We, the School of Computer Science (SCS) Master’s students at Carnegie Mellon University, establish this committee formally in order to ensure the betterment of aforementioned student life during our time here and beyond by spearheading initiatives and providing feedback to the Dean of Computer Science.


This organization was created in order to better student life in three dimensions:

  1. Quality of personal experience for master’s students, which can be subdivided into
    • Mental Health
    • Resources available and knowledge thereof
    • Culture and Atmosphere
    • Clear bidirectional communication with every student
  2. School of Computer Science issues which are broad and encompassing (and affect master’s students but may be broader)
  3. Increasing academic diffusion by encouraging cross collaboration and reducing siloing


In order to achieve the purpose set forth in Article I, this committee will work within the following confines

  1. This organization will operate at the SCS level or broader (i.e. department level issues are not in its purview).
  2. The issues heard and policies considered must affect more than a single student or any group of students that has a governing body.
    For example, issues within the Language Technologies Institute (LTI) should go through the LTI administration, but issues affecting certain students from LTI, Robotics, and Computational Biology will be addressed by this committee since there is no single administration before SCS.
  3. This organization will aid information flow to students to allow for better resource allocation.
  4. The issues must affect Master’s students in SCS, but can affect others as well.
  5. As previously implied, broader issues than the aforementioned will be considered as well.

ARTICLE III. Organizational Structure and Membership:

  1. Organizational Structure
    The organizational structure for the committee consists of the following roles of responsibility to allow for more effective execution and action.
    • Liaison for the Dean
      Serves as main communicator and point of contact with the administration; generally guides committee in accordance with large goals.
    • Secretary
      Acts as the main internal point of contact and also informs others of progress. The secretary shall also maintain a member list, with a contact sheet, and keep meeting minutes as necessary to ensure that all have a collective understanding of occurrences.
    • Ad Hoc committee manager
      Fosters the creation of temporary work teams for various projects. These ad hoc committees are often formed to work on a particular item of interest as brought up at the meetings.
    • Media Mogul
      Maintains social media channels, gathers student opinions, performs internal outreach, and performs general external outreach.
    Roles will be chosen based on a nomination process. The nomination will happen upon a current role holding member leaving or being removed. This must happen after the new members have joined the committee. The nomination will consist of :
    1. A self-nomination screening to determine the initial applicant pool
    2. If more than one member nominated per position, there will be a vote where each member of the committee will have two votes (one if only two candidates) per position up for nomination. The person with the most votes will secure the nomination.
    Each member with a role of responsibility above can be removed from the position or committee with the approval/initiative of the SCS Dean’s Office. For approval any other member in a role of responsibility or a majority of the committee can choose to bring this up to the administration.

  2. Membership Selection Process / Composition of Org
    The committee will be of a size such that there is representation from each category of master’s programs while simultaneously ensuring a diverse representative body and representation from each department. The category axes of master’s programs are:
    • Research v. Professional (Type)
    • Large v. Small (Size)
    • Bridge Programs (e.g. MSPM, MSCB, MITS)
    As aforementioned, the committee will also have diversity and representation targets to ensure that there is an appropriate composition. These will be along the axes of gender, race, student status (international or domestic), and ideology. These are soft targets that are to encourage diversity and are flexible as opposed to forcing a perhaps ill-fitting or impractical rule. There will be a final vetting process by the Dean’s office where the requirements can be softly waived.

    The selection process will include both a nomination process and recommendations in parallel. The recommendations from current members must be from within that member’s department. Additionally, preference is given to current members, unless otherwise noted by the Dean’s Office. The self nomination form will be released in both October and March as necessary to ensure complete membership such that the axes listed above are approximately filled.
    For those who volunteer to join the committee, the committee will evaluate each volunteer on a case by case basis while considering the aforementioned axes. In addition, there will be a cap such that the size of the committee shall not exceed two times the number of programs as an upper bound.

    Every new member will undergo an apprenticeship period where for the first semester after joining, regardless of method of joining, the new member will be considered an apprentice. Apprentices will not have voting rights for roles and constitution changes. Additionally, they are unable to hold roles themselves. This is done to create a formal onramp period as well as increase the likelihood that full members are active participants.

  3. Rules of Membership
    1. All members should actively participate in meetings at least once a month during the semester to retain voting/recommendation rights. If two months of absence elapse without extenuating circumstances, that member is removed from the committee.
    2. The meetings with the Dean are mandatory for those who signal that they are available (i.e. if a member RSVPs as attending for the Dean’s meetings, they need to attend unless extenuating circumstances arise). If the meeting must be missed at the last minute, then the secretary or liaison must be informed.
    3. Membership is until graduation or resignation

  4. Practicalities (Meeting times, methods, etc)
    Meetings will be held once a week and default to 15 minutes, but are extensible given the inevitable variable workloads of meetings. These meetings are used to brainstorm ideas, determine next steps, and update the group.

Amendment process for constitution:

At least 60% of active members (those who choose to vote) need to agree on changes to this document. Amendments will be proposed two weeks before the vote. All amendments are subject to final approval by the Dean’s Office.


  • Mental Health: our emotional, psychological, and social well-being
  • Resources: The compilation of all services offered in the university to the students (e.g. AWS, Master’s student lounge)
  • Culture: (can be residual afterwards)
  • Atmosphere: (is only if we are present on campus/virtually)
  • Administration: SCS Dean’s Office unless explicitly stated otherwise