Membership in the Communication Graduate Student Association (GSA) is automatically extended to all graduate students in the department, and all grad students are automatically signed up for the GSA's listserv. One of the functions of the GSA is to help new graduate students become oriented to the department, the university, and the community. To that end, it holds informal orientation sessions (including picnics, parties, library tours, etc.), offers help in the registration process, gives aid in acquiring housing, provides informal mentors to new students, etc.
The CGSA selects members to serve on the Committee on Alleged Capricious Grading and as representatives to the Graduate Policy Committee. In the event that the Director of Graduate Studies must form a Grievance Committee, the GSA selects the graduate student member of that committee as well. Through these committees and through meetings of the GSA officers and members with the Head of the Department and the Director of Graduate Studies, graduate students have well-established channels of input into policy decisions.
Welcome message from GSA
The Communication Graduate Student Association (GSA) is dedicated to fostering a strong graduate student community within the Department of Communication. The GSA officers dedicate time to thinking of ways to help Communication graduate students become more connected to the department, the university, and the community. All graduate students in the department are welcome to join in the relaxing social events and professional development workshops that take place each semester.
Moving to a new place can be a challenging (and even harrowing) experience. Leaving old friends and loved ones, packing up belongings, finding a place to live, and settling down is all part of coming to a new graduate program. The GSA strives to make this experience just a little bit easier. For incoming students, the GSA organizes the annual Welcome Incoming Graduate Students (W.I.N.G.S.) Weekends. Held at the beginning of the fall semester, these two activity-filled weekends give new students the chance to meet their new colleagues and to acquaint themselves with the Champaign-Urbana community through informal social activities.
The fun continues when the semester starts. Everyone needs a chance to unwind during a busy and stressful semester, so the GSA organizes several informal social events. Past events have included bowling, barbecues, festivals, potlucks, beach trips, ice skating, tubing down a river, and day trips. These events provide great opportunities to relax and interact with fellow graduate students.
Finally, we all know that professional development is an important part of graduate school. Each semester, the GSA brings faculty and students together to discuss topics that are essential to pursuing an academic or non-academic career. The GSA Professional Development Workshops strive to help all students become better professionals. These workshops cover topics such as constructing and updating a CV, navigating the job market, and publishing.