Championing Inclusivity and Empowerment for Graduate Students

Krishna Kanth Sriramagiri reflects on his experience as president of the Graduate Student Council.

In 2022, when Krishna Kanth Sriramagiri arrived in Seattle from India—to attend graduate school at Seattle University—he knew that one of the best ways to really experience college life and meet new people was by getting involved in activities outside of his studies.

Sriramagiri, who graduated this year with his Professional MBA from the Albers School of Business and Economics, set his sights on the Graduate Student Council (GSC). And before long, he was a leader among peers helping to make the grad school experience meaningful for all graduate and professional students, especially international students like himself. It started with his decision to run for a seat with the GSC.

“GSC was having elections for the new academic year and so I ran for Vice President in April 2022 and then for President the following year,” Sriramagiri explains. “When I first came here, I never imagined getting so involved and attached to Seattle University.”

Reflecting on his journey, Sriramagiri zeroes in on the transformative potential of the university. “I see Seattle University currently in the mix of major positive change,” he says. “There is so much potential we could fulfill in enhancing the student experience.”

As president, his priorities included initiatives that those who come after him can continue to build on. This includes advocacy for international students unable to work off-campus due to visa restrictions, fostering career engagement opportunities and promoting events and programming—such as a Valentine’s Day gathering and a celebration for Hispanic Heritage Month—geared to the uniqueness of a graduate or executive student but open to all students. Sriramagiri stresses the importance of inclusivity and community-building, especially for a diverse group of graduate students balancing various commitments from full-time jobs to family obligations. He encourages all graduate students to consider attending one of the GSC general assembly meetings, held every two weeks during the academic year, where they can discuss issues and dialogue with the council.

Regarding the GSC’s influence within the university’s governance, Sriramagiri highlights the president’s seat on the Board of Trustees. “As president I met quarterly with top university leaders,” he says, “where I represented graduate students who have distinct needs, especially concerning career opportunities, financial hardships and social connections.”

Looking back on his role as president, what sticks with him the most is the real difference he was able to make. “The feeling of doing something for people, of giving back. It’s a privilege and an honor of doing something where your actions can benefit others,” he says. “And when you see some of the things you have worked on get implemented, it’s very rewarding.

Written by Tina Potterf

Monday, July 1, 2024