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Dear English graduate students,

We hope this email finds you doing well, staying healthy, and not going too stir crazy during this strange time.

We wanted to reach out to all of you since, understandably, many of us have questions and concerns about what the COVID-19 crisis means for our careers as graduate students. Part of EGSA’s role is to serve as a mediator and advocate for graduate students with department leadership. After learning about some of  your concerns we have reached out to the DGS office to open lines of communication regarding future program logistics in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kate Marshall, our DGS, and Alissa Doroh are working tirelessly to make sure all our graduate students’ needs are being addressed. Together we determined that EGSA and the DGS, in conjunction with the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) faculty, will host a forum to address specific concerns and answer questions to the best of our ability. 

The crisis is still ongoing, and many decisions are currently being discussed between the Graduate School and College of Arts and Letters, outside of the English Program jurisdiction. At this point, the information and policy changes are still coming in waves. We hope, once we are somewhat stabilized, we will have a better understanding of what is going on, how the department can best address graduate student concerns, and what we can do to advocate for ourselves as graduate students.

In order to facilitate the forum and give the GSC a better understanding of students’ concerns, we are asking every graduate student to  fill out the following survey. This will be an anonymous form, so no one can see the author of any responses unless you elect to provide your name at the bottom of the form  Please select the top three concerns that you would like to see addressed during the forum so that the DGS and grad office can prepare materials and track down answers to each of your questions. This forum will take place through Zoom at the end of this month--we will announce the specific time closer to the date. We know that some of your questions/concerns are  pressing and time-sensitive, so please do not hesitate to reach out to EGSA, Alissa, or Kate in the meantime. We expect further communication about time-sensitive issues from the DGS’s office within the next week.

We know these are uncertain times for everyone and we are all facing different challenges. We want you to know that the EGSA board is doing our best to look out for all the English graduate students and advocate for our needs. We must continue to stand together in solidarity and support each other through adversity. Let us be kind to one another!

Wishing you and yours peace and health,

The English Graduate Student Association Board
President: Laura M. Ortiz Mercado
Vice-President: Trish Bredar
Vice-President: Shela Raman McCabe
Treasurer: Dominique Vargas
PhD Professionalization Chair: Emily Donahoe
MFA Professionalization Chair: Scarlett Wardrop
Quality of Life Chair: Emily McLemore
Social Chair: Jennifer Thorup
GSU Representatives: Joshua Wright & Oliver Ortega

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