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Shubham Atreja

Shubham Atreja sitting on a concrete staircase

Doctoral Executive Committee (DEC) featured member: Shubham Atreja, DEC officer 

Degree: PhD in Information, ‘24

Home: I am from Karnal, Haryana, a small town in India

Goal of organization: Our purpose is to provide any social or academic support to the PhD students in the School of Information.

Why I’m involved: When I found out about it, I realized how useful it could be for the student body, and was thrilled to join it. 

Membership: All PhD students in the School of Information are part of the Doctoral Student Organization and each year new students are elected from the student body to form the executive board of the DSO, known as DEC.

Noteworthy: It’s the only organization that specifically focuses on the PhD students in UMSI. That gives us a pretty open field in terms of things we cater to including social well-being, academic concerns, diversity, equity, and inclusion-related issues, and the list goes on. 

A good reason to join: If you’re passionate about an issue, let’s say diversity, equity and inclusion, then being on the DEC means that you can be a part of the school-wide initiative and get to work with other faculty members and staff. 

Important events/activities: I’d pick Communitea since it has been going on for a while now. It’s a weekly social gathering open to all PhD students, faculty, and staff within the School of Information. It provides a great opportunity for everyone to know each other and to get a sense of what’s on people's minds and what’s the next thing that we can do.

Meetings and activities: Apart from Communitea, we also organize happy hours at the start of every academic year, and help with orientation programs for the incoming students. We also have regular meetings of the board to cater to administrative things, but also to come up with “we definitely need to try this,” or, “Oh, we need to find out more about how this concerns students,” and I think that’s really great.

Time commitment: For the board members, I’d say not more than two or three hours per week.

Interesting project: I’d say it’s something we are planning right now, which is a hybrid Halloween event with some activities in North Quad and some on Zoom. Halloween is all about costumes and decorations, so we want to get a flavor of that and be safe and inclusive. 

How to get involved: You have to be a PhD student in the School of Information to be a part of  DSO. Any DSO member is eligible to be on the board, the DEC. The DSO elects the board, and the elections are held at the end of the academic year. 

More information: You can reach out to us via email si-dec@umich.edu.

The DSO is an organization that includes all School of Information (SI) doctoral students. The mission of the DSO is to provide both academic and social support to all SI doctoral students.