I am a PhD student in Latin American, Caribbean, and US Latino Studies. My areas of interests are Indo-Caribbean culture, immigration, education, race, and gender.
As President of the GSA this past year I made it my number one priority to work on structural reformation of the GSA, both through re-sdesign and the construction of critical institutional memory. I have tried to develop a culture of informed decision-making and reached out to other student governments to seek out best practices. Through careful analysis of our spending we were able to raise print allocations and seek out more resources for students while still keeping a tight budget (respecting your student fees). We have taken important steps to transition our financial system online to prevent overspending, and initiated sustained communication with supporting entities on campus such as the GSEU, UUP, Office of Environmental Sustainability, Library Services, among many others.
As graduate students, there will always be barriers frustrating us, but that does not negate the collective power of our intelligences and it does not erase the various positions we have a right to in this University structure and beyond. The GSA is built into the University to represent your voice in the Senate, on the University Council, the UAS Board, and the SUNY wide Student Assembly, as well as a host of other administrative committees. If we want faculty and administration to value us, we as a body of students need to recognize and value our role on campus.
I believe our strategic plan for the year does exactly that. In efforts to develop a hybrid professional development model which empowers graduate students for both the academic and non-academic job market, and to achieve structural and social justice initiatives both inside and outside the University, I believe we will demonstrate both the structural integrity of our student government and the power of our student body. While we have made great progress, the arc of our cultural transformation as a student government is much longer than the terms I am allowed to hold. While this may be my last term as President, I intend to stick around in whatever capacity I can best serve graduate students at UAlbany.