GSD Support Services
The student experience at the GSD is intense and rigorous, and at times can be stressful or overwhelming. All GSD students are highly qualified and often come from previous educational experiences where they were top of their classes. It can be difficult to realize that you may not be accomplishing your goals as easily as in the past. Additionally, students for whom English is not their native language may be struggling more than they had expected communicating their ideas.
Occasionally, students realize that they may have a disability that had not been diagnosed before. Often these students were able to compensate for this disability in previous educational environments but, faced with a more rigorous academic environment, their previous modes of compensation don’t work any longer. In such cases, testing and professional recommendations for accommodations can help the student realize his or her potential (contact Laura Snowdon).
Finally, the student experience is often a challenge even when everything is basically fine both emotionally and physically. An unexpected life event such as an illness, a death or other stress can trigger emotional distress and/or set the student back academically.
During these difficult times, it is good to know that there are a number of resources at your fingertips within the GSD for assistance with the English language, finding the right person to talk with at health services, or just someone to advise you on resolving an emotional difficulty.
If you are encountering problems with your courses and/or studio, your academic advisor and program director are there to talk you through your difficulties and help you work through possible solutions. If you do not feel comfortable approaching your academic advisor or program director about a particular issue, and you are not sure where to go for advice, the following contacts in the Office of Student Services can help you get started.
Take Time Away From Gund Hall! The intense workload at the GSD convinces many students that they only have time for their studies and nothing else. Treating yourself to an extra activity, even for half an hour each day, goes a long way to keeping young designers on their toes.
- The Charles River is a short walk south of the GSD.
- Pool tables are free in the Memorial Hall basement.
- A cup of coffee at Caf Gato Roja encourages intermingling with other Harvard schools.
- The small enclosed garden connected to the Adophus Busch Hall (at the intersection of Quincy and Kirkland) is a great refuge in warm weather.
GSD Support Services - Dean Snowdon is the primary resource for GSD students with emotional, medical or disability concerns, difficulty with the English language, as well as any problems or issues within the GSD that students would like to discuss. She will refer students to additional sources for assistance as necessary. To make an appointment, email her at to set one up.
617. 495. 0774
Pat Roberts has general responsibility for the welfare of GSD students and monitors students academic status and progress. She is available to discuss any problems that may arise including grade appeals or sexual harassment complaints.
TELL SOMEONE: responding to sexual harassment, assault and rape at the GSD (PDF)
Graduate School of Design’s informational brochure regarding sexual violence support and resources.
*In Common - a peer counseling hotline for Harvard’s graduate and professional schools.
Sunday-Thursday, 8:00 p.m.-midnight, excluding Harvard holidays. 617-(38)4-TALK
*Unfortunately, In Common will not be operating during the Fall 2012 Semester. At this time, the plan is to re-establish the hotline for the Spring 2013 semester. If you are interested in volunteering as a counselor in Spring 2013, then please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, school, and contact information.
Drug & Alcohol Peer Advisors (DAPAs) Program
select group of student leaders who have been trained to respond to questions about alcohol and other drug issues at Harvard.
Harvard Health Services/Mental Health Group Counseling
Group therapy is an opportunity for students to meet other students and share problems, concerns, issues, and goals.
Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR)
OSAPR provides confidential support, information and resource referrals to survivors of sexual violence.
University Ombuds Office – provides a neutral, confidential place to discuss informal approaches to resolving workplace or academic problems.