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Diana Pitaru
Apr 05, 2012

A Dream Coming True: A Graduate Student Association?

This year the ACA conference brought with it some wonderful news I wanted to share with everyone on the blog. The ACA Governing Council passed a motion according to which, starting with next year, the Graduate Student Representative will have the right to vote. I learned about this change during our ACA Graduate Student Committee meeting, when the ACA president- elect, Dr. Bradley Erford stopped by to thank the Committee for their hard work in designing and implementing the Mentoring Program –with whom most of you are familiar by now.

During our discussion, Dr. Erford, took the wonderful initiative to express an interest in the committee's charge/s for the 2012-2012 year to include the re-establishment of an ACA Graduate Student Association.

The Graduate Student Association is not a new idea; in fact, the original association was established some 3 years ago but due to unknown circumstances it faded. It was and is a much needed project that would allow students to have their voices heard in a profession in which they are the future.

In fact, a large percentage of the ACA membership is held by students, and in this context, having an association to cater specifically to their needs is imperative. In addition, having a Graduate Student Association would serve to empower students, enrich their experience as members of the ACA, and obtain guidance and support in their endeavors. Similarly, a Graduate Student Association would advocate for the graduate students’ rights and interests by opening and maintaining channels of communication between the association, the ACA and community, and by promoting student leadership development.

The Graduate Student Association is a necessity not only to the current student body, but to the ones to come, and for the overall betterment of the profession, all goals consistent with the ACA.

I want to take this opportunity and ask each and every one of you to write a letter to Dr. Bradley Erford at and thank him in advance for his wonderful vision and plans of reinstating the Graduate Student Association.

Diana C. Pitaru is a counselor-in-training, and a student at Walden University. Her theoretical interests are in Gestalt, Art, and Narrative therapy while focusing on multicultural issues and eating disorders.

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