Sunday, October 4, 2009

Grad students and campus community

An anonymous reader responded to my question "how can I help" last week with a few issues. I will address one each over the next few posts.

Here is the first issue raised in the post: "...what i am struggling the most with right now is feeling like I am part of the campus community. i am a fulltime student, commute to campus, and work."

Feeling as if you are part of the campus community, as a graduate student (who works) can be a challenge. Given that you are in student affairs (that is my background too!), I can imagine that you were an involved undergraduate so the transition is even trickier.

I encourage you to think more about how it is that you would really like to feel "part of" the campus community. Is it about having a group on campus with which you are affiliated, is it about connection with faculty, is it about contributing to the campus community? Other ideas?

I think that it is generally more difficult for grad students to get connected -- the opportunities are not as obvious as they were on the undergrad level, plus as you noted, in many cases, we are commuting to campus and/or working.

We'll talk about connecting with faculty later in the week. For now, a few other ideas (and keep in mind, I don't know what your time constraints are):

- Graduate student organizations? Graduate student government?

- Committees on campus that seek graduate student participation? Check with the provost and or dean of student affairs to explore this.

- Undergraduate organizations that may be interested in a grad advisor?

- Recruit others from your dept to field an intramural team

Do any of these resonate? What kind of campus connections you are seeking?


1 comment:

  1. I tried participating in a campus activity when I first started my grad studies - it was a Yoga class and frankly, their start times made it next to impossible for a working student to attend.

    The few yoga classes I did, I felt very out of place.

    The only grad student association that works for me is meeting classmates before class for a quick bite to eat! :)


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