Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week is right around the corner

The fourth annual Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week (GPSAW) starts this Monday. The Office of Student Activities & Leadership (OSAL) is organizing the week-long celebration, in conjunction with the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) and Graduate Professional Council (GPC). All graduate students and professional students are urged to attend the available events that week.

Undergraduates get a lot of attention throughout the semester, so this week serves as an opportunity for the university to give another student body their share of parties, free food and discounts.

From April 6-10, OSAL will host a different event each day, exclusively for graduate students and professionals with a Case Western Reserve University ID. The CWRU community can also show their gratitude with something as simple as a note of appreciation, or something as noticeable as acknowledgement at a departmental meeting.

The first event of the week is the Kick-Off Pizza Party, which offers a huge chance for student body networking since the turnout is typically immense. It will be April 6 from 12-1:30 p.m. in the Thwing Ballroom. The last event will be the GPSAW Formal Ball on April 10 from 6 p.m. to midnight. Students must purchase tickets in advance to attend this dressy shindig at Windows on the River, a banquet hall in downtown Cleveland.

There are a variety of events in between these two happening throughout the week and a variety of places where grads and professionals can get discounts. If students present their CWRU IDs at places like Barnes & Noble, The Coffee House or even Piccadilly, they will receive at least 10 percent off a product.

Graduate Assistant Courtney Diener works in the OSAL and is excited about the upcoming week for two big reasons. First she is happy to be part of a long tradition where graduate students and professionals can have fun together in an atmosphere just for them.

“I started getting involved in different graduate organizations to help market the programming and started noticing that there was almost a divide between graduate students and professional students on campus,” Diener said. “But from the perspective of an engaged master’s student, there is value in mingling and getting to know the entire graduate student community.”

The second reason is that she hopes the week will propel graduate and professional organizations at CWRU to come together as a strong collective.

With the recent creation of the Associate Director of Graduate Student Engagement position in the OSAL, Diener has become even more aware of just how many different organizations exist that work toward similar goals. She previously served under a task force that had discussed how great it would be if these groups were unified, and it seems like this may happen in the very near future.

“GSS and GPC have voted to unify as one organization recently,” she said. “This is really important because it means [there will be] more powerful voices for graduate students in all programs.”

Visit the GPSAW website a full list of events and discounts.