Welcome Party for Incoming Graduate Students :
Department Picnic :
Our goals are to create a sense of collegiality among graduate students and provide informal mentoring for the incoming graduate students. We also provide a forum through which the graduate student community can select representatives to committees which require graduate student representation, such as the colloquium committee, graduate studies committee, and COGS (Council of Graduate Students).
The annual events GradPhi supports or organizes a variety of events: (1) During the fall orientation, we hold a welcome luncheon for the incoming graduate students that allows them to meet and socialize with more senior students in the department. (2) At the start of the academic year, we also support an informal evening party for the entire graduate student population of the School of Physics and Astronomy. (3) In late September or early October, the coordinator and officers help to organize the departmental picnic held for all faculty and students in the School of Physics and Astronomy; the last several picnics have been held at Boom Island park in NW Minneapolis. (4) Softball games have also been organized by GradPhi and held either in early fall or spring depending on weather condition. I am proud to report the School of Physics and Astronomy remains undefeated in this area. (5) In early February, we arrange mentoring luncheons for the first-year graduate students, inviting a number of senior graduate students from various research groups. These lunches allow the first-years to get an idea of what kind of research is happening in the department and to begin arranging their own summer research plan. (6) As prospective students begin to visit our campus in late March, GradPhi gathers a cross-section of students to meet the prospectives and give them a picture of the graduate student cultural at the University of Minnesota.
GradPhi strives to meet the non-academic needs of the graduate students in the School of Physics and Astronomy. We recognize these needs continually change and are always on the lookout for increasing our involvement in more social and graduate community events. One event that may be revisited was the holiday party organized in 2007. It was christmas-themed and involved a random Santa gift exchange; pictures can be seen here: http://groups.physics.umn.edu/gradphi/RandomSantaLuncheon/.
Want to get involved with GradPhi? Contact the coordinator. We always need the help.
GradPhi elections are held every year. In 2007, 2008, and 2009, elections were held in the fall with the explicit purpose of involving more first-year students. However, there is a push for future elections to be held in the Spring. Since the many events are held right away in the fall, newly elected officials will have ample time to prepare.
As our constitution states, elections are to be carried out by “secret ballot using instant runoff voting by those present”. When elections are called, nominations are accepted up to the chosen voting time. Elected position include: 1 GradPhi coordinator, 4 GradPhi officers, 1 COGS representative, 2 graduate studies committee members, 2 colloquium committee members, 1 IT representative. All graduate students are invited to participate.
Further questions should be directed to the Coordinator.