Commission reaches out to grad students to join diversity fight

Members of the Commission on the Status of Minorities in Minneapolis approved two moves by Chairman Kyle Huckins to inspire more graduate students to join the commission’s fight for diversity in academia, media and AEJMC.

At CSM’s annual business meeting at the AEJMC conference, graduate student yearly dues were cut from $10 to $5. The Minorities and Communication Division similarly decided to reduce grads’ rate from $15 to $10.

“Master’s and doctoral students usually don’t have a great deal of money, and as I consulted other CSM officers, they felt every bit counts financially for grads,” explained Huckins. “I think the fact both the commission and MAC cut their dues without knowledge of the other’s plan is confirmation this is a good way to reach out to these students.”

CSM members also approved the chairman’s nomination of Osita Iroegbu, a doctoral student at Virginia Commonwealth University, as the commission’s first-ever graduate student coordinator.

Osita Iroegbu
Osita Iroegbu, CSM Graduate Student Coordinator

“This officer will spread information on commission activities, priorities and programs to graduate students inside and outside AEJMC with an eye to encouraging historically underrepresented groups to pursue faculty and administrative openings and membership in the commission,” reads the new, 1-year position’s job description.

Huckins said in order to reach graduate students effectively, CSM needed to show their opinions were valued and included in commission leadership and business.

“Osita has been very excited about the commission’s mandate to promote diversity across areas, and she will be an excellent representative of our efforts to students and others,” he said.

In other business at the meeting, members heard the CSM bank account stood at $933 (conference bills not included) and commission membership was up by several from last year. AEJMC-wide membership is down 3 percent from 2015.