CMU initiatives must include grad students

Last month’s Healthy U survey was a unique opportunity for University Health Services to gauge campus health and well-being for both graduate and undergraduate students at Carnegie Mellon. Never before have graduate students been included in a campus health survey.

This fact is surprising for a school with such a large percentage of graduate students — 6,685 of the school’s 12,991 students are master’s or doctoral students, according to Carnegie Mellon Institutional Research and Analysis.

While the inclusion of graduate students in the survey is a step in the right direction, the administration and campus organizations should push for even greater recognition of graduate students in university-wide initiatives.

The needs and wants of undergraduates and graduate students aren’t the same. While many of the graduate programs at the university are research-based, undergraduates generally adhere to the core curriculum of their programs. While the academic programs of each group are different, the university can focus on ensuring that undergraduates and graduate students receive equal attention and concern.

One opportunity for equal attention is to renew efforts for the Activities Fee so that it is distributed toward graduate students and undergraduates more evenly. Many student organizations and events are tailored more for undergraduates than graduate students. However, according to the Carnegie Mellon University Student Activities Fee policy, a portion of graduate students’ activities fees goes to the Graduate Student Assembly. This allocation will hopefully go to more programs and activities geared for graduate students.

Concern over student life and well-being has been a prominent issue over the past year. The administration needs to make sure that in addressing concerns, a significant portion of the Carnegie Mellon community isn’t overlooked. The inclusion of graduate students in the Healthy U survey is a nice gesture, but more needs to be done in order to truly improve the quality of life at Carnegie Mellon for all students, faculty, and staff.