As the elected representatives of the Rackham graduate student body — not specific interest groups within that population — the Rackham Student Government has served as a sounding board since the continuous enrollment policy was first brought to our attention in the fall of 2007 by Dean Janet Weiss. Our discussions concerning continuous enrollment have been both substantive and theoretical. Our members hail from each of Rackham’s four divisions and each division has raised a litany of questions and concerns. Over the course of the last 18 months, many of these concerns have been resolved while others have lingered.

In light of these outstanding issues, we polled the Rackham student body to gauge their understanding of the policy and their primary concerns. One in six graduate students responded and the results are mixed. Some students provided positive feedback on aspects of the policy, including increased access to University services year-round (like University Health Service and the Central Campus Recreational Building), greater resources available for research efforts and lower tuition. Other respondents either didn’t know anything about the proposal or felt they would be adversely affected by the policy. These objections center around perceived negative effects on academic quality and financial consequences for typical program requirements.

These concerns highlight the need for further discussion on the proposed policy. Accordingly, RSG, in cooperation with Rackham, is forming a student advisory committee to review and address the concerns students have raised. RSG’s primary role in this group will be to ensure that student concerns are indeed addressed before the policy’s implementation, no earlier than Fall 2010. This group welcomes participation from any and all interested graduate students, and we’re seeking approximately 10 PhD students to serve on this committee.

Information about how to join us will be coming soon to Rackham students’ inboxes and is also on our website: http://www.umich.edu/~rstugov. RSG is here to serve the Rackham student body on continuous enrollment and other graduate student issues. We meet every Monday at 7:15 p.m. in the south alcove of Rackham’s West Reading Room on the second floor. Meetings are open to all. We can be contacted regarding continuous enrollment and any other graduate student issue at rsg@umich.edu.

Tiffany Tsang
Rackham

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