The picture of campus to the right was taken by the computer science department's webcam. (Click through for a live view — but remember it might be dark!) The red u-shaped building in the right foreground is the Social Sciences building. The School of Sociology is on the top floor; other departments in the building are Political Science, History, and Philosophy.
We have approximately 20 faculty and 50 graduate students in residence. Graduate students are actively involved in faculty research; it is common for faculty to co-author papers with graduate students, and those co-authorships often develop into published papers, master's theses or dissertations. These relationships form a strong foundation for our future careers.
The backbone of our school is the staff; they do an excellent job of keeping track of graduate students and faculty. Without them, our lives would be much more difficult.
Our seminar room is the heart of our academic life. Almost all graduate seminars are held in this room, as are informal seminars and the school's weekly brown-bag series. Brown-bags are simply Friday afternoon talks -- the school brings in well-known scholars to give presentations. You'll hear questions and comments from professors and students as they enjoy sandwiches and slurpees. This practice highlights our unique combination of intellectual rigor and interpersonal informality, but our brown bags also serve an important social function: they bring us together as a school once a week.
All graduate students are assigned office space. Some of us are lucky enough to have windows with a view, others of us share small offices with only one other grad student, and others enjoy the camaraderie of larger offices. Grad students often pass down convenient items like coffee pots, microwaves, mini-fridges, and even plants. The offices are definitely our space; it's nice to have some place on campus where a professor has to knock before entering! Most of our time on campus is spent in offices or the seminar room; this leads to a small-town feel at our large university. All graduate student offices have ethernet and wireless connectivity, computers and laser printers for student use, and access to the university's computing resources.
Our school library has a growing collection of sociological resources, including books, journals and class readings on reserve. Materials circulate on the "honor system." These resources are very useful to us when we need to do some quick research. Sometimes small groups of grad students meet here to discuss projects. The library also provides a quiet study area when offices get a bit too social! Graduate students have 24-hour access to the Social Science building, our offices, the school library, and the DASL computer lab (more about that later!). You'll often find a soul or two there in the wee hours, trying just one more time to make a data run work.
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