The GSG’s task is to improve the graduate student experience at Princeton and to advocate for the interests of graduate students.
In my view, this does not only include obvious issues we face in our graduate student lives such as housing & parking and aiming for efficient academic progress. It also means that the GSG should aim to promote social connections.
As GSG President, I therefore want to 1 ) lead the executive board on advocacy-related issues and continue to make sure that graduate students get the resources they need to succeed in graduate school. And 2) I want to focus on the social needs that we all have.
Being a graduate student at Princeton is hard work. We spend a lot of time working in our offices, in the libraries or hidden behind our laptops in coffee shops. To avoid isolation and to support social well-being, I aim to promote meaningful social connections on and off campus:
a) In addition to the four big fun parties that the GSG organizes each year, we need smaller events where graduate students can mingle and make new friends outside of their own department (e.g. regular coffee hours).
b) I’d like to expand the GSG’s fields of activity beyond the ‘orange bubble’. Sometimes it is difficult for socially engaged graduate students to find concrete information on how they can support the local community. I want to make it easier for interested students to find places where they can volunteer and to do community service at times that suit them (e.g. in collaboration with the PACE center).
Having been the GSG Treasurer and the Chair of the GSG Events Board in the past year, I got to know how the GSG works, what resources we have, and how the executive committee can advocate for graduate students’ concerns in many different areas. With this experience and the enthusiasm to continually improve what we do, I would be happy to serve as the GSG President in the upcoming year.
Kyle Keller (PSY)
My name is Kyle Keller and I am a 4th year social psychology graduate student studying attitude change and cognitive dissonance. I am currently the GSG secretary, and have acted as the psychology representative for the past three years. In addition, I am a member of the CPUC Governance committee as appointed through the GSG.
Given my tenure and involvement with the GSG, I am well-versed in the organizational and procedural details of the organization. Have attended some nearly three dozen assembly meetings, and participated in numerous elections, I am extremely knowledgeable about both the GSG in general and the office of the vice president in specific. My move from secretary to vice president is motivated by a desire to make use of my experience within the GSG (with the vice president taking charge of procedural and constitutional issues for the assembly) while maintaining my involvement with the organization at the executive level.
I promise to bring to the office of the vice president the same dedication I have brought to the GSG for the past three years.
I’m hoping to expand my role within the GSG as the next Communications Director. As a part of the GSG assembly this year, I’ve learned about the pressing issues affecting Princeton graduate students. I believe I can be a great advocate for our community on student life issues such as housing and transportation. Specific to the position I am running for, I will keep graduate students informed about the various events on campus and initiatives or issues that impact our lives.
While at Princeton, I spent the past three years on the Molecular Biology Student Recruiting Committee, organizing graduate student interview weekends. I am also a member of the MolBio Outreach Community, performing science-oriented community service and educational services such as tutoring and extracurricular lessons to the local community. For the past year, I have been involved the Graduate Student Government as a representative from the Molecular Biology department and a member of my department’s graduate student committee.
As an undergraduate at New York University, I served as President, Vice President, and Publicity Chair of my residence hall council. During this time, I served and represented a community of over 600 undergraduates in our residences and at a university-wide council for all residential undergraduates and graduate students. I also served as Resident Assistant. These experiences gave me plenty of first-hand experience with student advocacy and negotiating the bureaucracy of a large academic institution. Additionally, I believe they made me an effective communicator – a skill critical for the GSG Communications Director.
If elected to the GSG Executive Committee, I will be continue my past efforts in student advocacy by serving as a link between the graduate student body as a whole and the GSG assembly. I also promise to maintain an open line of communication between the GSG assembly and the graduate student body as a whole – without flooding anyone’s inbox.
