In addition to the day-to-day services and student representation to the Grad Center that the DSC provides (e.g. discount movie tickets, safer sex materials, coffee and tea, program allocations, grants, committees, advocating for students with the administration) there are larger projects that we take up to represent student concerns. Please share your concerns at email@example.com.
Here is a sample of our projects:
- Space for collaborative group and quiet work space in the library: DSC leadership has brought student requests to both the library and the Provost’s office. The conversation is ongoing during the library reorganizing.
- Accessibility issues for students with disabilities: An ad-hoc committee was formed in Fall 2015 to better organize around accessibility issues at the GC.
- Program governance: The DSC continues to fight for student voice and vote in their programs’ committees, so that students are part of the decisions made at the program level. The DSC also continues to advocate for updating program governance documents, the majority of which have not been updated since 2010.
- Tuition remission for all students: Currently, the Graduate Center and CUNY Central provide tuition remission for full-time PhD students with Graduate Assistantships or CUNY Adjunct Lecturer titles teaching a minimum of three credits, and who are within their first 10 semesters only. The Graduate Center’s five-year fellowship packages also include tuition remission. The DSC is advocating for increased Graduate Center tuition remission for all students through the DSC Resolution process and a public awareness campaign.
- Space for prayer and meditation: Room 9201 is now available for prayer and meditation. DSC leadership brought student requests for such a space to the attention of administrators in 2012 and 2015, including the Office of Student Affairs and the President. Administrators are in agreement that this is an important need for GC students, but with many space issues during this time of 9th-floor build-out and library reorganizing plans, this may not be a permanent solution. We will continue to work with the administration to make sure that a space is available to students in the long-term.
- Gender Neutral Bathrooms: In Spring 2012, the DSC leadership, with student support, asked the administration for bathrooms that address the needs of trans and gender nonconforming students at the GC. That Fall, former President Bill Kelly said that the inclusion of gender-neutral bathrooms would be happening. In September 2015, the Facilities Services and Campus Planning office announced the designation of the first single-stall gender-neutral restroom facility. It is located in the southeast corner of the 7th floor, next to Room 7408 and Staircase C. Look for directions on the digital screen on the 7th floor elevator lobby. DSC leadership appreciates this as a first step in the right direction, and continues to push for the conversion of the main restrooms on the 1st and 5th floors to gender neutral restrooms.
- Parental Leave Policy: The Parental Leave Working Group was formed in Fall 2012. The group researched parental leave policies at institutions around the country and worked with the Provost’s office to achieve a Parental Accommodation Policy for GC students with fellowships. The GC announced a two-year pilot in 2014. As we head into the end of that two-year period, the Provost and the VP for Student Affairs are preparing to announce that the leave policy will continue permanently.
- Moving Blood Drives Off Campus: The DSC Plenary passed a resolution in Spring 2012 to continue hosting blood drives, but to move them to a mobile unit outside of the building. This resolution was in solidarity with students discriminated against by the FDA’s regulations about sexuality and blood donations. The Office of Student Affairs continues to host blood drives off campus.
- Emergency Student Loan Funds: In 2009, an anonymous donor and the DSC jointly established an Emergency Student Loan Fund. This Fund is under the administration of the Director of Financial Aid, and decisions regarding loans, loan amounts, and repayment plans are subject to appeal by the Vice President of Student Affairs.
- Book Scanner in Fifth-floor Computer Lounge: In 2014, DSC leadership advocated for a book scanner in the computer lounge within the Robert E. Gilleece Student Center. The book scanner can be found in room 5487.