[Parentsgroup-list] Group leadership transition

Nancy A. Khalil nkhalil at fas.harvard.edu
Tue Jan 26 11:39:48 EST 2016

Based on what I've seen at other schools, I would love to see Harvard
A) better family housing: more of it, and more affordable, and built with
parents in mind.
B) I've always had the idea of a grad student run daycare co-op.  By
students, for students. (ie. a space, for those of us willing to take
turns, to watch our under school age children).  I know space is costly,
but it's a one time big expense.  Moving forward, between parent volunteers
and perhaps some work-study students, there would be minimal operating
expenses.  And, it could be next door to a library or work room, so we are
near our children as we work (for those of us who need that) but gives us
the time to focus to write or prep etc.   I don't know why we can't at
least have the space to pursue childcare that we can pay for in time and
minimal $$.
C) more affordable healthcare for children.  I don't know if Obamacare
addressed this, but this is also the cost of a month or two of stipend
income, depending on the number of children.
D) more family friendly social events and gatherings.  If one does not live
in a family dorm - of which there are very few, or go to one of the campus
childcare centers - which are outside most grad student budgets, it becomes
really challenging to find community of other families.  History and
cultures the world over have all shown that community is a big factor in
sanely rearing children.

On Monday, January 25, 2016, Leshchiner, Elizaveta <eleshch at fas.harvard.edu>

> 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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