There are many ways to get involved with the Graduate English community. Check out the GES Executive Service Positions, GES Associate Positions, or consider Department Committee Representation. Browse the descriptions below.
Executive Service Positions
CHAIRS (2 positions)
Duties: The two main functions of the GES Chairs are to orchestrate academic and social events for GES members, work alongside the other Executives, Associates, and Representatives, and to represent the members of the GES at political level. The Chairs serve on the Committee on Graduate Studies, serve as voting members at the Departmental Meetings, organize any necessary meetings of the GES, and generally represent the concerns and interests of the GES to the administration. The Chairs also organize the Grad Buddy program each summer, and cultivate and maintain relationships with graduate societies in other departments.
Service Duration/Approximate Time Commitment: July 1-June 30. The time commitment for this position is very high, especially in September. There are numerous small tasks that inevitably arise on top of the standard duties of the Chairs. GES members in coursework years are encouraged to postpone service in this position until a non-coursework year.
Duties: The Secretary is responsible for taking minutes at all GES meetings. After making the minutes available to the co-chairs to check for errors, a brief report, when relevant, will be circulated to the membership through the GES email list. Minutes and proceedings of GES meetings are kept confidential within the GES community. The Secretary is also responsible for collecting and storing hard copies of the minutes and any supporting documentation for the GES files during their tenure. These documents are sent to the GES co-chairs upon completion of tenure. The Treasurer is responsible for managing the GES funds. Duties include depositing funds raised by the GES, issuing funds for GES events, and reporting earnings and expenditures to the executive on a regular basis. The Treasurer is also responsible for keeping financial records such as year-end reports, receipts, and bank correspondence for the GES files. Relevant documents are sent to the GES co-chairs upon completion of tenure.
Service Duration/Approximate Time Committment: October 1-August 31. On average, this position requires a commitment of approximately 5 hours per month.
Duties: The M.A. Representative acts specifically on behalf of students enrolled in the Master’s program. All current Master’s students are eligible to hold this position, provided they are not currently holding another GES Executive position. Duties include reporting concerns from Master’s students to the Executive, working with the other Executive members to plan and execute events and initiatives, and promoting GES activities to the Master’s student cohort.
Service Duration/Approximate Time Commitment: October 1-August 31. On average, this position requires a commitment of approximately 3-5 hours per month.
Duties: The Academic Coordinator oversees projects and events related to GES members’ academic work. In consultation with the Chairs, the Academic Coordinator may choose to organize colloquia, conferences, lecture series, and/or exhibits. The Academic Coordinator collects updates to GES members’ academic profiles on the Department website, as well as members’ publication and award details, of which records are kept. The primary goal of the Academic Coordinator is to foster a strong academic community for GES members. The holder of this position is expected to solicit volunteers from the GES to contribute to projects and events.
Service Duration/Approximate Time Commitment: October 1-August 31. The time commitment to this position varies; the Academic Coordinator may expect, on average, a commitment of 5-10 hours per month.
Duties: The Fundraising Coordinators’ primary responsibilities are to brainstorm ideas for social events, fundraising, and promotion. They are involved in the design and printing of promotional material including posters and signs, and work closely with the Treasurer and Chairs to plan and implement fundraising strategies, as well as to assist with social events and donations. The holder of this position is expected to solicit volunteers from the GES to contribute to projects and events.
Service Duration/Approximate Time Commitment: October 1-August 31. While the time commitment increases leading up to an event, the Fundraising Coordinator may expect, on average, a commitment of approximately 5 hours per month.
Duties: The duties of this position involve working with the GES co-chairs to modify and update sections of GES website as needed, updating the listserv (if needed) at the end of each academic term in consultation with the graduate affairs assistant, and dealing with any technical problems that may arise.
Service Duration/Approximate Time Commitment: October 1-August 31. The time commitment is minimal, but sporadic throughout the year. In consultation with the Chairs, the Website/Listserv Manager is welcome to make improvements and/or revisions to the website if (s)he so desires, but the commitment is likely never to exceed 2-3 hours per month.
Duties: Directing graduate student inquires to the appropriate ACCUTE/MLA executives and forwarding ACCUTE/MLA emails–usually CFPs for conferences and publications–to graduate students. Please note that the Representative should be a current member of both ACCUTE and MLA. The Representative should also be aware of GES members presenting at both associations’ annual conferences.
