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This page documents an ongoing effort of the Working Group for establishing an Association of Mathematics Graduate Students and Teaching Assistants.

Math graduate students interesting in helping are welcome to join the group by subscribing to the mailing list|, which will be the primary way of organizing future meetings.

Meetings Minutes

Meeting #1: 2018-12-16, Sunday 12:30pm, notes by Vladimir Sotirov

Present: Michel Alexis, Benjamin Bruce, Vladimir Sotirov, Jenny Yeon

Goals of the association:

We first discussed what the goals of the association might be.

  1. to facilitate communication between graduate students and faculty:
    1. have a graduate student attend department meetings whose role is to relay relevant information back to the graduate students, e.g. via a newsletter, and to communicate positions of graduate students on issues that concern them;
    2. Michel mentioned Tonghai and Andreas are open to the above role, but would hesitate in allowing graduate students to vote at department meetings;
    3. provide structured time (e.g. monthly meeting, perhaps referendums via grad-chat) for graduate students to discuss issues that should be brought up to department meetings or to respond to policies being discussed at department meetings.
  2. to facilitate communication and support between graduate students:
    1. ) maintain awareness of various groups and activities organized by graduate students, especially concerning academic support and mentoring, as well as general stress management or mental health support.
  3. to assist and to mediate between faculty and individual or groups of graduate students whenever specific issues arise.
  4. to document and keep records graduate student life
    1. maintain a history of past discussions between graduate students and faculty, eliminating the need for folklore that shifts as students graduate, and allowing graduate student a "big picture" view;
    2. maintaining some kind of useful FAQ for graduate students beyond the Graduate Student and TA Handbooks that the department offers/will offer, e.g. various activities organized by grad students like DRP, peer mentoring, etc.

Roles within the association:

We briefly talked about the roles of people within the association's representative body.

  1. Representatives of various groups of students, e.g.
    1. representatives from each year
    2. representative from each academic status: pre-qualifiying exam, post-qualifyting exam but not dissertator, dissertator
    3. representatives for international students, women, other groups and minorities
  2. Representatives to attend department meetings
  3. Specialists in mental health resources and academic issues

Getting people involved:

We then discussed how to move forward with the establishing of the association, and specifically with getting people involved in the working group to make sure that what finally comes to be is as broadly useful as possible.

  1. Canvas people to let them know this is happening after we have concrete proposals that they can think over and comment on.
  2. Announce the working group somehow, e.g. via mailing list
  3. Perhaps have a google doc or some other collaborative document to house the drafts of the above goals and roles.


Finally, we assigned each other tasks to perform:

  1. Typing up the minutes (Vladimir)
  2. Establishing a google doc or wiki (Vladimir)
  3. Establishing a mailing list (Vladimir)
  4. Contact other department stewards via TAA (Ben)
  5. Send out a when2meet in early January to determine next meeting