The following Q&A format should help establish my reasons for trying to re-activate the Graduate Musicians Organization. If you have a question about the re-activation proposal that is not on this page, please feel free to contact me. - Miguel Picanço, Student Advisor
As far as I understand it, the GMO was originally constructed as a means for graduate students to voice their concerns about “quality of life” issues on campus. Many of these issues were essentially solved by recent technological advances such as cell phones, wireless internet, computer projection systems, etc. It was voted to be inactive in Fall of 2004 due to a lack of focus and leadership.
There are no fees or application requirements at this time. All graduate students pursuing a music related degree are automatically considered members of the organization. In order to be an active member, all you need to contribute is your time and opinions.
Every graduate student I have talked to about my ideas for the organization has become intrigued and excited about seeing this organization become re-activated. The following sections explain how this organization could potentially benefit UNL Music Graduate Students.
This organization would function as a grand social forum for discussing academic viewpoints. In the last year alone, I had 4 topics mentioned to me from within my own circle of friends. Since I was a member of a couple administrative committees, I submitted these topics and witnessed immediate results with at least 2 of them. As an official university organization, our meetings would aim to discuss all the current issues of being a UNL graduate musician. One policy I will personally request to the GMO will be to seek out the council of certain key members within each area discipline to ensure that as many viewpoints as possible are being represented during each meeting.
In connection with the Dean of Fine Arts and the Chamber
music ensembles, the GMO's secondary goal would be to help deliver our talents
to the nearby community. This would help us as musicians on a number of levels
including performance opportunities, self-management training, and making future
employment connections outside the realm of the University.
Such endeavors also promote UNL within the community so there could possibly be financial support available for certain projects. Of course, financial support is much more easily obtained if we are represented as an official UNL organization.
One part of a university position is dealing with and serving on administrative councils. We have graduate representatives on both the Dean's Graduate Committee, SOM Graduate Committee, College Awards committees, and a few others. Although the graduate representatives do not have lots of power in these meetings, committee members may come back to the GMO with reports, presentations, etc. on possible topics of interest for graduate students.
All of current goals for this organization were created solely by me, Miguel Picanço, because of my volunteered involvement with various committees. The list of topics and organizational potentials is far from exhausted due to the fact that I am just one person. We all often think of ways in which the UNL School of Music can better serve us, but there currently isn't a decent forum for us to express those ideas. Most of the time, our ideas never seem to leave the 3rd floor of Westbrook.
This project can take any shape or direction that we, as a student body, choose to follow. Not even the goals mentioned above represent an official list. They simply represent the ideas and viewpoints of one graduate musician. In order to best suit the needs of all graduate musicians, the viewpoints of many must be expressed. In my mind, this is the fundamental purpose of the Graduate Musicians Organization: to serve as a forum for graduate musicians to present their issues and ideals, to discuss the potential of possible solutions, and to express our point of view as a single, stronger voice to the UNL community in order to help make those ideal solutions become a reality.
This seems to be the question on everyone's lips. Especially due to the typical 2 year residency of most graduate students, everyone usually finds themselves overloaded with better things to do than to sit in a meeting once a month. The best part about the organization is the fact that meeting attendance is completely optional. Meetings will be held once a month by the advisor(s) and elected student officers. By order of the ASUN Senate, all meetings must have 5 members in attendance.
Of course, all members are strongly encouraged to attend in order to voice their opinions. However, any student may submit their ideas by briefly explaining them (either in person or through email) to another member that is planning to attend the meeting. You are, obviously, the best person to present your ideas and must be present at the meeting in order to vote on issues.
We have submitted our renewal application for official status and will cover constitution changes during our next meeting. Our current officers are:
President- Shelly Monier
Vice President - Chad Houk
Treasurer - Leigh Ann Singer
Secretary - Jessica Vansteenburg
Faculty Advisor - Ann Chang-Barnes
Student Advisor - Miguel Picanço
See the old constitution for the standard roles of each office. Updating the constitution format is required by the ASUN Senate and will be one of the first orders of business for GMO meetings. Before we submit our constitution for approval, I suggest making the following amendments:
The best thing you can do is to show up to the meetings in order to contribute your own perspective on the issues discussed. The officers may request for help from other students with experience on the subject.
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The last 3 meetings for Fall 2005 will be held Oct. 27, Nov. 17, and Dec. 8 @ 1:30pm in WMB 105.
These are the minutes for the meeting on Oct. 6.
The process of rebuilding the GMO into a worthwhile endeavor for graduate students could take many months to get started. The official goals of the GMO must be established and reflected within our constitution. The old constitution format must also be altered slightly to meet the new requirements for ASUN Senate approval within 90 days of activation. Student issues must wait until the steps needed to activate the GMO have been met.
Our first meeting covered the following possible goals for the future:
1. Change the name of the organization to help others quickly identify our purpose and sense of direction.
2. Organize and maintain a database of all graduate musicians for quick access in upcoming projects.
3. Set up the GMO as a centralized "Community Music School" enabling a direct connection to all types of tutoring.
4. Fundraising efforts could be focused into scholarship awards.