first_imgThe newly elected leaders of the Graduate Student Government plan to select their new committee members by April 22, on track to meet plans to increase the organization’s on-campus presence next year.On March 4, Melody Shekari was elected GSG president, Victoria Pinto was elected vice president and Megan Yardley was elected Health Science Campus director.Shekari, a juris doctorate candidate at the Gould School of Law and the current director of elections and recruitment, said she wants to work with the administration to address funding issues, increase financial transparency and implement more consistent programming for graduate students during her term.“Family programming is huge,” Shekari said. “A lot of graduate students have families, so having events on weekends that kids can go to is definitely a major goal.”Shekari said she has specific plans to accomplish these programming goals, including the creation of family-friendly progamming, such as bowling nights, carnivals and community service.Shekari said one of her main goals is to make immediate visible changes by creating a new GSG website to serve as a resource for graduate students.“The current website is an old system,” Shekari said. “It doesn’t look good and it’s hard to manage, so one thing I’m trying to create is a new finance website to make it easier for students to apply for funding.”Shekari said she wants to implement a monthly Grad Bar, during which graduate students from schools in the area can come together and socialize. In addition, Shekari said she wants to start a weekly happy hour for graduate students, an expansion of the current monthly happy hour for students.“Our goal is to have a place where grad students can go every week and just enjoy themselves,” Shekari said.Pinto said her main priority is to continue improving communication between GSG and its constituents.“We represent families, veterans and a large number of international students,” Pinto said. “We want to make sure we are reaching out to the diverse student body that we serve.”In addition, Pinto said she would like to increase GSG’s presence on campus through more frequent programming and the establishment of GSG traditions.Yardley said her focus will be to expand on the work she is currently doing as Health Science Campus director to serve the needs of the HSC. She said she wants to improve interaction between HSC and the University Park Campus, including the implementation of a tram service on weekends, improving the intercampus shuttle system between the two campuses and expanding the subsidized Metro TAP program.Yardley said she wants to increase ties with the community through service opportunities and by working to implement a HSC Master Plan, which will focus on addressing the unique needs of students at the HSC.“We have more limited resources compared to UPC,” Yardley said. “So we have to be more strategic about how we use them to best serve the student population.”Overall, Yardley said she is optimistic for the upcoming term.“Stronger directors means stronger programming,” Shekari said. “We’ve definitely seen a lot of improvement.”last_img