Monday, October 17, 2011

Stop Torschlusspanik!

At a recent wednesday coffee, we were discussing words that exist in other languages, for which there is no equivalent in English. (Schadenfreude has always been one of my favourites).

Frank Berghaus (Grad Rep for Physics and Astronomy) introduced us to "Torschlusspanik" -- the feeling of rushing to meet a deadline that is looming. Literally "gate close panic" if I remember Frank's translation correcty.  

I'm willing to bet many graduate students are in a constant state of torschlusspanik. I know I have experienced it myself!

I think one of the main roles of the GSS is to create spaces to reduce the stresses on graduate students, and think we should launch a "stop torschlusspanik" campaign. All this reminds me of rumours I'd heard of the "DPP". Last year I heard of grad students in one UVIC department who created the "Dropout Prevention Party". Motto: Join the Party!  Genius! (Was this you? Let me know so I can give you a hat tip!)

Among those who work in academia, there are many tales of imposter syndrome, where graduate students believe there was an error in admitting them to grad school, or fear they are not up to completing their program. Well, a DPP in every school, I say! Join the Party and stop torschlusspanik!

And now for the qualitative research part: I am crowdsourcing for ideas to present to the GSS: What should the DPP do to stop Torschlusspanik?

Committees, Committees, and more Committees

In many ways, universities are run by committees. Committees approve new academic programs, hire all senior administration and department chairs, and oversee new campus services. UVIC even has a committee on committees!

Living in residence? Got a child in the UVIC daycare? You might be interested in some of our committee vacancies.

Love to reward great teaching? Seats on the Gillian Sherwin Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Andy Farquarson Teaching Excellence Award for Graduate Studentscommittees are now seeking graduate students.

Interested in UVIC fudraising, art galleries, and government relations? You could be on the appointment committee for the new AVP External Relations, who is responsible for all these things.

While we are at it, you  might be interested in the vacancies on grad council or some of the GSS committees like the Health and Dental Appeals Committee, Events Committee or various campaign committees (which are looking at grad student housing, creating a grad student advocate office, looking at GSS relationships with UVSS clubs and advocacy groups (and grad student fees for these groups), or examining our means of allocating seats on grad council) – email me at gssmgr[at] if you are interested in these committees.