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Graduate Student Advocate

Similar to the  Ombudsman Office, the Graduate Student Advocates (GSAs) can help resolve problems you may encounter during your graduate studies at Stony Brook. In many situations, you may simply need more information or assistance finding and contacting the appropriate people within the University. They are here to help. The University has two Graduate Student Advocates, one for doctoral students and one for master's students. 

When To Contact a Graduate Student Advocate

Contact the appropriate Graduate Student Advocate any time you have a serious problem or concern that you don’t know how to handle.  When faced with a conflict or issue, it is always best to start locally. Talking first to your advisor, graduate program director, graduate program coordinator, or department administrator can often remedy the situation. In most cases they will be in the best position to handle your problem quickly and efficiently as they are most familiar with your specific field. When this is not possible, or if you are unsure of how to proceed, we are here to help.

Students come to us with a variety of concerns. We’ve addressed conflicts with faculty advisors, health insurance problems, housing problems, cases of discrimination, questions of academic standing, problems with funding, and other work-related issues. Work-related problems involving Graduate Assistants (GAs) and Teaching Assistant (TAs) are the jurisdiction of the  Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU) and must be referred to union representatives. In cases where the issues are particularly serious or where students may wish to work with an independent professional conflict management specialist, we can refer you to the Ombudsman Office.

Whatever the issue, we will help you navigate the University’s resources to find the help you need.

The Master's Student Advocate is a graduate student - just like you - who exists to help you resolve problems that you may encounter during your time at Stony Brook. You should contact me anytime you have any problems or concerns that you don't know how to handle, or when you just want more information. I can explain University policy and procedures, and advise you in the best course of action to resolve your issue. If necessary, I intercede on your behalf and mediate for you if appropriate. I also recommend specific changes to the University so that problem areas can be corrected for the future.

How an Advocate Can Help

  • Explain University policies and procedures. 
  • Assess possible courses of action and offer guidance in pursuing the options best suited to your specific situation. 
  • Refer you to the person most capable of addressing your concerns, arranging introductions and meetings as necessary.
  • Provide support on personal matters that may be effecting your academic performance. 
  • If necessary or appropriate, intercede on your behalf or mediate for you 
  • Recommend specific changes to University policy to address student issues and concerns.

Contact Information


Office Location: The Graduate School, 2401 (old) Computer Science Building

Office Phone: 631-632-1947 (ext. 2-1947 on campus)

Alternative Office Location: N 240, Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) Building

Office Phone: 631-632- 3211 (ext. 2-3211 on campus)

Appointment Hours: 

Tuesday - 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Thursday - 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm

About Caitlin

Caitlin WeiszCaitlin Weisz is a candidate in the Master of Business Administration program through the College of Business. She holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics & Statistics, a B.A. in Economics, and a Leadership Minor from Stony Brook University. Her leadership in various student groups as an undergraduate sparked her passion for connecting with others and advocating for  an environment  conducive to student needs and student success. 




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