Friday, June 1, 2007

Going up to Bat for Grad Students

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Yesterday, while most of the grad students were making end of the year toasts, I was a hallway away pitching my heart out to the Director of the Program in Global Cultures trying to get him to give us some money for our grad student journal. I was well prepped and excited. AS had been referred to me by our annual journal advisor and through his email to me had expressed great interest in "contributing." Further, the fact that I was there asking for money would not be a surprise since I had spelled it out in my initial cold-email. I think my exact words were, "In all honesty, we need money."

I brought two copies of the journal, a copy of our proposal and future objectives, and some ideas to throw around about how a relationship between his undergrads and our grads might benefit their program. I gave his students internship opportunities to proofread, layout and be an integral part of our production; I even suggested that we could co-organize a launch event and bring a speaker of interest to both groups to campus; and finally I added we could even have an advanced undergraduate submit a book review.

He loved my ideas, loved our journal, and seemed really impressed/interested/excited about what we were doing. And then comes the awkward time to mention the money - right? I was sort of waiting and he started in on his speech about the organization of university bureaucracy (of which I have unwittingly become an expert on), and the meager budget his program gets - a total of $1000 a year! So at this point, I'm tired, and I'm starting to feel like I've been led on - how can he possibly give us a substantial amount of money with a budget of $1000 a year? I had missed the party for this?? And I had given some really great suggestions - working with undergrads is a huge accommodation.

So anyway, we parted ways with him saying that he would really like to contribute, but would need to see how much the program can afford. I went home to an awaiting email saying that they will be able to give us $50. It is not much, it adds to the pot, and surely I am not unappreciative - forging new relationships in a young journal is valuable as well and perhaps when their budget grows so will their contribution -- but, come on!!

Onward, more doors to knock on.

OK - so here's my pitch.
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