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Graduate Student Jobs

Essential Elected

  • President
    Time Required: The same as graduate representative to the faculty (see below), plus additional time organizing and carrying out the Fall election and meetings of the graduate student body as needed. Duties: All the duties of graduate representative to the faculty (see below). Plus, oversee and carry out the Fall election process and filling of all student jobs, and report the results of the election to the DGS and the Graduate Program Coordinator. Location: The department. Purpose: The president ensures the election of the BGR and serves as graduate representative to the faculty (see below).
  • Graduate Representative to Faculty
    Time Required: Varies. The faculty meet as needed throughout the year, usually between 2-4 times a semester. When they do meet it has traditionally been on a Wednesday. The average meeting lasts around 2 hours, but the graduate student representatives don’t always stay for the whole meeting. Duties: attending every department meeting, surveying the graduate students on issues to be discussed in those meetings, and ultimately casting the graduate student votes on relevant matters. Location: Department meetings are held in the seminar room. Purpose: represent the graduate students in department meetings. This ensures that the graduate students have an influence on the policies and decisions the ultimately affect them.
  • Graduate Student Council Representative
    Time Required: 1 meeting per month. 2-3 hours each. Duties: At minimum, attend the graduate student council meetings. The representative will need to make sure that he/she gets the proper notifications for the upcoming meetings. This can be done by joining the GSC email list through their website or Facebook. Location: Varies. Will be announced in the meeting notification for each month. Purpose: To represent the department in GSC. Only if a department representative attends regularly are students in philosophy eligible to apply for GSC travel grants, a significant benefit.
  • Colloquium Committee Representative
    Time Required: minimal 1-3 hours (total).Duties: Specific tasks will vary depending on how the colloquium committee chooses to handle the deliberation (sometimes it’s done via e-mail, sometimes in person).  Collect student speaker requests, gather a sense of their corporate opinion (formally in a vote, or informally), and communicate that interest to the faculty. Location: depends, see above. Purpose: Meet with faculty colloquium committee to deliberate about the next year’s speaker line-up. Typically, the committee will have a list from a department-wide call for speaker requests. The committee will review everyone’s requests and settle on a short list of speakers based on a variety of factors such as funding, location, area of specialty, and department interest.  The talk liaison will communicate the graduate students’ interests to the talk-committee.

Essential Non-Elected

  • Colloquia Receptions (set up/clean up)
    Time Required: One hour after each colloquium. Duties:  Remind the Business Manager or the Graduate Program Coordinator to order food and help with this if needed.  Help set up the reception if needed. Clean up after each reception. Location: Department lounge. Purpose: Clean up: to keep the mice and roach population low.
  • Department Barista
    Time Required: Purchase and deliver coffee as needed (in the past this has been about once a month), though the frequency depends obviously on the quantity of coffee purchased. Duties: Purchase coffee, deliver coffee and receipt to the Graduate Program Coordinator. The Graduate Program Coordinator provides reimbursement from the money collected by the department’s coffee drinkers. Despite the name, this position has no special responsibility for acting making coffee for anyone. Location: Grocery store and lounge. Purpose: To provide caffeine to coffee-drinking members of the department.
  • Graduate Student Council Representative Alternate
    Time Required: Perhaps once or twice a year or however often the primary rep is unable to attend. Duties: To make every effort to attend the GSC monthly meetings whenever the GSC Primary Representative is unable to attend. For more information see: Location: See above. Purpose: See above.

Non-Essential, Non-Elected

  • GEO Steward
    Time Required: Varies. Meetings are held monthly, except during contract negotiations with the university. During this time, expect multiple meetings a week. Most meetings are around an hour in length.  However, contract meetings can take much longer. Duties: Educate incoming students about the GEO, refer current students to GEO resources when required, voice the opinions and concerns of philosophy graduate students to the GEO during contract negotiations, represent the GEO during contract negotiations with the university.  For more information and contact info see: Meetings are held in the department and at the GEO offices on campus. Purpose: To help philosophy graduate students be involved in union activities, and to ensure that the needs of of philosophy graduate students are met by the union.
  • Chicagoland Conference Organizers

    Timeline of tasks:

    8 months – 1 year before conference:
    – Decide whether the conference will be themed or open to papers on any subject.
    – Identify and start contacting keynote candidates. (We typically just get keynotes from the greater Chicagoland area to cut down on travel expenses.)
    – Figure out how much the conference is going to cost and where the money will come from.
    – Choose a date for the conference (in consultation with keynotes, once they’ve accepted).
    – Make arrangements with conference venue (so far, the Humanities Institute).

