Gradvocacy Update – February & March 2014

University Level

Announcing the GPSA Arijit Guha Graduate Student Advocacy Awards

The Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) proudly announces the Arijit Guha Graduate Student Advocacy Awards. These awards are designed to recognize and reward ASU graduate students’ involvement, service, and leadership in advancing a particular cause through advocacy efforts.

Award Background

The Arijit Guha Graduate Student Advocacy Award is in memory of an ASU graduate student, Arijit Guha, who was taken by colon cancer. Arijit brought unprecedented attention to the issue of coverage caps in student health care through his Poopstrong campaign. He raised over $100,000 for his treatment through this viral grassroots efforts which was led by graduate students at ASU. Upon finding the coverage he needed for his treatment, he donated thousands of dollars to local nonprofits and research centers dedicated to fighting cancer.

The Award

GPSA will provide two monetary awards to students enrolled in a graduate or professional program who demonstrate excellence in their advocacy efforts to advance a particular cause. Preference will be given to advocacy efforts carried out since January 2012. Participation in any cause is acceptable. Some examples include hunger, poverty, student debt, education, research funding, open education, human rights, immigrant rights, peace, etc. The awards reward students’ excellence in advocating for a cause, and are not intended to reward a cause itself. Each award totals a $1000 monetary participation award. The two Arijit Guha Graduate Student Advocacy recipients will be honored during a GPSA reception in April 2014.

Applicant Eligibility

All current graduate and professional students, across all four campuses, are eligible for these awards. Applicants must plan to continue their advocacy efforts until the end of the Fall 2014 semester, or until the end of the initiative, whichever comes first.

How To Apply

The application packet must include:

  • A brief personal statement (500-900 words) that addresses the information below:
    • Brief description of the cause/initiative.
    • Why this cause matters to the student.
    • Why the cause matters to others.
    • Description of the student’s advocacy efforts.
    • The role the student has taken in advocating for the cause.
    • Length and scope of involvement in this cause.
    • The impact of these efforts to advance the cause.
    • Goals for continued advocacy efforts with this particular cause or initiative.
  • An abbreviated CV (no more than 4 pages) highlighting relevant service, leadership, and advocacy efforts.
  • A minimum of 2 recommendation/nomination letters by an ASU student, staff, faculty, or community member familiar with the student’s advocacy work. These nominations must be submitted using this form.

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of graduate students from various programs/departments at ASU.

The vitae and personal statement should be emailed as a single document (PDF, DOC, or DOCX) to Complete application materials must be received by March 31, 2014 at 11 p.m.

Contact Information

German Cadenas, GPSA Vice President of External Affairs,

Open Educational Resources (OER) Week

GPSA is partnering with ASU Libraries to celebrate Open Education Week 2014 on March 17-21. ASU Libraries has compiled a number of Open Educational Resources that can be used for free by any student. Resources include information about Open Access, Copyrights, Author Rights, and Open Textbooks among many others.

Tempe Campus

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014, 11am-2pm, by the MU fountain in front of Hayden Library

West Campus

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014, 11am-2pm, in the UCB Courtyard area

Downtown Campus

Thursday, March 20th, 2014, 11am-2pm, walkway between Cronkite and UCENT (Taylor Mall)

For more information on open access resources, visit

Mental Health Week: March 17-23, 2014

GPSA and HCSAC (Health and Counseling Student Action Committee) are partnering to bring you a special performance from an off-Broadway performer, campus activities, and a free Suicide Prevention Walk.

Suicide Prevention Performance Flyer

Interested in Becoming an Advocate? FREE Conference to Help Turn your “Passion into Action”

Mosaic Flyer


State Level

SB 1062

SB 1062 was vetoed by Governor Brewer on February 26, 2014. This controversial bill made international headlines as it passed the state legislature and the governor considered signing it into law.

GPSA passed a resolution in opposition to the bill on February 21, 2014 and issued a press release, and the State Press covered the rally which took place on ASU campus. GPSA is committed to promoting a learning environment where all aspects of students’ diversity are welcomed and appreciated.

Arizona Students’ Association

ASA held its 37th annual Lobby Day at the state Capitol earlier this week as a part of its annual Lobby Convention. Students from all three public universities came to ASU for the weekend to participate in a joint legislative action training with the United States Student Association and ASA. On Monday, students held individual meetings with nearly 30 Arizona State Senators and Members of Congress to share the results of the weekend summit and advocate on behalf of undergraduate, graduate, and community college students in Arizona.

Register to Vote

New to Arizona? Haven’t updated your voter registration since your last move? If you intend to vote in Arizona, you need to register.


National Level

ASU Grad Students in DC

This past week a group of ASU graduate students traveled to Washington, DC for the Advocacy Summit and Legislative Action Days organized by the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students. They joined over 50 graduate student leaders from all over the country and received advocacy training in a variety of policy issues, including graduate student loans/debt, higher education funding, Open Access, and comprehensive immigration reform. In addition, our ASU graduate students met with offices of Congress to discuss legislative concerns.



German Cadenas
Vice President of External Affairs

Adam Monroe
Director of Legislative Affairs

Pauline Venieris
Director of Graduate Student Advocacy