October 22, 2020
Dear Graduate Students,
I hope this message finds you and yours safe and well. As we approach the end of October, I remain inspired by the ways our graduate community continues to care for and support one another. Thank you for sharing your ideas and feedback with members of the Graduate School team and me. Your voice matters, and your ongoing input helps us to shape broader solutions that benefit all graduate students. There are a number of ways for graduate students to contribute ideas and advocate for issues of importance to you, and I encourage you to remain engaged even while many of us work remotely.
I’d also like to express my sincere gratitude to the Graduate Student Government (GSG) for their outstanding leadership and advocacy. Becoming involved with the GSG is one key way for you to play an active role in building community with fellow graduate students, to be a part of University governance, and to address issues that are important to us all. Through weekly meetings with the GSG, my staff and I are made aware of concerns and work together to find solutions. I write today to share a few such solutions.
Covid-19 Hardship Funds
The Graduate School continues to provide hardship funds for those of you with unexpected financial need related to Covid-19. The fund has recently been increased, allowing us to expand the types of costs we can help to offset. In particular, we are now able to provide additional assistance to those of you who have had to learn or conduct research remotely without adequate specialized technology or materials. Some of you may have different research needs because you have had to rethink your topics or research direction given restrictions on travel and access to fieldwork or materials. Appropriate research-related requests in this area may now include increased internet support, new or different research materials, subscriptions, books, etc.
We also continue to consider requests to provide assistance for Covid-19-related needs including but not limited to relocation/travel costs, storage fees, and food insecurity. These funds are intended for emergency costs related to Covid-19 and are not intended to cover costs that would otherwise have been incurred, such as tuition and fees, regular rent, etc. If you have questions related to a potential request, please reach out to Sarah Mullins (firstname.lastname@example.org), who will consult with deans in the Graduate School as necessary. You may apply for assistance here.
As a reminder, any stipend funding extension requests should be directed to your departments, which have been fully enabled to provide funding extensions to Ph.D. students who have had research setbacks.
Additional Private Study Spaces
We are very pleased to announce that 20 new private study spaces have now been made available for daily reservation at the New Graduate College. These spaces can be reserved for single occupancy use, allowing for a private study or workspace in which students can work without face coverings. For guidelines and to reserve a space, please visit the EMS website. We are very grateful to our partners in University Services and throughout campus for making this possible and for maintaining the necessary health and safety protocols.
We recently shared that reservable spaces for graduate students to study and work were made available in Chancellor Green. These spaces continue to be available by reservation, in addition to several new spaces that were added in the Frist Campus Center. To reserve these spaces, please visit the EMS website.
Additionally, the Library Study-Browse Service continues to be available for graduate students to book a seat for an available time slot in a designated space within our on-campus libraries. Students can use the online reservation system to book a seat.
Town Hall on Anti-Racism Efforts
As was announced earlier by the GSG, the Office of the Vice President for Campus Life and the Graduate School, in partnership with the GSG, will be hosting a town hall regarding the University’s ongoing efforts to combat systemic racism. The town hall will take place from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 27th. President Eisgruber will be joined by Provost Prentice, Vice Provost Minter, and Dean Kulkarni. Vice President Calhoun and I will be moderating the conversation, and Dean Schreyer will also be in attendance. Questions can be submitted in advance to email@example.com. Please register for the Town Hall here.
Again, thank you for all of your individual and collective efforts to support one another, and for your ongoing involvement in our University community.
Wishing you well,
Cole M. Crittenden
Deputy Dean and Acting Dean of the Graduate School