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Home » Discover Rackham » Upcoming RSG Election: But What is RSG?

Want to learn more about how to further enhance your graduate experience? Do you want to take a leadership role on campus, impact graduate student funding, and collaborate with administrators and policymakers? Looking for a way to engage in conversations and actions around the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) plan? Or are you interested in being a part of the graduate community in other meaningful ways? Rackham Student Government (RSG) is the way to go! RSG currently has multiple representative positions open from across the four divisions. All nominations must be submitted via the RSG F16 Election Candidate Form by November 19th.

I serve as the Humanities and Arts representative of RSG. As a new member, I enjoy the unique opportunity to connect with other graduate students as we raise and address issues, while working for the greater good of the graduate student body. This leadership opportunity and service commitment has served as a crucial support system and learning space as I navigate the isolationist enterprise of graduate school. Get involved and learn more about RSG!

What is RSG?

RSG is a body of graduate students elected to represent all of the approximately 8,500 students in programs administered by the Rackham Graduate School. Since 1952, RSG has strived to improve the graduate student experience at U-M through academic programs, extracurricular engagements, advocacy and social activities.

Who is RSG?

RSG consists of a board, six standing committees, and associate representatives. We have an elected representative for every 400 students within each of our four divisions: Biological and Health Sciences (Division 1), Physical Sciences and Engineering (Division 2), Social and Behavioral Sciences (Division 3), and Humanities and the Arts (Division 4).

Board members engage with their constituents about needs, interests, and desires relevant to graduate students in that division. This collaborative effort is an ongoing engagement that we hope can improve the quality of the experience for graduate students across U-M. Much of this work is done through members’ participation in the following six committees: academic affairs, budgetary, elections, communications, legislative affairs, and student life.

What do we do?

We work with various entities on campus to discuss how to increase funds to support student organizations to host events and programs of graduate student interest. Our advocacy work includes partnering with other professional student bodies to advocate for common desires and meeting with President Schlissel and Dean Fierke to discuss issues such as funding for academic programs and research, parking, as well as the recent diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

RSG commits to external advocacy at the state, local, and federal level by addressing issues such as campus climate, mental health, graduate students, visa reform, and research funding. Participating in State Day with Michigan State allows us to lobby on behalf of Rackham students as well as develop our efforts to improve the graduate student experience throughout the state.

Professionalization is a crucial part of these efforts. We offer networking and professional development opportunities by collaborating with The Career Center to connect graduate students with alumni in various career paths.

RSG’s grant program gives out more than $10,000 every year to graduate student organizations for events. We have funded the following events: outreach to local youth, academic conferences at U-M, and social events that promote student interaction across the graduate population. Please review our funding guidelines for more information.

We also help develop socially meaningful experiences that we can all participate in. Social events such as happy hour and karaoke have allowed us to offer spaces to connect with students throughout campus. Our inaugural Fall Ball, which took place last week, was an absolute success!

How do you get involved?

Whether you want to help organize and fund student events, implement academic policies, or shape local, state, and federal legislative policies affecting graduate students, RSG wants you! Any student in a Rackham Program can join the RSG Board as a member of one of our committees and/or as an associate representative. Associate representatives are appointed by the Board after attending three consecutive board meetings.

RSG currently has open representative positions for Rackham students from across the four divisions –we encourage you to get involved! Students can nominate themselves.

All nominations must be submitted via the RSG F16 Election Candidate Form by November 19th, with a platform of 3,000 characters or less stating why you are running. Elections will take place online at on November 30th – December 2nd.

For more information, e-mail [email protected]! Visit our website to get directly in touch with our committee chairs.

Go Blue, Go YOU!