The following message is from Katy Shoemaker, a senator representing SMAST at the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) of UMass Dartmouth.
Greetings fellow SMASTers! In addition to being represented by our two wonderful department representatives, the SMAST college has one seat in the UMD Graduate Student Senate. As your senator, I meet twice a month with the senators from the other colleges to discuss issues pertaining to our graduate community. We plan campus-wide activities as well as accept proposals for events hosted by individual organizations. Just this year, the GSS has voted to start an endowment fund in which monies raised through graduate events will be applied to a fund in which the interest accrued will be used as a scholarship for future graduate students.
The GSS can be a great source of extra funding for conferences. After asking the graduate school and SMAST for travel grants, the GSS often approves requests for small sums (up to $500 typically) to support individual travel.
As a part of the senate, I serve on two subcommittees: the election and social committees. If you are interested in running for my seat next year, or if you have any ideas or suggestions for events held through the school or through SMAST, feel free to contact me. Other schools and organizations use quite a lot of the GSS resources planning fun or enriching activities, and we should too!