There are over 10,000 graduate and professional students at the University of Michigan. Who knew? And of that, nearly 80% are Rackham students. While there are literally thousands of graduate students on campus, most of us only meet a very small percentage of them. Am I really saying that there are thousands of people at the University with similar experiences to your own? Yes and no. As we each know, graduate school can be a unique experience for each of us so no two experiences are exactly alike. However, there are a number of similarities that span programs, departments, and even time itself. Your Rackham Student Government works to increase and enhance these commonalities by providing a number of social events each month to help you meet new and interesting graduate students from across the University. You’ve probably seen an e-mail or five of ours announcing our various events (Trips to see the Red Wings, our annual fall picnic, Ice Skating nights, etc.) and hopefully you’ve attended one or two. However, our commonalities aren’t limited to the desire to meet new people.
Beyond hosting events, RSG serves as a conduit between the student body and the Graduate School, the University administration, the state legislature, and even the federal government. We work on your behalf to make your time in Michigan the best it can be. If you see something in your program or in the University as a whole that you want to change, let us know, we’re here to help! The same holds true for laws and policies in Michigan and the U.S. We are a founding member of the Student Advocates for Graduate Education, a coalition and we work tirelessly to lobby state and federal decision makers on behalf of graduate and professional students.
RSG has 8 committees that work to improve graduate student life in their respective areas. Each committee is led by a chair or co-chairs and is always looking for new members. The committees and their areas of responsibility are:
- The Academic Affairs Committee – Deals with academic issues facing large groups of students down to individual issues facing a single student.
- The Budgetary Committee – Deals with our student fee. Manages the fee and allocates it to graduate student groups.
- The Communications Committee – Deals with appointing student to school and university committees and communication with the student body.
- The Elections Committee – Deals with our March and November elections.
- The Legislative Affairs Committee – RSG’s lobbying arm. Focuses on Local, State, and Federal issues ranging from the taxability of fellowships to international students’ visa issues.
- The Student Life Committee – Deals with all non-academic student life issues ranging from providing regular social events for graduate students to improving the general quality of life for our students.
- The Service Opportunities Committee – Provides opportunities for graduate students to engage in community service activities.
- The Post Graduate Career Opportunities Committee – Provides a diverse array of information and events to help educate the graduate student body about the multitude of non-academic career opportunities.
RSG’s Board is comprised of 22 elected representatives from across Rackham as well as the graduate student body president, vice president, and treasurer. The Board serves to coordinate the committees’ activities as well as to pass resolutions concerning the will of the student body. You don’t have to be elected to serve on the board… join as an associate representative! For more information about your student government (meeting minutes, planned events, funded student group requests, etc.), its current and planned activities, or to get involved, please visit http://rsg.umich.edu Or, should you have any questions about the information I’ve posted here, or if you just have a question in general, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me directly at email@example.com
About the Author
Michael Benson, President, Rackham Student Government
Published in: Professional Development