[Parentsgroup-list] Group leadership transition

Leshchiner, Elizaveta eleshch at fas.harvard.edu
Tue Jan 26 01:18:07 EST 2016

Dear ParentsGroup,

This is Liza Leshchiner, the former moderator of this listserv. I would like to now say bye to the group as its moderator, as I'm happy to report I've graduated a while ago - our student group thus needed a new graduate student leader. Recently, Ana Weeks and David Romney (graduate students in Government Department) volunteered to take over the leadership of this group, and I'm happy to introduce them now to you (they are cc'd here). Please welcome them! Ana and David were interested in all kinds of initiatives promoting graduate student parents well-being and talking with University Administration, which I think is very exciting and we're all very lucky that they are now going to be leading this group. I'm sure they will let you know much more about their initiatives themselves. 

Additionally, and I think this goes along perfectly, Leah Yared from The Crimson (the Harvard College newspaper!) contacted me and was interested to do a report about graduate students issues that we face. She was really interested to hear people's stories and learn about any issues we may be exposed to as student parents (housing, childcare, healthcare, any other University policies). So please feel free to contact her (cc'd) and let her know what you care about! I think we should really use this opportunity to make our needs more visible and hopefully addressed. Thank you so much Leah for reaching out! 
I will start here by saying that in my opinion, one of the least supported and recognized aspects of being a student parent is the cost of child care, especially here in Boston area. Sending an infant to a daycare center full-time could easily end up being upwards of $2500 per month, which is actually more than graduate student's stipend (for those of us lucky to have one). Harvard itself has 5 daycare centers; and the prices there ironically are among the most expensive in the Boston/Cambridge area. Several years ago, the office of work/life conducted a pilot three-year program for sponsoring a part of this cost, but after it ended, my understanding is that now nothing is available to help cover the cost of child care for graduate student parents. Seems it's really worth trying to ask our University for this kind of support, and it also seems they may actually be willing to consider it based on the previous program. Please follow up with Leah and/or our new group moderators to add anything or comment!

I would like to conclude now by saying thank you to this wonderful group of student parents, and would like to wish you best of luck with your academic pursuits and all the best to your families! 
Thank you, thank you and thank you,
Liza (mom of Andrey, now already 9, and Dasha, 7)

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