GSC Guide for Grad Dorm Governments

This is a short, informative page on the fundamentals of relationships between the GSC and graduate dorms. 

The GSC exists to enhance the overall graduate experience at MIT. We promote the general welfare and concerns of the graduate student body, create new programs and initiatives to provide opportunities for growth and interaction, and communicate with the MIT administration and faculty on behalf of all graduate students on issues from stipend recommendations to operation of the Muddy Charles Pub, and everything in between.

The GSC works closely with the grad dorms, and as such, requires representatives of the grad dorms to participate in a few specific roles outlined below.

Actions for new house governments

  • Decide who will be responsible for attending the following meetings:
    • The HCA meeting (mailing list signup)
    • The Orientation Committee meeting
    • The GCM (general body) meeting – this person is the official dorm Council Rep who will vote on behalf of the house
    • The Sustainability meeting – this can be any resident who is passionate and empowered to take the lead on sustainability initiatives. Houses with formal 
  • Ensure that the individuals named above are on the relevant mailing lists (see below). If not, please email the relevant people to get onboard.
  • Ensure the designated Council Rep follows the steps here: https://gsc.mit.edu/representatives/become-a-council-representative/ to make their position official. Dorm Council Reps designated by house executive committees do not need to fill out the validation form but do need the Statement. 

General Council

The General Council is the “parliament” of the GSC, and its highest collective body. It comprises representatives from departments, dorms, off-campus students, and other groups. It meets monthly (usually the first Wednesday of the month @ 5:30pm), and a representative from each grad dorm is required to attend the meetings. 

Graduate dorms select their GSC Council Representatives each year according to their own leadership calendars and practices (a representative may be appointed by the Executive Committee). Important: each dorm Council representative should register through the Council rep form (the Validation Form linked there, however, is not required for grad dorms). Council representatives attend a monthly Council meeting (with free dinner under non-pandemic conditions) to discuss matters on campus and vote on Statements, actions, leadership members and committee structures.  

If a Council Representative cannot attend a General Council Meeting (GCM), they are required to submit a proxy representative through this form from the same constituency to act and vote in their place. Missing three consecutive GCMs without a proxy is grounds for removal as a Council Representative.

Please refer here to learn more about being a Council Rep, and to this page to see who the current representative is in your house and ensure you’re represented. The GSC Vice President (gsc-vp@mit.edu ) can also assist on these matters. 

Committees

Any graduate student at MIT can join any of the GSC Committees, according to their interests. They are listed here. Below, we will describe further the committees for which it is absolutely essential to have grad dorm officers involved, but we encourage all grad dorm officers to get involved in all areas of the GSC as they feel called.

GSC Housing and Community Affairs Committee (HCA)

The HCA committee focuses on grad housing along with community issues and student services as they pertain to the entire graduate population.

The HCA is concerned with on- and off-campus housing, community affairs at MIT and in Cambridge, safety, health, welfare, transportation, and related matters. Membership is composed of interested students and representatives from each graduate dorm. The HCA negotiates annual graduate student stipend increases and advocates for graduate student family issues. Subcommittees include Family, Off-campus, Sustainability, Transportation, Wellness (new!) and Advocacy (new!). 

Because housing is such a large part of what HCA works on, a representative from each grad dorm is required to attend the monthly committee meetings to provide updates and discuss matters relevant to all dorms and the larger grad student community.

Please contact the HCA Chairs (gsc-hca-chair@mit.edu) for further details and to ensure that your dorm has a representative on the relevant email list to be notified of these meetings.

Orientation

The GSC Orientation committee organizes Grad Orientation in the fall every year. The grad dorms have been an important partner in welcoming students to campus, so to facilitate that partnership, grad dorms are required to send a representative to the  meetings specifically for organizing with the dorms.

The planning for Orientation typically begins the Spring semester beforehand. Please contact the Orientation Chairs (gsc-oc@mit.edu) for further details and to ensure that your dorm has a representative on the relevant email list to be notified of these meetings.

Other Potentially Relevant (Sub)Committees

Historically, dorms have also interacted with the GSC Activities Committee (gsc-ac@mit.edu) for social events and Sustainability Subcommittee (gsc-sustainability@mit.edu) for sustainability initiatives. This year, HCA is (re)-creating the Advocacy subcommittee, which will have an important role in promoting the interests and wellbeing of graduate students at MIT. Another document/email on this will be distributed later in the year. 

Communication

All grad dorm officers are part of the grad-dorm-officers email list, the goal of the list is to share important grad dorm news amongst the houses as well as events and programs. It is important as a house officer that you share the news and information within your houses. 

Relevant Email Lists:

Dorms are encouraged to engage with the GSC beyond the required roles outlined below. Please contact the GSC (gsc@mit.edu) if you’d like to inquire about further engagements or have any other questions.