I returned to Princeton in the fall of 2012 after a year of research abroad. While I was eager to get down to reading all the material I had collected in far-away places, I soon realized that there is one thing which I enjoy even more than adding yet another footnote: working in a team to run the Princeton Islamic Studies Colloquium and an upcoming graduate student conference which, most of all, means making sure that the appropriate information gets out to the right people and that our website is always up to-date. Additionally, I am involved in charity work (which involves writing tons of “encouraging” emails) and have a solid background in journalism – all essential skills, I believe to run for the office of Communications Director in the GSG. I think that the current officers have done a terrific job in initiating new exciting projects like the Restaurant Week and I would be honored to continue their legacy. In case you are interested in additional details: I am a fourth year PhD student in Near Eastern Studies, was born and raised in Germany and work on religious ties between Pakistan and the Middle East (besides playing squash and singing in the Georgian Choir).
Thomas Morrell (CHM)
I am running for communications director of the GSG to share my organization and communication skills with the graduate student community. As a researcher and teaching assistant, I have invested considerable time in learning how to communicate difficult concepts to different audiences. I have extensive computer, web design, and graphic design experience, and have implemented web resources ranging from a wiki to live temperature monitors. As secretary of the Princeton University Chinese Music Ensemble, I have made posters and organized concerts and club events. As communications chair of the Princeton International Chinese Music Festival, I have demonstrated the ability to apply my skills and coordinate communications for a major international event. I look forward to serving the broader graduate student community as communications director of the GSG.
I am a second year doctoral student in Molecular Biology and study genetics in the fruitfly. I have attended the GSG assembly meetings this year and would like to be more deeply involved in the running of the GSG. As secretary, I will keep the records of the GSG but I will also advocate to improve housing and parking policies and other issues that are important to my constituents. Please contact me with any questions or come meet me at the Meet the Candidates Forum on February 20.
My name is Quentin Berthet, I am a fourth year grad student in the ORFE department, and I am running for the position of Special Events Chair in the upcoming GSG Elections. I have no intention to waste your time with a long speech about why I am the best candidate. I will, however, promise that if elected, I will do my best to organize the GSG social events and parties. I will work hard to maintain the quality of the organized events that I have witnessed in my (almost) four years here, and try my best to make them even more fun. As I live off-campus, I am not planning to use the housing privileges, I am simply looking forward to help and have fun ! I have some experience with these types of positions, and can't wait to see you at the "Meet the Candidates" Forum on the 20th, should you have any questions.
My name is Shane Blackman and I would be honored to have your vote for the GSG’s Special Events chair. Not only would I love to serve the graduate school in planning the GSG’s major social events and parties, but I feel that my talents make me especially suited for the position. As all of my friends know, I have a passion for hospitality, an affinity for mixology, a knack for throwing parties, and experience planning large events. I believe that getting the little details right—such as the perfect cocktails, an excellent DJ, and an intriguing theme and ambiance—can turn a perfectly good party into an unforgettable experience.
As the GSG’s Special Events chair, I want to take our great parties and social gatherings to the next level: that means an attentive ear for what you, the graduate student body, want! Specifically, I intend to gather more in-depth feedback from the graduate student body about the GSG’s social events so that we can plan the best events possible and serve the specific needs of the graduate community. I also will endeavor to make every event that the GSG throws as popular and well-attended as the celebrated fall Wine and Cheese party. Continuing in the tradition of the new winter ‘50s party, I believe in providing fresh, innovative, and exciting themes for the GSG’s social events.
Planning a fantastic party needs more than just passion—it also requires the ability to execute plans with a lot of moving parts and work within a budget. I have plenty of experience organizing big events, and I’m up for the challenge of pushing the boundaries! Last summer, for example, I planned an epic 8-station movie-themed “progressive” cocktail party that took place in the Lawrence apartments. I also have lots of experience organizing large-scale events and participating in elected leadership roles. I served in numerous leadership positions in clubs in college, and now in graduate school I have been recently elected the social chair of Princeton’s own fencing club. I planned a graduate student conference at Princeton last spring, and have held numerous service positions within my department. If you vote for me, you can be sure that you will get a passionate, knowledgeable, and attentive representative with the experience needed to breathe new life into the graduate social scene. Thanks for your consideration—here’s to another awesome year of GSG events!