Legislative Action Subcommittee
The GSC Legislative Action Subcommittee (LASC) was established in October 2009. We are charged with the following mission:
- To act as the representative body to local, state, and federal governments;
- To maintain awareness of legislative and regulatory developments affecting graduate students and disseminate information through the GSC;
- To encourage graduate student participation and activism in the political and legislative process.
2014-2015 Co-chairs: Yuqing Cui (G4, ChemE), Arolyn Conwill (G5, Physics)
For the most up to date information on our biweekly meetings, please see the GSC Meetings Calendar. Our meetings are open to all members of the MIT graduate student community.
GSC Legislative Platform
Here is our complete GSC Legislative Platform, last updated in March 2015.
Advocacy on Capitol Hill
Currently, the LASC is focusing on the following issues:
- Increases in federal funding for education and research in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields (one page summary here);
- Promoting science and strengthening ties between policy makers and experts in science in order to take full advantage of the investments by the federal government in scientific research by using scientific findings to inform policy decision making (one page summary here);
- Immigration reform resulting in more green cards and H-1B visas available to foreign advanced-degree holders educated in the United States (one page summary here);
- Open access to federally funded research.
Recent News and Upcoming Events
March 2015: The General Council passed updates to the GSC Legislative Platform at the March General Council Meeting.
November 2014: Yuqing Cui, Matthew Willner, and Connie Gao visited Washington DC to meet with offices in Congress.
September 2014: Our latest opinion piece on the importance immigration reform was published in the New York Daily News. You can read it here.
April 2014: Arolyn Conwill and Caleb Waugh visited Washington DC for two days to advocate for immigration reform and to raise awareness about graduate student loans. They also met with the MIT Washington Office.
March 2014: Check out our Letter to the Editor in Science Magazine on how expanding visa opportunities for international graduate students would enhance innovation in the United States.
March 2014: We will be hosting an open house on Thursday March 20th to discuss the GSC Resolution for the Divestment of the MIT Endowment from Fossil Fuel Companies. Stay tuned for more details.
March 2014: Yuqing Cui, Hunter Zhao, and Becky Romatoski attended NAGPS’s Legislative Action Days in Washington DC and lobbied for research funding, strengthening the role of science, and immigration reform.
December 2013: Our updated GSC Legislative Platform passed at the December General Council Meeting. Some of the highlights are a stronger statement on open access policy and a new section dedicated to promoting science as a means to making more informed policy decisions.
October 2013: We’re in the process of updating the GSC Legislative Platform. Please get in touch (gsc-lasc [at] mit [dot] edu) if you’d like to participate.
April 2013: Check out our opinion piece on open access published in MIT’s newspaper, The Tech.
March 2013: The LASC joined forces with fellow graduate student members of NAGPS in Washington DC. Dan Day and Arolyn Conwill spent two days meeting with our representatives in Congress and lobbying for open access, immigration reform, and science funding.
We are always looking for motivated individuals to join our cause. If you are interested, please contact gsc-lasc [at] mit [dot] edu for more information.
You may also be interested in the Science Policy Initiative (SPI), another student-run group on campus that focuses on the interactions between science and policy.
Our lobbying efforts are done in collaboration with the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students.