April 30, 2021
Dear brilliant students,
As the academic year winds down, I congratulate you on a job well done! This year was one of the most difficult in human history, and throughout all our challenges (and perhaps also because of them), I’ve seen Mason’s graduate and professional students show great resilience, creativity, ingenuity, and compassion. I’ve seen such growth, so much introspection—we are doing the difficult work of identifying unconscious biases and true passions so we can bring our best world! And that is no small feat!!
Yet before we celebrate our noteworthy accomplishments, I have one last request for you as outgoing President of GAPSA:
Will you lend your voice to help guide the changes needed to best support students?
As we researchers know, data is crucial. Our lived experiences are paramount! That’s why I’m asking you to please take a few minutes to share your important insights.
University leadership needs to know what you’re experiencing. They need to know what supports you need to ensure your wellness and well-rounded success.
Unless we tell them, they do not know!
For example, Associate Provost Dr. Bray and colleagues created several new scholarships for graduate and professional students this year; the Graduate Council offered alternative grading options; and Graduate Life has put on many helpful events to support graduate and professional student wellbeing and success in response to graduate and professional students’ needs.
BIG university changes are underway, from the tech corridor in Arlington and new Mason Sustainability Council initiatives! This is alongside our impressive Office of Sustainability to guide our campus in going green and the next steps in our ARIE task force and Mason’s Quality Enhancement Plan to promote “Transformative Education through Anti-Racist Community Engagement.”
As we continue to build a sustainable campus, we emphasize that students must also be sustained. Let’s continue to build a symbiotic culture with our graduate and professional students, university leadership, and larger community.
Please complete these 2 short surveys, vote for next year’s GAPSA leadership, and leave a public comment for the Board of Visitors (BOV) and/or sign the petition; the BOV is voting on May 6th regarding raising tuition and other fees.
Your 20 minutes could not only help provide support by showing the need for additional funding and a freeze in rising tuition costs, you can also help promote a campus culture that is more inclusive of student needs.
- The Board of Visitors is voting on May 6th regarding tuition and other fee increases, including proposed increases for graduate tuition and fees for all students.
- Associate Provost Dr. Bray’s Survey to Identify Needed Pandemic Responses (by Friday the 30th at 5 PM): https://gmu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1QUm2iXd1LjBILc
- Meet the candidates for next year’s GAPSA leadership and vote for our new board by Friday (30th) at 11:55 PM! All election information and links to learn about candidates and to vote can be found here.
- Complete GAPSA’s Cost of Living Survey by Friday, May 21st at 5 PM ET here. This will help us collect actual costs that our Mason graduate and professional students have and the types of current support by the university so we can identify and fill any gaps! (No personal information is collected and only aggregates will be used, so you will not be identifiable!)
Thank you so much! And please enjoy your summer!!
Best wishes for your brightest future,
Lilianna Deveneau, GAPSA President