    6 months – 8 months before conference:
    – Send out call for papers.
    – Set up email account for conference submissions.
    – Set up conference listing on PhilEvents.
    – Design conference posters/flyers.

    3 months before conference:
    – Review paper submissions and make initial accept/reject decisions. (This year we kept track of reviews with an open-access Google spreadsheet, which worked well.)
    – Decide how many papers should be on the program. (In the past we’ve done 4 keynote on the first day and 2 keynote on the second day.)

    2 months before conference:
    – Finalize speakers.
    – Begin soliciting comments.
    – Make arrangements to put speakers up with UIC people if necessary.

    1 month – weeks before conference:
    – Finalize commentators and get comments to speakers.
    – Find session chairs.
    – Distribute final program.
    – Make catering arrangements for coffee/breakfast/lunch (so far, we’ve gone with Panera).
    – Make final arrangements with conference venue (e.g., get keys, reserve projector/laptop, find out what to do with garbage, etc.)
    – Make name tags.
    – Go shopping for whatever food and drinks you want to supply yourself.

    – We’ve gotten about 500 bucks for food from the dept the last two years for breakfasts and lunch; however department money cannot be spent on alcohol.
    – We’ve picked the H Institute in part because we are free to get food from anywhere rather than being restricted to UIC good services (like we’d be if we held the event in the student union).

  • Work-In-Progress Organizer
    Background: Your basic responsibility is to organize a series of talks, so that graduate students AND faculty engage with each others’ ongoing research. Fortunately, over the first year, we had at least two (but sometimes more) faculty members present in each talk. Graduate student turnout is not something to take for granted, so try to be creative to attract more graduate students. In my experience, it’s good to remind them how helpful this can be for the atmosphere of the department! (The DGS is willing to encourage the students to attend. Remind the DGS to do that). How to do this: 1. Early in the semester, send out an email and get up to 5 speakers (but no more than 5, because people won’t show up to too many events). It’s important to set the schedule as early as possible; the department calendar needs to be set early in the semester, and it can help the turnout to have the event on schedule.SuggestionIn the email that you send out, emphasize that this is for works in progress. The point should be to encourage an atmosphere of working together and feeling comfortable to develop ideas collaboratively.

    2. This year, the slots were divided into 2 faculty speakers and 3 graduate speakers. It worked out pretty well. Graduate students were especially excited by the talks that the faculty gave.

    3. Make sure that you are in touch with the Graduate Program Coordinator and the person who is organizing the departmental talks. Obviously, you don’t want to have other talks on the same day. But also, you don’t want to have more than one talk in one week.

    4. Book the seminar room by contacting the Graduate Program Coordinator. Keep the Department Chair up-to-date, too. The Department Chair wants to know the department’s calendar.

    5. A few days before each meeting, contact the Business Manager. She can order pastries and coffee for the talks.

    Do it! This was quite a rewarding job to do! You’d feel like you get to know your own department better and it can get you excited to work on your own projects.

  • Underrepresented Philosophers Organizer
    The purpose of this organization is to facilitate community among any philosophers who belong to underrepresented demographics. This can be interpreted broadly to include anyone who feels underrepresented in philosophy as a profession or just someone who feels underrepresented in the department. Duties:
    Keep a list of members and their e-mail addresses
    – Propose social events — This can be as frequent as the community desires. In the past, we have tried to meet monthly. Recently, we’ve met once every semester.
    – Meeting times/locations should be planned with the diverse needs of the community in mind. Some members have kids, some eat a restricted diet, some are more comfortable meeting in certain establishments than others. The organizer should try to stay informed about the needs of the community and aim to promote an inclusive spirit.
  • Intramural Sports, Music and Art Enthusiast Organizer
    Those interested in playing an intramural sport need a captain to register @ and coordinate game scheduling. In the past there have been indoor soccer and basketball teams. All levels are welcome to participate.