afford the banquet.
We would like to explore the possibility of a housing discount for GS, or the opportunity for GS to get together to split hotel costs. At Champlain, the cost was $260 for 5 nights in a double room (inc. breakfast). Personally, I did 6 nights for $120 by splitting a hotel room 4 ways with other GS from UNT. Some who are going on their own may not have that option, and just need some way to be put in touch with others. This will probably be done through the forums on UFVA.org, but the concern was there.
Lastly, we would like to explore the possibility of a scholarship (either competitive or need based, maybe a matching grant) that would cover the cost of the conference fee and housing either partially or fully. We would be willing to entertain a slight increase in dues for GS that would specifically go toward a fund for that.