Graduate Student of Color Association

Advocacy. Advising. Awareness.

Graduate Students of Color Association (GSCA) supports the educational achievement and well-being of international and domestic multi-marginalized and underrepresented (MMU) graduate students of color. By enhancing campus life through social, academic, emotional, and culture-affirming support we hope that graduate students of color can feel safe in their learning spaces and deserving of the academic opportunities presented to them at USU. GSCA promotes quality and equity in academic and other professional settings while fostering academic excellence. GSCA advocates for all international and domestic students of color at all USU campuses – regardless of the degree of GSCA involvement.

Position Officer
President OPEN
Vice President Jennifer Yazzie
Secretary / Launching Aggies Pillar Chair Korena “Kory” Klimczak
Treasurer Monika Madhiyan
Public Relations Ta’Mariah Jenkins

GSCA Leadership Directory

Contact Us

GSCA Activities

  • Community-Based Healing

    Monthly opportunities to engage in communal healing

  • Launching Aggies

    Mentorship opportunities | Professional Development

  • Social Action

    Increasing visibility and a sense of self-worth

    GSCA Office: TSC 315, Inclusion Center

  • GSCA Email List

    Subscribe to listserv

Multicultural Heritage Month Events

January

  • MLK Celebration
  • Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

February

  • Black History Month

March

  • Irish American Heritage Month
  • National Women Heritage Month
  • Women History Month

April

  • Arab American Heritage Month

May

  • Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
  • Jewish American Heritage Month
  • Haitian Heritage Month

June

  • Juneteenth
  • LGBTQ Pride Month

September

  • Amerindian Heritage Month (Guyana)
  • Hispanic Heritage Month

October

  • Philipino American Heritage Month
  • Polish American Heritage Month

November

  • Native American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month

Monthly Newsletters

GSCA Calendar

Organization Description

In response to a call of action to unified sense of belonging amongst students of color at Utah State University (USU), the association GSCA was established to enhance the institution’s climate for current and incoming graduate students of color. The GSCA is a safe space for graduate students of color who seek community, connection, assistance, and support. We promote and focus on inter and intrapersonal resilience while providing professional development and access to resources for long-term career success.

GSCA assists students of color by increasing their awareness of issues encountered by minoritized students at USU, a Predominantly White Institutions (PWI), through conversations with current members, mentors, and affliated allies. By building our foundation on intersectionality, we have created an association that addresses the complexities of institutional oppression.

GSCA addresses the notion of intersectionality with two components. First, students that have been systematically identified as having more than one marginalized identification marker. Secondly, a model that effectively addresses complex relational, structural, individual, and ideological aspects of domination and privilege from the institution, college, department, and fellow students (Ramsay, 2014).

GSCA offers mentoring from university stake holders (i.e., faculty and university administrators). Likewise, GSCA also offers members to mentor undergraduate students of color. By actively promoting events on campus and throughout the Logan area, GSCA aspires to bring attention and awareness to issues surrounding diversity and equity. This association deeply alters inclusive practices (not diversity initiatives) that will be implemented in phases throughout the 8 colleges and other non-academic departments on a graduate level.

We advocate for policies and programs that bring awareness to issues that are happening in our communities, and we question (as well as partner) with campus organizations to make our campus more inviting and inclusive. USU’s GSCA is convinced that a truly educational experience cannot be diminutive of or exclusive of our racial and ethnic self-understandings. Although we seek to help individuals from backgrounds representing racial and ethnic identities that have been the occasions of societal short-sightedness, misunderstanding, and even hatred, membership is open to all graduate students.

Club Constitution

Preface

Section One

The official name of this organization shall be the “Graduate Student of Color Association” (GSCA).

Section Two

The organization shall operate as a non-profit organization.

Section Three

The organization shall abide by the applicable rules and policies of Utah State University pertaining to student organizations.

