Student Forum is the executive board level of the GSD’s elected student government. The Student Forum works to improve student life at the GSD and serves as a link between the student body and the school administration.
Members of Student Forum meet regularly with the Office of Student Affairs and with the Dean, as well as the Class Representatives for each program and year. The members of Student Forum, along with the elected Class Representatives, also participate in the Student Academic Affairs Committee. Through the roles of the different Chair offices within Student Forum, the student government maintains regular communications with major offices at the GSD such as Alumni Relations, Facilities, Career Services, the office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, the Frances Loeb Library, etc. Members of Student Forum also serve on other ad-hoc administrative and student committees. Student Forum holds weekly internal meetings, and meetings open to the entire student body are scheduled at least once every semester, as well as an open meeting with the Dean.
Student Forum manages budgets for various activities, events, and projects, as well as the funding for GSD student groups. Funding for Student Forum and student groups is drawn from the Student Activity Fee. The Office of Student Affairs staff work with Student Forum on budgeting and approve allocations.
Student Forum officers are elected by the GSD student body each spring. They serve for a full academic year, taking over from the outgoing leadership each May, and serving for the following fall and spring semesters. Student Forum elected chairs also have the option to appoint officers and committees to help them carry out their work.
In addition to Student Forum, GSD students are represented by Class Representatives from each graduation-year cohort of each academic program stream. In addition to serving on the Student Academic Affairs Committee, Class Representatives meet several times each semester as a student council, and assist Student Forum executive board members with committees and projects.
Student Forum, Academic Year 2023-2024:
Diversity and Inclusion Chairs:
Student Organizations Chair:
Alejandra Cortez Paz
Professional Development Chair:
Social Events Chair:
(new position added November 2023)
Harvard Graduate Council Representatives:
Mike Kaneshiro Chou
Read the Student Forum Bylaws
To contact Student Forum, email [email protected]
Student Forum Elections
Both Student Forum and Class Representatives serve a one-year term over the course of an academic year, beginning with election in April of the preceding academic year (first year representatives are elected in September).
Students interested in running for Student Forum or Class Representative seats are asked to attend an informational session, then to declare candidacy. Student Forum candidates are additionally asked to submit a brief statement that will be circulated to the student body. This statement should be a paragraph or two and serve both to introduce the candidate, and express the candidate’s reason for running and vision for how they will act in the role they seek to fill. Students running for Class Representative seats do not need to submit a statement.
Below is a sample expected elections timeline, though specifics can shift from year to year:
First half of April:
Hear from Student Forum chairs and Class Reps about their positions and what it’s like being part of student government
Deadline to declare candidacy (all candidates)
Also deadline for Student Forum candidates to submit candidate statements
Your chance to hear from candidates for Student Forum and ask questions
Voting opens shortly after the Candidate Forum concludes, and remains open for several days
Winners are announced before the end of spring term courses