Carnegie Mellon University

On Campus Advocacy Efforts

Check out some of the information below on previous efforts from the GSA, our current projects, and resources for you to advocate in your own department. Have something you want us to work on? Share your story with the GSA executive board.

GSA Transportation Platform

The Transportation Platform is a document that highlights GSA's advocacy priorities at the university and local levels. This living document was ratified by the Transportation Working Group, two GSA Executive Committees, and the GSA Representatives. Feel free to contact for any questions or comments.

GSA Health Insurance Platform

The Health Insurance Platform highlights GSA's advocacy priorities for health insurance coverage and costs. This living document was ratified by the Health Insurance Working Group, two GSA Executive Committees, and the GSA Representatives. Feel free to contact for any questions or comments.

Every year, the GSA collects data on stipends, fees the department pays for, and if the department covers health insurance. Check out the GSA Stipend Report to advocate for more comprehensive financial support.

The Graduate Student Advising Survey Report can be found here. The survey was carried out in the spring of 2018 and the report compiled shortly thereafter. The GSA Strategic Plan 2015-2025 listed holistic graduate student experience and professional development of graduate student areas as focus areas for growth. The GSA Executive Committees over the years has been apprised of various sub-optimal graduate student experiences with their respective advisors. As such, the GSA Executive Committee 2017-2018 chose graduate student advising as one of the focus areas to gain a better understanding of advising experiences at CMU. Additionally, the convening of two initiative teams by the Task Force on the CMU Experience: Doctoral Student Mentorship Working Group, and Holistic Advising (focus on Masters’ students) in 2017-2018 highlighted graduate student advising as an institutional priority area. The survey was aimed at helping the working groups by informing their efforts, as well as future efforts of the campus community, to improve the advisor/advisee relationship at CMU.

The Survey Report was cited in the findings and recommendations from the Task Force on Campus Climate, the Task Force on the CMU Experience, and separately in the findings from the CMU Experience Subcommittee's report on Doctoral Student Mentoring. If you have questions about the report, contact the GSA VP of Academic Affairs



Do you meet with the head of your grad program once a semester to give feedback? Are graduate students in your department present during faculty meetings, graduate student acceptance committees and/or faculty hiring committees? Check out the GSA Voices Report to see where graduates from other departments have representation!

If you don’t meet with the head of your grad program, check out the GSA Voices Report above. Are there anonymous surveys to gather graduate student feedback in your department? Is there an ombudsperson? Is there an anonymous feedback system that people can use at any time? Do you thoughtfully fill out the Faculty Course Evaluations at the end of the semester? Here’s why you might want to collect some data!