Don Johnson - UCSD Graduate Student Association

Moving Forward: Don Johnson for VP Diversity, Service, Equity and Inclusion
Since becoming the VP Diversity, I have: (1) changed the by-laws for this office to be effective
and less-restrictive, (2) reorganized and established a stronger committee appointment structure through
reforming the GSA Diversity Committee by-laws, (3) worked to established the Cultural Student
Organization Council (CSOC), and (4) developed a stronger office that works collectively with GSA council
and administration through appointments to campus wide committees. Our collaborations and initiatives
with GSA council have led to the passing of two landmark resolutions on childcare 1and dependent
healthcare reform2Moving forward, I aim to not only continue making this office more efficient, organized
and productive, but also to further direct my attention at a broader spectrum of issues on campus, which
relate to my office.
Graduate Student Mentorship: When discussing graduate student mentorship, there are two types. One
type involves the quality of mentorship a graduate student receives from their advisor. Another type
involves the quality of mentorship a graduate student may receive from a peer, other faculty, staff, or
alumni. The long-term goal is to evaluate the graduate student-to-advisor relationships, and seek actions
on a department scale. The short-term goal is to seek out and evaluate opportunities outside the graduate
student/advisor relationship through existing programs. The eventual result will be to establish a
comprehensive model, complete with programs and initiatives, for each academic department that targets
potential disparities in the mentor/mentee relationships outlined in our study.
Campus Climate: Campus Climate affects most students, staff and faculty. A healthy climate is an
equitable, inclusive and diverse environment. Since the release of the campus climate survey results, this
office has worked to address the results through Climate Council. Based on the experience of studying
survey questions, some questions tend to lack the ability to highlight deeper issues. As a result, we will
address the details of the survey through the climate council while this office seeks to learn more through
dialogue in town halls.3From experiences in working with Brandon and Rochelle on the Childcare Survey,
GSA sponsored surveys will also enable council the ability to draft strong, more efficient and inclusive
legislation on campus climate issues.
Community Outreach and Involvement: When this office’s by-laws were rewritten, I decided to take on
service in the title because the service coordinator had been eliminated. I have begun an initiative working
with some schools in the Southern California area, especially within the local San Diego area, with the hope
to potentially incorporate an element of service related projects into every graduate student program on
campus. This office will also continue to support veterans’ affairs events and work closer with them in future
Follow-up on Childcare and other Student Parent Initiatives: Moving forward, we must continue to
press the administration in following through with our ideas laid out in the childcare resolution. In order to
continue developing an inclusive campus, we must not only further our initiatives but also build on them and
start new ones inspired by the work of others. As the VP Diversity, I will continue to work closely with my
peers, council representatives and the graduate community, in building the case for investing in a healthier,
equitable, diverse and far more inclusive UCSD. We will reach this goal with small, well-planned steps.
With my experience, drive, and method of execution, I believe I'm the best person for this job.
Reinvestment in Student Parents Resolution – Co - Authors: Don Johnson and Brandon Stephens
Dependent Healthcare Resolution – Co-Authors: Don Johnson, Harrison Carter, Brandon Stephens, Ted
Stinson, and Cory Stevenson
Town Hall on Profiling and Campus Climate – Organizers: GSA Diversity Committee (Lead: Martin Boston
and Don Johnson)