The Allen School culture is something we all care about and we need your help to keep CSE a vibrant, welcoming, and fun place to live and work! Together all these positions make up the "Grad Student Committee," lovingly known as the GSC. Ideally multiple people can help with each position to reduce the workload on any individual!
There are a variety of graduate student positions to volunteer for. Most positions are held for one year (see individual positions for exceptions); there are no term limits. Current holders are listed in this year's GSC page .
- G5PAC Representatives
- Graduate Student Committee Coordinators
- GPSS Senators
- Diversity and Inclusion Committee Representatives
- UNS Software Coordinator & Lab Policy Committee Representative
Recruiting & Prospectives
- Grad Student Seminar Coordinator
- FoodBank Donation Coordinator
- Mossy Bits Editors
- Benson Store Volunteer Coordinator
- Care Committee Chair
- Student Survey Coordinator
- Grad Office/Lab Committee
- Espresso Room Management
Leadership and representation positions at the Allen school are explicitly open to all members, regardless of your research area or time spent at the school (I.E. we strongly encourage first years to join!).
G5PAC meets regularly with Allen School leadership about policies & issues related to masters students, PhD students, and postdoctoral researchers in the Allen School. Members takes a long-term view on development in the school and are willing to work towards solutions to hard problems. Grad student members specifically represent the grad perspective and act as a liason between faculty and the graduate students. Any problems or concerns that a student has but cannot directly approach the faculty with can be taken to a G5PAC representative.
The job primarily involves running the grad student elections, answering questions about GSC positions, maintaining mailing lists and the grad student affairs web page, and organizing quarterly lunch with the director. Large amounts of time are never required, but a small constant amount of maintenance is needed to handle issues as they come up and make sure things happen as they should.
The Graduate and Professional Student Senate, or GPSS , holds monthly meetings. The senators get to participate in interesting discussions about various issues relating to all aspects of graduate students' life here. The senators survey graduate students about how the department should spend its yearly allotment and do all the leg and paperwork necessary to procure stuff with the money. The degree of involvement aside from this stuff depends on the senators' interest.
Represent the grad student viewpoint on a committee to make CSE more diverse, inclusive, engaging, and supportive. See https://www.cs.washington.edu/diversity/committee.
UNS software Coordinator/Lab Policy Committee Representative
The uns software coordinator coordinates student efforts to install lab-unsupported software in /uns. This includes maintaining mailing list and unsgroup membership, informing new members of the guidelines for installing software (in /uns), and when a disk fills up occasionally, finding some unused things to nuke, strip, etc.
Feel free to update the /uns web, which is a bit of a mess.
It is the role of the orientation committee to organize and execute an informative and comprehensive welcome session for the entering graduate students. It is an opportunity for the new students to meet and interact with other new students and learn about the computer science department's courses, faculty, facilities, and policies. Information is also presented about activities in and around the university and Seattle. See the orientation website for more information.
By mentoring new graduate students, existing graduate students help ease new students' transition into our department. The Mentoring Coordinator pairs new graduate students up with existing student mentors, and assists mentors in finding answers to challenging questions from new students. Workload for this job is heaviest in the August-December period, when pairings must be made and solutions found, so that new graduate students spend as little time bewildered as necessary.
Recruiting & Prospectives
The chairs work with Elise, the director, and the events staff to lead organization of visit days. Visit days is a major undertaking involving most of the school, and has its own Wiki https://dada.cs.washington.edu/vgs/index.php/Main_Page
The Prospective Student Committee coordinates the visits of prospective graduate students. Most of the work centers on organizing two big recruiting days, though students can visit any time from the end of February until the middle of April. Committee chairs organize committee members contacting prospective students, helping arrange airport transportation, setting up meetings with faculty and current students, arranging lunch and dinner, possibly planning extra-curricular activities, and finding overnight hosts. This job is demanding during the recruiting season.
Liaisons help coordinate between the PhD students and postdocs reading for PhD admissions and the Advising Staff/Admissions committee. Some specific duties are to:
- Be available over winter break to answer questions from other readers on Slack
- Survey the PhD and postdoc readers after reading is complete to collect feedback
- Transmit feedback to Support/Advising staff/Admissions committee as appropriate
The faculty recruiting liaisons help to keep students informed about faculty recruiting and coordinate with student hosts to carry out their responsibilities. Guidelines are available here, and include:
- Running an orientation session before the first candidate visit to introduce new and returning PhD students to faculty recruiting
- Receiving updates from faculty recruiting chairs and occasionally updating students
- Providing guidelines and help for student hosts
- Collecting feedback from student hosts and other participants to continually improve the process
Responsibilities as Undergrad Liaison are very lightweight:
- Serve as channel for advertising local ACM-organized events to grad students, preferably sending slightly modified versions of ugrad announcements tailored for grad audience. (The idea here being that a message from a grad, rather than directly from an unknown undergrad or a forward from one, will be more effective at encouraging grad interest.)
- Be available to the ACM officers as grad contact for questions about organizing/publicizing events (particularly ones with more direct grad involvement, e.g., grad school info session, Research Night, orientation for new majors), other related advice.
Responsibilities as Outreach Coordinator have been rewritten to focus energy on the annual College of Engineering Open House. This officer works closely with the undergraduate advisors in this capacity.