Article I - Mission Statement

Graduate Students of Color Association (GSCA) supports the educational achievement and well-being of multiply marginalized or underrepresented (MMU) graduate students. Ths association creates enrichingly safe spaces that promote socio-emotional development for graduate students of color. GSCA collaborates with university stakeholders to equitable resources for students in academic and professional settings.

Article II - Membership

  • A GSCA member is a student of the USU community who agrees with the Mission Statement and attends at least half of all GSCA meetings and functions per semester.
  • The executive council reserves the right to remove anyone if there are probable cause and reasons in which the person's actions are not in line with GSCA’s mission and standards.
  • General Membership is open to all Cache Valley communities and members without regard to race, creed, sex, national origin, handicap, or religion. However, GSCA will place focus on the experiences and development of students of color.
  • Recruitment of membership shall take place year-round via marketing and social media advertisements.
  • No membership fees or dues will be collected by GSCA.
  • If the organization dissolves, any non-university-owned assets will be retained by the organization for two years in case the organization is re-established. After two years, any assets will be awarded to MMU scholars in the form of scholarships as determined by the Executive Board.

Article III - Executive Officer Expectations

  • All officers must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.4. In addition, they must anticipate being a full-time (i.e., six credit hours) student during their tenure.
  • Attend all executive club meetings, events, and activities.
  • Club officers must notify the executive council 1 week before a missed absence unless it is an emergency—preferably during club/council meetings.
  • Assist in planning and organizing of all GSCA functions and meetings.
  • Establish goals and objectives at the beginning of the Fall Semester.
  • Actively support other GSCA officers’ club duties and responsibilities.
  • Attend Officer Training for the School of Graduate Studies at the beginning of the Fall Semester.
  • Participate in recruiting efforts throughout the year.
  • Contribute to outreach efforts when there are requests from the university and the community.
  • Support Graduate School programs and events whenever possible.
  • Have at least one contribution to the Celebratory Year-end Event.
  • Semester review form that describes the work you’ve done after the end of each academic year.
  • The President and Vice President will review the council and club member’s forms.
  • The faculty Director/Advisor will review the President and Vice President's form.
  • All members of the executive board are responsible for training their successors to handle the duties of their respective position at the end of their elected term.

Article IV - Executive Club Officer's Roles and Responsibilities

Director/Advisor & GSCA Student Intern

Outlined in detail in Article 10

President

  • To act as the official spokesperson for GSCA.
  • To have a long-term vision for the organization while strategizing in that realm—allowing committee chairs to work strategically about day-to-day activities.
  • To become P-Card trained at the beginning of the Fall semester to assist the Treasurer in purchasing items for club events and activities.
  • To work directly with the GSCA Directors/Advisors, the School of Graduate Studies, USUSA officials, and other administrative offices of USU.
  • To appoint committees as deemed necessary.
  • To assemble all GSCA members.
  • To call and establish the date of nominating future officers in the Spring term.
  • To call meetings as he/she/they deem necessary.
  • If the President/Vice President cannot attend a club activity/event, they must delegate an officer to oversee the activity.

Vice President

  • To fill in a Presidential vacancy in case of absence, resignation, illness, or death.
  • To look at the organization more long term while strategizing in that realm—allowing committee chairs to work strategically about day-to-day activities.
  • To assist the President in all club decisions.
  • To assist the President in their duties.
  • To work closely with the (under)grad intern by assigning tasks and responsibilities.
  • If the president/vice president cannot attend a club activity/event, they must delegate an officer to oversee the activity.
  • Assist the President and PR Officer in coordinating details for outreach requests from the university and community.
  • To compose sponsor letters and requests on behalf of GSCA to on-campus organizations and community businesses.

