The Graduate Student Council (GSC) represents and supports graduate student interests at Caltech in all facets of life including academic issues, library and computing facilities, quality of campus life, extracurricular activities such as clubs and intramurals, and social events. Our mission is “to work to maximize the quality of graduate student life at Caltech.” The GSC is governed by a Board of Directors (BoD) composed of graduate student representatives from the various academic options. The GSC has a number of standing committees which address all facets of graduate student life. These committees are Academics, Budget, Bylaws, Housing, Publications, Quality of Life, Social, and Underrepresented Students. In addition, the GSC is affiliated with the Graduate Review Board (GRB), the body that oversees Caltech’s honor code as it applies to graduate students. Finally, the GSC keeps graduate students at Caltech informed of important information and campus events through our monthly newsletter and Directory email. The GSC provides annual funding for 30 student clubs and organizations and up to $300 in Quickfunding for individual events from social activities to campus literary publications. More information about the GSC budget and funding can be found at
under “Annual Reports.” The BoD meets on the first Thursday of every month at 12:00 noon, usually in Winnett club room. All members of the Caltech community are invited to attend our meetings. If you are interested in participating in the GSC but do not want to join the BoD, it is possible to join one of the standing committees in order to be involved in an issue that is important to you. For more information about the GSC, please see our website at www.its.caltech.edu/~gsc.
The relationship between a faculty advisor and graduate student should be founded on mutual respect and open communication. Advisors and students should discuss the nature of their working relationship early and continue this discussion throughout their period of collaboration to ensure mutually understood and compatible expectations. These discussions should be frequent and open, and should include not only work, research goals, and performance reviews, but also change of status, time for personal and family responsibilities, time off, and concerns about academic or work situations. Both the student and advisor have the obligation to initiate meetings as necessary to ensure the success of the relationship. The graduate student-faculty advisor relationship should be guided by fairness and professionalism. Both faculty and graduate students should avoid relationships that conflict with their respective roles and duties at Caltech. Both are bound by the prevailing policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment. Concerns relating to academic or work situations should be raised promptly between the persons directly involved and handled informally if possible. Both students and advisors have the responsibility to raise and address concerns and conflicts without delay and in a manner that conforms with academic integrity and professionalism. Caltech policy requires that students’ concerns be addressed fairly and promptly and prohibits retaliation or discrimination against students for appropriately voicing concerns. If a problem remains unresolved or if direct discussion is not possible, a student can seek assistance from Division officers (e.g. Option Representatives and Executive Officers), the Dean of Graduate Studies, the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, or the office of International Student Programs. At any time a student may request that discussions remain confidential. For more details about sources of assistance consult the graduation option regulations and the Student Grievance Procedure sections in the Caltech Catalog.
To review a list of suggested questions that you ask a faculty member before deciding to work with the, please see: http://www.its.caltech.edu/~gscacad/html/advisor.pdf
If you are interested in learning more about a specific faculty advisor, many labs have been reviewed by students who have graduated from those labs. The GSC has compiled their responses to exit surveys at: http://www.its.caltech.edu/~gscacad/html/lab_review_survey.html