- Encourage and organize grad participation in annual College of Engineering Open House (a public event usually held in late April). This includes recruiting grad students to staff and/or produce exhibits and activities. (Some activities from past Open Houses are archived for reuse. See Ken Yasuhara.)
- Serve as grad contact point for department staff organizing other outreach events (e.g., one-day workshops for regional secondary school students).
The grad student seminar coordinator(s) organize several mostly-student-run seminars that are of interest to parts or all of the grad student body. Usually, the coordinators are from different years so as to get a broad perspective of the student body. Example topics: how to get a job, how to pass quals, how to get a summer internship, how to do research. The time commitment is mostly at the beginning of each quarter when deciding what seminars to hold and when to hold them, but also includes getting volunteer speakers, getting a room for the seminar, ordering cookies, and chairing the session.
FoodBank Donation Coordinator
Once every year, our department (grad students, staff, and undergrad students) collect donations (e.g., food, clothing, other usable items) and present those to the local FoodBank, which distributes it to needy people in the area. The job entails: sending out announcements to grad students, staff, and undergrads to begin the period of gathering items; putting collection boxes in several places throughout the dept and regularly collecting what has been gathered to ensure it does not overflow, accumulating items in the grad student government room; at the end of the collection period, arranging for a car to transport the goods to the local foodbank (UDistrict food bank)during times when they are open and accept donations; (optionally) maintaining a web page with tallies of how much various offices have donated.
Mossy Bits Editors
Mossy Bits is a quarterly creative arts journal that is released annually. (Someone needs to rewrite that sentence, because I can't tell whether it's intentional.) It contains articles, stories, poems, photographs, music, columns, and anything else composed, or decomposed, by the department's grad students. The editor is responsible for gathering and compiling contributions and placing them on the web in one nice package. Persuasive skills are a must, as the graduate student body often requires a great deal of encouragement to generate an issue's worth of material.
The historian is responsible for videotaping all important departmental events for future humiliation, uh, I mean posterity. Also the historian should update the history page. As of Summer 2020, the history page and media assets have moved to a platform called SmugMug. Historians will be charged with helping organize old content into the new site, in addition to videotaping responsibility. 30 minute meeting bi-monthly (2x a month) with additional one (1) hour per week of work outside meeting.
Handle GSC money (espresso, and Benson Store) and online payment services. This job involves real money, and holders typically volunteer for more than one year to have a soft transition from year-to-year and teach their replacement.
Organize Volunteers who restock and maintain the Benson Store. See the #benson-store channel on slack.
Organize volunteers to hold office hours, prepare care packages etc. See the #care-committee channel on the CSE slack to volunteer.
Every year the Grad Student Survey Coordinators, with help from the Graduate Program Advising team, design and conduct a survey of PhD students touching on advising, department culture, and other aspects of PhD life. Most of the work for this role takes place late in the year (approximately between February and May). To help conduct the survey or analyze the survey results, take a look at the recommended Guidelines for the Grad Student Survey. The results from past surveys can be found on the Ph.D. Program Data, Surveys, & Reports page.
Graduate Office/Lab Committee
New committee formed Summer 2020 collaborating with Advising Program Coordinator. Committee would ideally have at least one (1) new grad, one (1) 2nd-year+ student who sits primarily in the lab, and one (1) 2nd-year+ student who sits in an office/workroom. Weekly 1-hour meetings plus an additional hour of work outside the meeting. May request an additional hour sporadically but it is optional.
Restock, fund raise, train, etc. See http://espresso-room.cs.washington.edu/ and the #espresso-mgmt slack channel.
Every Friday at 4:30 pm, a different office organizes and throws the TGIF. This includes buying food and drinks and organizing the clean-up afterwards. The TGIF coordinator manages the TGIF fund and maintains the schedule. The TGIF coordinator must obtain banquet permits every week for TGIF.
Organize the annual PoCSci
The Pit Party is the department's fall potluck bash to welcome the new students. The party used to be held at the Pacific Science Center, but now is held on campus in the CSE-2 events center or the Shellhouse. The Pit Party coordinator works with the office staff to organize the party.
The Holiday Party is the department's winter potluck bash. The party is traditionally held in the CSE Atrium. The coordinator should work with the office staff to organize the party and gather volunteers for setup and cleanup.
The annual holiday party occurs near the end of the fall quarter. The faculty and the graduate students each (secretly) prepare a small and humourous skit. This includes a visit from the famous Dr. Computer Science and Engineering, that is, if he is in the country at the time. The Holiday Skit Director is responsible for recruiting people to write the skit, actors to act, and musicians to play.
Organize quarterly CSE Women's events.
Organize quarterly CSE LGBTQ+ events.
The Ski Bum coordinates the department's annual Ski Day and various other events throughout the ski season.
The Pumpkin Carving Coordinator is responsible for scheduling, advertising, and organizing the annual CSE pumpkin mutilation workshop. The CSE pumpkin patch needs to be stocked for the event (get reimbursed by the department afterwards). Coordinate with the TGIF chair if necessary, and make sure the historian is on-hand to document the event. If the Affiliates Meeting is around Halloween, you may also help provide some CSE-relevant pumpkins as decoration.
Organize Friday breakfasts!