GPSA Senators discuss effects of canceled spring break, possible in-person classes

Many graduate students use spring break to rest, catch up on research, senators say

Research+that+impacts+Native+American+tribes+should+be+approved+by+the+respective+tribes%2C+said+Ken+Lokensgard%2C+assistant+director+of+the+Center+for+Native+American+Research+and+Collaboration.

SCREENSHOT FROM MEETING

Research that impacts Native American tribes should be approved by the respective tribes, said Ken Lokensgard, assistant director of the Center for Native American Research and Collaboration.

JENAE LAXSON, Evergreen reporter

GPSA senators discussed the effects not having a spring break will have on graduate students during Monday night’s meeting.

Samantha Edgerton, doctoral student in history, said her group of GPSA members are concerned not having a spring break is a loss for graduate students that use the break to catch up on research.

The university should allow some graduate classes to be in person if possible, said Mikala Meize, chair of international affairs and doctoral student in criminal justice and criminology. Many graduate classes are small, and students benefit from meeting in person.

Some classes are difficult to have online, like technology classes, she said. The university needs to make clearer statements about whether courses will be in person or online.

Meize said COVID-19 may spread in December and January from students traveling, so canceling spring break does not make sense. Graduate students look forward to resting during spring break, she said.

Professional Development Initiatives should create more mental health events, said Mark Batcheler, doctoral student in environmental science and natural resources.

Not having spring break might cause more virtual fatigue, he said. The change over to Canvas may also impact student performance.

Native American research 

Research that impacts Native American tribes should be approved by the tribes, said Ken Lokensgard, assistant director of the Center for Native American Research and Collaboration.

If graduate students are conducting research on a tribe, like the Nez Perce Tribe, then they need to know that they must work with the tribe, he said.

It is important to gain consent from these sovereign nations because research that characterizes tribes needs to be approved by the appropriate people, he said.

“We have many students who are members of these tribes,” Lokensgard said. “The Indigenous Students and Students Engaged in Indigenous Research has 27 members from many fields, with a large portion in the health sciences.”

The next GPSA meeting will be on Nov. 9.