Service Duration/Approximate Time Commitment: October 1-August 31. The time commitment is very low–approximately 2 hours per month.
GES Associate Positions
SOCIETY OF GRADUATE STUDENTS (SOGS) COUNCILOR (2 positions)
Duties: The Society of Graduate Students provides services and benefits to, and political advocacy on behalf of, graduate students at Western, playing a vital role in campus and community affairs. SOGS councilors are responsible for attending monthly SOGS council meetings, which take place on the last Thursday each month at 6pm and run for approximately two to three hours. SOGS councilors are asked to vote on decisions affecting grad students, from new scholarly and social initiatives, to improving the Grad Club (owned by SOGS), to political action. Councilors may also take issues and concerns to the larger Council if recommended by the GES. Each time SOGS councilors attend the monthly meeting, SOGS makes a small financial donation to their department. After each meeting, SOGS councilors send a report to the membership through the GES listserv; each councilor is responsible for at least four reports throughout the year. SOGS councilors are required to obtain a reliable proxy in order to ensure a graduate English student presence at each meeting. SOGS councilors will coordinate to report the biannual nomination deadlines for the Graduate Student Teaching Awards to the department’s Graduate Affairs Assistant, so that the information can be disseminated to the department. GES co-chairs and SOGS councilors should be in communication about GES members’ concerns, questions, and issues. SOGS councilors are invited to sit on the GES executive for the academic year in which they serve as councilors.
Service Duration/Approximate Time Commitment: Councilors begin their tenure October 1 of each year until resignation. Nominations for new councilors are handled by the GES Chairs as needed. A councilor’s time commitment is normally 3-5 hours per month, or more if the councilor opts to serve on SOGS subcommittees. Note that SOGS meetings occur year-round.
GTA UNION STEWARDS (3 positions)
Sebastian Johnston (2 Vacant Positions)
Duties: The Graduate Teaching Assistant Union Stewards’ duties include representing the English department at GTA Union meetings, acting as a go-between for English TAs and the Chief Steward for the Arts (i.e., passing along comments and complaints), and explaining Union rules and benefits to English TAs (particularly about the Union’s Health Care and Bursaries programs). Stewards are provided with modest compensation from the Union. All Stewards are invited to sit on the GES executive for the academic year in which they serve as Stewards.
Service Duration/Approximate Time Commitment: October 1-August 31. Stewards attend a few Union meetings each term; Stewards may also opt to sit on Union committees. A variable amount of time may be spent in correspondence with Union members.
Department Committee Representatives
APPOINTMENTS COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVE
Duties: This position involves participation in the whole process of hiring (a) new faculty member(s): helping to draft the ad; shortlisting; attending interviews, job talks and informal meetings with the candidates; and finally, deliberating with the committee and electing a candidate.
Service Duration/Approximate Time Commitment: July 1-June 30. During a hiring year, this position can be a very demanding one, particularly if there is more than one hire. The Representative must be available to read and rank applications, to participate in interviews, to attend job lectures, to accompany candidates to meals, and to deliberate with the committee. The experience can also be a very rewarding one, as it gives the Representative an intimate look at the academic job hiring process.
VISITING SPEAKERS COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVE
Duties: The Representative on this committee helps in the process of procuring scholars from other institutions to speak in the Department of English. Together with faculty committee members, the Representative assists with selecting and hosting speakers.
Service Duration/Approximate Time Commitment: July 1-June 30. The time commitment for this position is relatively low, with most meetings held via email.
WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVE (2 positions)
Duties: The Representatives on this committee work with faculty committee members to research and select possible candidates for the Department’s Writer-in-Residence post. They also assist with funding applications and advertising. Next year (2013) marks the 40th year of the Writer-in-Residence post in the Department of English at Western.
Service Duration/Approximate Time Commitment: July 1-June 30. The time commitment is variable, with meetings often conducted via email.
STEERING COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVE
Duties: The Representative on this committee acts with the interests of graduate students in mind. The Steering Committee reviews and/or suggests policy matters for the Department, working to ensure consistency, transparency and accountability across the Department.
Service Duration/Approximate Time Commitment: July 1-June 30. The time commitment is variable, although the Representative should not expect to devote more than 5 hours per month to this committee.