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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Graduate Student What?

Graduate Student What?

At the end of this year, Sameer Tandon, the current President of the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA), will be graduating with a Master of Business Assembly in Finance and Health Care. He has graciously sat down with the Mass Media to do an interview on the GSA and his legacy as president for the past year.

Q. What does the Graduate Student Assembly do?

GSA represents graduate student interests. Part of it means that the president meets with faculty and staff to voice graduate student concerns and submit reports every month on the working progress of GSA. Another piece of what we do is providing financial support to graduate students through grants and event funding. We also support partner with other organizations to bring more events and relevant programming to campus, such as speakers and conferences. We also provide funding to RPA (Recognized Professional Associations) lesser-known organizations. As per the current record, we have 22 RPAs linked to GSA.

Q. Where do you see the GSA going in the future?

At our first meeting in April, we will be discussing our budget and future plans for the next academic year. Part of this discussion will be increasing graduate student participation. We have already purchased parking passes and T-passes to help more graduate students make meetings, and we plan to continue moving towards our goal of increasing participation. Soon, the graduate student body will be selecting their representatives for the new GSA administration. We’re eager to see what graduate students are looking forward to.

Q. How would you characterize the level of professional development of the graduate student body at UMB?

We know from our Professional Development Grant (PDG) applications that many students use their graduate school career to develop themselves both academically and professionally. PDGs are one or our largest expenditures, and we hope that even more graduate students will consider GSA as an option when they are looking to find funding for workshops, conferences, and other ventures.

Q. Where do you see room for improvement for the GSA as a whole?

I think we have done a great job at increasing the GSA’s transparency by making our agenda available online and allowing people to Skype into meetings. I hope that in the future the GSA will continue to invite graduate students who may not always be able to be physically present, but who nevertheless want to participate in their assembly. Working towards more graduate student participation will continue to be an opportunity for growth and improvement.

Q. How do you view your legacy as President of the GSA?

As the president, I have tried to achieve the primary objectives of GSA that were overlooked before, like effective fund utilization, GSA campus representation, inter-university events, student participation and website redesign. I think my Executive Committee (EC) and GSA members have played pivotal role in achieving these objectives. But still there is lot to be planned and done. Therefore, I believe that the groundwork has been laid down and things are right in place for a jump-start.

The next president will be well poised to take charge of GSA and enhance its reputation further. A piece of advice to the next president would be to have understanding and faith in your EC. I would take this opportunity to thank my Vice President Rachel, Secretary Golnaz and Treasurer Shaun for supporting me throughout.

Everyone at GSA has worked very hard to spread the awareness on campus. While the university is growing in stature, we are seeing an influx of very bright, talented and diverse graduate students.