Secretary

  • To take minutes and roll at each GSCA executive meeting and upload transcripts to the GSCA Box and website.
  • To send out reminders to the Executive Council and GSCA members whenever necessary.
  • Maintain the GSCA@usu.edu email account for the club by corresponding back and forth with specific individuals as well as updating executive club members about emails being sent to the club.
  • Maintain the GSCA Club listserve by adding and removing student email addresses after each semester.
  • Fill out the required Post/Event forms with the help of club officers during an executive meeting.
  • Organize GSCA club history of meetings, activities, accomplishments, etc.

Secretary

  • To work under the Secretary.
  • The assessment planning chair will be responsible for establishing appropriate assessment tools and metrics to gain a pulse of the organization overall, individual events, and campus climate.
  • Additionally, this position will serve as a liaison between the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force Assessment team in the President’s Office.
  • This position is particularly designed for the Graduate Assistant who is on the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force in the President’s Office.

Treasurer

  • To become P-Card trained at the beginning of the Fall Semester to purchase items for club events and activities.
  • To balance the GSCA Budget Work Book for the entire school year on the GSCA Box folder as well as keep a detailed record of receipts and other financial documents.
  • To make available updated finance records upon the request of other GSCA officers.
  • To report GSCA finances monthly to the President and Advisor.
  • To collaborate and prepare all budget proposals for large events and activities with President, Vice President, and Advisor.
  • To prepare an end of school year financial progress report in the Spring term.

Public Relations

  • Promote and attend GSCA events.
  • Create and disseminate marketing and advertising materials.
  • Establish new relationships with local community members and businesses.
  • To work with the Statesman and other media in the publication of articles, announcements, advertisements, editorial rebuttals, etc.
  • To assist GSCA officers and members with advertisements.
  • Maintain a list of GSCA organizations that exist in Utah.
  • Handle and maintain GSCA social media accounts.
  • Take pictures for club documentation (i.e. historian).
  • Organize GSCA club history of meetings, activities, accomplishments, etc.

Programs

One member will be elected to act as chair for each of three (3) programs and will be responsible for coming up with events, activities, socials, etc.

Community-Based Healing

  • Healing
    • Scheduled monthly opportunity to engage in communal healing
    • Storytelling, connective meditations, Body-focused work, art therapies, etc.
  • Workshops
    • Skills-based programming for building/sustaining resources
    • Topic areas include:
      • Microaggressions
      • Intergenerational trauma
      • Sexual trauma
      • Anxiety
      • Etc.
    • Trainings
      • Targeted trainings aimed at increasing understanding of the impact of systemic oppression for Graduate Students of Color (GSC).
      • Opportunities for speakers (eg. mental health professionals who might provide healing within a decolonial, anti-racist frame).
    • Liaison to CAPS
      • Works with CAPS to collaborate on objectives in providing for the mental/emotional needs of GSC
      • Potential mentorship with other mental health professionals
      • Referral network for GSC
    • Collaborates with Campus Partners/Organizations (e.g. Inclusion Center, SAAVI) to reduce the ongoing impact of oppressive systems.
      • Provides opportunities to give feedback.
      • Provides opportunities for experiences.
      • Mentorship
    • Mentorship
      • Collaborates with Mental health training programs to create communities of healing.
        • Multi-disciplinary engagement with MFT, Counseling/Clinical Psych, Social Work.
    • Provides opportunities for Mental Health Graduate Students of Color to grow and train.
      • e.g. Utilizing Heart2Heart and Safe Passages programs and trainees borne from the Combined Counseling/Clinical Psych program.
    • Provides other GSofC to have their mental health attended to.

