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A group of graduate students who teach as part of their studies say the School of Arts and Sciences needs to better define their teaching duties. The students, working through the Graduate Student Associations Council, will meet with SAS Dean Hugo Sonnenschein today to discuss ways to settle cases of misunderstanding that arise between graduate students and their supervisors. They said they hope to establish formalized compacts between students and their supervisors outlining specific duties and compensation. These include the size of one's stipend, the number of hours of responsibilities per week, and the number of students under supervision. Each student would have a separate contract with their supervisor detailing the duties for that job. "It's a good thing," said School of Arts and Sciences Dean Hugo Sonnenschein. "It's very important that there is a clear understanding with graduate students with what their responsibilities are." "Faculty members indicate the responsibilities, for example 15-20 hours of work per week for TAs and the number of exams to grade," said Graduate Student Associations Council President Mike Polgar. The students' work hours include office hours, class hours, time preparing and giving a recitation and the amount of time required to grade assignments. "The number of hours graduate students are expected to put in and the nature of their work [should be specified]," said Sonnenschein. But he cautioned that the compact should be "consistent and sensitive to the professional relationship." "It must be flexible," he said. The informal contracts, which will be mailed out at the beginning of each semester, can be taken by graduate students to their supervisors to record their responsibilities. Polgar said GSAC has "kicked around" the idea of establishing the compacts most of the semester and has received encouragement from deans. "I urged them along and I applaud what they're doing," said Sonnenschein. Sonnenschein said he hopes to reach agreement with the students today over the final wording of the compacts.

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