Each fall the Student Life Chair sends out a survey to graduate students to elicit feedback about the issues that most impact their lives here at Dartmouth. From these comments and suggestions, the GSC then works to accomplish momentum in these areas of concern/relevancy in the subsequent school year.
Some of the major student life initiatives the GSC worked on during the 2012-2013 school year, and which have been continued into the 2013-2014 school year, are listed below, along with their current state of progress. For a list of past achievements and initiatives, read through the GSC's Legacy archive.
To express your ideas relating to initiatives you feel the GSC should pursue, please contact the Graduate Student Council.
LATE NIGHT PUBLIC TRANSIT
The Advanced Transit bus system provides free and reliable service between key hubs for graduate students by connecting Hanover campus with the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and neighboring towns. The GSC teamed up with the leaders of the other graduate councils at Dartmouth and co-signed a letter advocating for extended evening hours that also included a newly proposed route. This letter was sent to key administrators at Dartmouth in mid-May 2013. As a result of those efforts, we are happy to report that a new extended bus service is now available!
As of September 16, graduate students can enjoy later evening shuttle service and more frequent bus stops. For more information, visit the Advance Transit Evening Service page.
DENTAL HEALTH DISCOUNT PROGRAM
Dartmouth health insurance does not offer dental coverage. This limits graduate student access to preventive dental care, such as regular check-ups and cleanings, and increases the financial burden of emergency care. The GSC worked with administrators of the current Dartmouth health insurance plan to explore alternatives to dental insurance (an option that was found to be financially and geographically unfeasible this year) that will still offer graduate students access to affordable preventive dental care, such as routine cleanings and check-ups. As a result of the GSC's efforts, Dartmouth has now decided to offer students (undergrads and grads) BASIX. "Basix contracts with dentists that agree to charge a reduced fee to people enrolled in the DSGHP. You must pay the dentist at the time of service to receive the negotiated rate. It is important to understand the Dental Savings Program is not dental insurance." BASIX became available to students in the 2013-2014 school year. For more information, visit the Dartmouth BASIX webpage.
GRADUATE STUDENT SPACE
The Dartmouth graduate student community does not currently have a physical space on campus in which to congregate, hold meetings, socialize, study, and otherwise simply come together. The GSC is actively participating in long-term campus planning which includes the construction of a grad student space. A graduate designated student space will likely not come to fruition until 3-5 years down the road when construction of an additional north campus building is set to begin construction.
As an important part of the greater Dartmouth community, graduate students have the opportunity to join the Dartmouth Sustainability Project. The GSC is partnering with the Office of Sustainability to define opportunities for leadership and participation around causes such as improvement of waste management and development of sustainable behaviors at work and home. Stay tuned for updates on this endeavor!