Launching Aggies

  • Mentorship program
    • Faculty-Graduate Student
    • Graduate Student-Undergraduate Student
  • Create professional development opportunities for GSCA members that consist of:
    • Workshops
      • Conferences
      • Comprehension Exam rules/tips
      • Social Media Transitioning
  • Trainings
    • Work w/President’s Office for training
  • Forums
    • Resume Building
    • LinkedIn
    • Social Media and Interbuilding
    • Social Capital
  • Mock Interviews
    • Tenure Track Positions
    • Corporate Positions
    • Researcher Positions
    • Not-for-profit Positions
  • Reserve slots for the annual grant writing workshop | Fellowship Opportunities for POC
    • Follow-Up workshops throughout the semester
    • Sharing grant deadlines on campus

Social Action

  • Work closely with the university’s Administrative team, Inclusive Center, and the eight colleges regarding allyship and assistance regarding violations and offenses GSC endure.
  • Educate GSCA members on different ways to handle oppressive issues affecting them and/or their familiesIncreasing visibility and a sense of self-worth.
  • Provide education by partnering with the Office of Equity to create and/or conduct faculty and student training.
  • Liaison for all club interactions regarding statements, social action, movements (e.g. Black Lives Matter), etc.

Article V - Establishment of Officers

Following the guidelines of parliamentary procedure, nominations will be made by current members to fill each officer's positions

  • Two elections will take place:
    • Election 1 - Club Officers
      • President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Public Relations
    • Election 2 - Three programs
      • Chair of Launching Aggies
      • Chair of Community-Based Healing
      • Chair of Social Action
  • If an executive office is vacant, the existing executive council will determine if the position(s) must be filled. Once it has been decided by the Council, the Council will then nominate and vote on the nominee(s). Further, if an Executive Council does not exist, the Inclusion Center will appoint the President. The President will then follow the same procedure to fill the executive offices that are vacant.
  • No one person can hold two positions of the executive or chair positions unless a current member holding one of the positions has left their spot vacant in the academic calendar.

Article VI - GSCA Meeting Procedures

  • Executive and GSCA meetings will be held weekly unless there is a holiday or event(s) scheduled night or week of.
  • Executive GSCA meetings will follow a parliamentary procedure wherein the GSCA President and Secretary form an agenda to discuss business items and event opportunities with the executive council.
  • Anyone is welcome to attend GSCA meetings.
  • Greet any first-time visitors at GSCA meetings.

Article VII - Nominating Officers

General Eligibility Rules:

  • A person must identify with Article III, Section I and understand and support the promotion of diverse and inclusive culture and must also have been a member for two consecutive semesters of the present academic year, and be a student of USU to run for and hold the office of President or Vice President.
  • If a student has no prior experience in leadership positions, they are still eligible to be a part of the executive council. To be nominated, a person must express interest, show leadership potential, advocate for GSCA, and actively participate in club meetings.
  • To be eligible for the positions, individuals must maintain full time (i.e., 6 credit hours) and earn a 3.4 GPA per semester.
  • All elected officers would need to complete a series of trainings and demonstrates knowledge of cultural and ethnic appreciation of differences by taking at least one (1) of the following:
    • Anti-Racism Training (Luis Rodriques)
    • Heart2Heart Training (Dr. Melanie Domenech Rodriquez)
    • Interfaith-based Training (Dr. Glass-Coffin)
    • SP4U+H2H International (Niyonta Chowdhury-Magaña)
    • Implicit Bias training (Emmalee Fishburn)
    • Tribal based training (Dr. Melissa Tehee)
    • Allies training (Erika-Danielle Lindstrom)

Nominations:

  • President-elect will sit under the President to be groomed for the next academic year. The President-elect will be nominated to take office having gained the training and experience required to be successful
  • Nominations will take place during a GSCA executive meeting.
  • Any GSCA executive officer may nominate himself/herself or another GSCA club member. Another officer must second the nomination for the name to be added to the list of nominations.
  • Nominated, eligible candidates for office must accept the nomination and express their interest to the executive council.
  • The nominating of names can be made in several ways:
    • By the chair
    • From the floor
    • By a nominating committee, or
    • By ballot
  • No persons can hold the same executive position for two (2) consecutive terms/years.

