The Graduate Student Council: Here for You!

Everyone has heard of the Student Bar Association here at the University of San Diego School of Law.  The SBA performs many duties for the student body.  It communicates our concerns to the administration, provides resources to student groups, and plans great events.  What many of you don’t know is that there is another organization here on campus just like SBA, except dedicated to the entire graduate student body.  That organization is the Graduate Student Council.

The graduate community here at USD is very large.  It is the responsibility of the Graduate Student Council (“GSC”) to serve and unite the different graduate students here on campus.  Currently the GSC has representatives from the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business Administration, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, and, of course, the distinguished School of Law.  A diverse collection of students from each of these schools has agreed to serve the greater graduate community, and we are all better for it.

GSC Officers

Each year, an Executive Board is elected by the GSC’s existing councilors.  This year, the GSC is headed up by its Chair Krystal Norris of the School of Law and Juliette Nash of the College of Arts and Sciences.  The Secretary is Kristen Johnson, and the Graduate Assistant is Jacqueline Che.  The Faculty Advisor is Sean Horrigan.  Each of the graduate schools has its very own representative(s), all of whom welcome feedback from their constituents.  A key responsibility of the GSC is to provide a graduate student voice to the school’s administration.  An important thing to note is that Krystal Norris has a seat on the Strategic Planning Committee.  Ms. Norris provides a very important perspective to Student Affairs through her dedicated work on the Committee.  Yet, this is just one example of how the GSC is working for you, the student.

The GSC’s base of operations is the Grad and Law Commons, or the GLC, located at Student Life Pavilion 401 right across from the Pardee Legal Research Center.  The GLC is a place where graduate and law students can get together and read a magazine, enjoy a cup of coffee free of charge, microwave a Hungry Man dinner, or even, God forbid, study.  The GLC is a great place to hang out, but it also serves as a conduit to esteemed GSC Councilors.  In addition to providing GSC event and meeting reminders, the Grad and Law Commons also features the GSC bylaws and a GSC work station.  In fact, two very special members of the Graduate Student Council were hand-picked to work at the GLC in their spare time.  Indeed, the GLC serves as a great resource to the students, and the GSC is intent on serving its constituency just as much.

As part of its purpose to unite students from the different graduate schools, the GSC sponsors several events each year.  This past spring, the biggest event was Padres in the Park.  Over 100 graduate and law students attended this event at Petco Park.  There was also a wine tour in which the students took a charter bus to the beautiful Temecula wine country and tried their best to not recreate their own personal Sideways.  There was also a Spring Basketball Tailgate at O’Toole’s, the tavern here on campus.  The 2009-10 period closed out with the End-of-Year Party at Fluxx in Downtown San Diego.  Other minor events the GSC puts on include Monday Night Football, the Resource Fair, and the Pumpkin Social.

Chris Dibbern & Ben Black enjoy the 2010 Grad/Law Tailgate

If you didn’t know, the marquee fall event for the GSC is the Grad Law Tailgate, which was held November 19.   The turnout was tremendous; over 150 students and their guests from every graduate school attended.  The Graduate Student Council provided excellent food and drinks, and it seemed like everyone was pleased with the layout.  The first twenty people who arrived at the event received a lovely scarf or a t-shirt.  Chris Dibbern, our councilor from the School of Law, hosted a raffle that featured prizes like hats, sweatshirts, and the ubiquitous official GSC t-shirt. 

Several key members of the SBA were in attendance, including President Lyon Maher and three 1L Representatives.  They also welcomed Dean Kevin Cole, who is known to be a devoted USD basketball fan.  The President of the Graduate Business Student Association, Asia Simonelli, was also there.  In fact, it was Ms. Simonelli’s excellent leadership that led to the event’s success.  She partnered with Chris Dibbern, who surprisingly was no event-planning slouch himself.

The main draw of the event was the college men’s basketball game between the USD Toreros and the Boise State Broncos.  Unfortunately, a last minute 3-point shot by Matt Dorr to tie the game was blocked by Boise State’s Robert Arnold.  Boise State pulled it out in a nail-biter, 65 to 60.  Even though our basketball team couldn’t pull off the victory, the Grad Law Tailgate was truly a success.  The GSC thanks all those who came out and invites everyone back next semester to some of our spring events.

You can visit the GSC website at

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