Harris Student Government (HSG) leaders reflect on projects that will make an impact on future classes, and give advice to applicants.

Dora Gonzalez, HSG President

I ran on a platform largely focused on inclusivity, and I am looking forward to seeing how that evolves for future students. To me that means leveraging structures and programming efforts that already exist in creative ways while also thinking of new ways to foster student interaction through things like Harris After Hours, Harris Signature Events, and partnerships with the Graduate Council and the larger UChicago network. Other targeted efforts include ongoing TA trainings to help the student experience, ensuring curriculum consistency during the Core, accessible resources for students with families, and enhanced programming relating to students’ health and wellness.

Advice: Be kind to your mind and body! Graduate school will be tough but rewarding (and fun!), and the application process can be very overwhelming. Don’t forget to take a moment along the way to just breathe!  

Luis Recalde Ramirez, HSG Vice President

I serve as liaison between the Administration and the more than 30 Student Organizations (HSOs) operating at Harris. I support HSOs because they not only raise awareness about diverse policy areas, but also help build community within Harris. HSG continuously advocates to increase the logistical and financial support HSOs receive in order for them to promote even more impactful initiatives.

Advice: Explore the many Harris Student Organizations, and reach out to those whose goals interest you to learn more. Your research will provide a sense of the vibrant student life at Harris.

Patrick Lavallee Delgado, HSG Social Committee

The Social Committee gathers the Harris community for events throughout the academic year. When you’re here, you may look forward to Harris after Hours to stay engaged with your motivations for pursuing public policy after having endured a tough few weeks of classes and problem sets. Grad school is hard work: that’s why we pair a purpose—like improving Chicago’s South Side, Southeast Asian air quality, or indigenous people’s rights—with good food and drink for a policy-adjacent good time. No, we’re not pretending to practice social impact at happy hour; we’re building morale and community to help classmates to follow through on their commitments to lead policy on important issues.

Advice: Graduate school is a big investment. Develop clarity around your professional and personal goals to see how the Harris School of Public Policy advances you in the directions you have set for yourself today.

Caleb Herod, HSG Student Body Liason

 I serve as an advocate for students with all leadership because I think it's important for Harris students to have a voice to speak up for them when they aren't in the room—especially our underrepresented students. 

Advice: Learn about Chicago before you move here. Our community will teach you so much about policy and true leadership.

Shannon McEwen, HSG Liaison to the Graduate Council

I work to increase collaboration between Harris and the other UChicago graduate departments, primarily through event partnerships that introduce Harris students to external organizations for professional development.

Advice: Expose yourself to events outside of Harris! The University of Chicago has many student organizations and centers that can nurture myriad interests.

Yue Wang, HSG Finance Committee

The Finance Committee offers unique opportunities for Harris students to develop budget management skills. We manage a budget of more than $50,000 throughout the academic year to support Harris Student Organizations in creating impactful events programming.

Advice: Highlight what you bring to the diversity and inclusion of the Harris community. The diverse environment is a valuable experience for you to look forward to at Harris!