Nominating Candidate Procedures:

  • Only individuals who have been nominated will have their names on the ballot.
  • All nominated individuals must be present at the executive council meeting the day and time of the election takes place.
  • For contest with more than one candidate:
    • The candidate earning the greatest number of votes is elected.
    • In the case of a tie, the top two vote-getters shall participate in run-off elections until a candidate is elected.
  • For a contest with only one candidate, the individual who has been nominated will automatically be elected.

Voting Procedures:

  • The election will take place on the date(s) which are to be set by the executive council.
  • The GSCA Secretary and Advisor will have the list of nominees.
  • The current executive council will be given one ballot and may only vote once.
  • After the one vote, the ballot is final.

Election Results:

  • All election results will be formally prepared and submitted to the Secretary and Advisor.
  • Nominees will be notified of the election results.
  • Results will be publicly posted at the end of the Spring Semester.

Unfilled Officer Positions:

  • In an event that not all positions are filled by the following year, the new executive council will need to decide if they will keep their titles or if they would like to be renamed as co-club leaders until the positions have been filled.
  • If no nominations are made by the floor, the committee will inquire within.
  • The Directors/Advisors and Student Intern will step in by helping to foster an environment of learning. The Directors/Advisors will closely mentor student leaders until the new leaders feel confident in running GSCA independently.

Article VIII - Impeachment and Resignation of Officers

Resignation:

  • An officer has the opportunity to resign at any given time for any reason.
  • The officer must submit a 2-week notice.
  • After the resignation has been submitted, it is final.
  • The former officer shall not be excluded from full membership of GSCA after his/her resignation from office.
  • Inquiry process to follow (investigation):
  • The official Director/Advisor (s) will step in to decide the investigation process
  • If the advisor feels the need for impeachment, then s/he or they will present the motion to the committee for review/investigation.

Impeachment:

  • If an officer does not fulfill his/her duties as outlined by this constitution, or if the membership is extremely dissatisfied with an officer, the concerns will first try to be addressed with this individual at an executive meeting.
  • If the concern(s) are not resolved within the meeting, the executive council will talk to the advisor.
  • If needed and according to the severity of the issue, there may be a probationary period assigned by the advisor and council.
  • Vote of confidence from the floor/members with explicit rationales (related to doing their job)

Article IX - Reviewing and Amending the Constitution

Review of the Constitution:

  • The current Executive Council must read and review the constitution at the end of the Spring term
  • The new Executive Council must read and review the constitution at the beginning of the Fall term to familiarize themselves with the mission of the Club as well as understand their roles as club officers.

Amendments to this Constitution must be:

  • Submitted to the President or discussed at an executive meeting.
  • Passed by a two-thirds majority of officers and ratified by the Advisor and the majority of the council members present at the time of voting.
  • Select a professional (or a person of power) that continues to work with the association regarding the amendments of the constitution.
    • Preferably the SGS Vice-Provost and the Inclusion Center Director

Article X - Director's/Advisor's Role and GSCA Student Intern Responsibilities

In the perfect world, create an advisory committee (each position would be responsible for acting as a faculty mentor - which is a paid position)

Director:

  • Will act as the association’s official advisor
  • Manages the association’s index number and financial requests
  • Manages P-card processes and protocols
  • Handles correspondences with and between the university and other organizations
  • Renews, request, and manages membership, finances, (ask Luis for more information)
  • Attends one official GSCA event
  • Responsible for attending 25% of the club meetings

Co-Director (#1):

  • Will serve in the capacity as:
    • GSCA Mentor for the association
    • GSCA Mock interviewer
    • Attend any official GSCA events
    • Responsible for attending 50% of the club meetings

Co-Director (#2):

  • Will serve in the capacity as:
    • GSCA Mentor for the association
    • GSCA Mock interviewer
    • Attend events as support
    • Responsible for attending 50% of the club meetings

Student Intern:

  • GSCA will have one (1) intern—which will be appointed by the School of Graduate Studies as a
    • 9-10 hour Diversity Assistantship
    • Or a 9-10 hour undergraduate work-study position