Get to know your GSC Execs! Over the year, The Graduate Forum will be highlighting each newly elected Executive Board member of the Graduate Student Council (GSC). Check back for more highlights as the weeks go by.
As the Vice President of the Graduate Student Council (GSC), Aarathi Prasad helps plan and coordinate all of the council’s events and meetings. In addition to her administrative duties, Aarathi also attends leadership programs, including the upcoming 2011-’12 Ivy Summit, a conference where graduate student government executives from all eight Ivy League schools and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) share their best practices. MIT is hosting this year’s Ivy Summit.
“I think of myself as the glue which holds the GSC together,” explains Aarathi. “In the middle of the term, everyone on the Executive Board gets busy planning activities, and it’s my job to keep everyone on the same page. I make sure we are all working together.”
During her five months as Vice President, Aarathi has worked with the smaller, GSC-funded clubs. Many of these student clubs—like the Graduate Women in Science and Engineering (GWISE) and the International Graduate Mentoring Program (IGMP)—host well-attended events that provide the space for graduate students to socialize in a relaxed setting. In addition to volunteering at these activities, Aarathi also publicizes these events, and makes sure that the campus knows the GSC makes these small-scale events possible.
“The GSC provides funding, as well as official recognition for these groups. Through supporting groups like the Dartmouth Graduate Outing Club (DGOC) and IGMP, the GSC creates the social space for these student groups to host small, alcohol free events. I think this is important because a large number of graduate students don’t drink.”
Aarathi attributes her success as Vice President to her prior involvement with the GSC, both as the Student Representative to the Hopkins Center for the Arts (HOP), and as secretary. While serving as the HOP Representative as a first-year masters student, Aarathi attended all of the GSC monthly meetings, and enjoyed many of the GSC-sponsored social events. During her second year at Dartmouth, Aarathi learned about all GSC-related issues while taking notes at the monthly council meetings.
“Sitting there and typing notes helped me to understand all of the arguments, and taught me how the GSC works. Being the secretary allowed me to learn the constitution, which I think helped me better deal with graduate student issues. Also, I learned a lot at last year’s Ivy Summit at Princeton.”
Born in India, Aarathi is currently finishing the requirements for her master’s degree in computer science, and is also a PhD candidate.
by Wesley Whitaker
photo by Wesley Whitaker