The grad students run a soda machine in the department and reapconsiderable profit, despite having one of the lowest prices ($0.50/can).There is an informal committee and these people have the keys. If anumber of people from the department want to use the copious coke fund forsomething special that is open to the whole department (a trip to a steel mill,buying a microwave, etc.) it's available. You must post the event to theorg.psy.ego b-board. If you have an idea, suggest it. PsyCoke moneybelongs to us all.
Other funding comes from the Graduate Student Association (GSA). Thisis a university wide, and pretty popular, organization that pipes a few hundredbucks to the department each year. GSA sponsors happy hours, films, parties,blood drives, etc. They are also have a Coffee House on campus. In additionto serving coffee and baked goods, it is the site of many GSA activities. GSAactivities are great way to meet folks outside the department. If you want toget officially involved in GSA, see our departmental representative, Jacqeus Katz.
The department fields a number of different teams throughout the year.There's volleyball and soccer in the fall and spring and softball in thesummer. There are usually posts on EGO concerning these activities, and keepyour ears open if you'd be interested in participating.
A number of area concerts and events which offer special studentsdiscounts. Here is a list of some of the offers which students have takenadvantage of over the last year and that we assume will be repeated in comingyears. I have included the names of the people who told me about each offer,in case you want to speak to them.
Civic Light Opera: offers 6 coupons for second tier seating for $24.00.These coupons could be used in any combination (6 tickets to one show; 3 eachfor 2 different shows, 1 ticket for each of 6 shows...you get the idea). Thesetickets are normally at least $14.00. Look for the coupon offer in areanewspapers at the beginning of the summer. The shows run from late June-midAugust. Previous shows included: Sweeney Todd, Oklahoma, Student Prince,Cinderella, 42nd Street, West Side Story, Camelot, Porgy and Bess, A LittleNight Music, Evita, and Peter Pan, Showboat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Carousel,Brigadoon, Me and My Girl, Oliver.
Pittsburgh Opera: Last year a group of us bought a group of tickets tothe Pittsburgh Opera (we saw Don Giovanni and La Boheme). The cheapest priceswere $26, which covered both operas. We may do it again this season (StephenBlessing, Marsha Lovett)
Renaissance & Baroque Society of Pittsburgh: "Pittsburgh's R&Bmusic" (offers balcony seating at a special student price of $30.00 for 8concerts (regularly $60.00 in advance). Subscribe in September--the seasonbegins in early October.
Season Tickets for the Pittsburgh Symphony : $39.60 for six concerts or$72.60 for 12 concerts. Contact one of the organizers in early September.(Marsha Lovett, Chris Schunn)
Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival : does not have a special studentrate, but they you can purchase a Bard Card for $40.00 which allows you topurchase 3 tickets (any combination) for the price of 2.
The University Staff Council sells the Entertainment couponbooks which offer "buy one-get one free entrees" at many local restaurantsas well as two-for one admission at many local attractions. The books go onsale in late October (for approximately $24.00) and the coupons are good fromNovember 1st until November 1st of the next year. In addition to sponsoring adiscount admission day at Kennywood ( a local amusement park), Staff Councilalso offers many other discounts for which graduate students are eligible.These include: Amusement Parks: Sandcastle (local Water slide world ),Alpine Slide at Seven Springs, Idlewild Park (Rt 30 Ligonier, PA), Geauga LakePark - including Turtle Beach (Aurora Ohio), Disney World (Orlando Florida),Cedar Point (Sandusky Ohio), Kings Island, Busch Gardens (Williamsburg,VA), Sea World (somewhere in Ohio). Also: Buhl Science Center: two-for-oneadmission, The Carnegie Museums (Art and Natural History) :two-for-oneadmission, Pizza Hut, Dalmo Optical, Various Cruise Lines, and Genie's Worldof Travel.
Y-Music Society: ~$50.00 for six concerts (usually soloists--Yo-Yo Maopened the series the last two years). The performances are at the Music Hallat the Carnegie just over the bridge in Oakland.
Pointers to Other Documents
The Graduate Student Association keeps a lot of literature aboutPittsburgh and about CMU. Some years they send out a packet to new grads,sometimes not, but if you are interested they can provide some additionalinformation.
- The Computer Science Guide to Living in Pittsburgh is highlyrecommended. It contains all sorts of good stuff that you will absolutely needto know in order to get along (e.g., where good food can be had). It is highlyopinionated and very informative. We did not include much information in ourguide about life outside the department, because it is covered so well in theComputer Science Guide.
- The ThreeRivers Free-Net (http://trfn.pgh.pa.us/Local/living.html): An on-line guide to Pittsburgh life. Itdoesn't provide as much of a point-of-view as the Computer Scienceguide, but for those of you who like on-line information, there itis.
- In Pittsburgh is a free weekly newspaper that is published onWednesdays and contains information on concerts and events happening in thePittsburgh area. You can pick up a copy in Skibo near the ATM machines on thelower level by Skibo Parking Lot and at the GSA Coffeehouse.
- The Tartan is the University's student newspaper which is publishedonce a week while classes are in session. It hasn't focused much on topics ontopics of interest to the graduate students, but GSA is currently addressingthe problem. However, it does have some entertaining cartoons(although they keep changing them around). It can be found in many locations aroundcampus. The most convenient to the department is on the first floor of BakerHall, near the spiral stairs.
For further regional/national information, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazetteisn't too bad of a paper. (There's great disagreement about this,actually; I've never talked to anyone who likes it, but someone wrotethat, so either they were trying to be nice or someone actuallydid/does like it. STM) There are newspapers from the suburbs available, butif you think the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal arethe only newspapers worth reading, then these papers certainly won't changeyour mind. The New York Times is available from the bookstore for 25cents on weekdays. Yes, only 25 cents! The bookstore gets an educationaldiscount. Alternately, you might be able to get a subscription to theNYT at very reasonable student rates. The NYT is also readily available at many Pittsburgh areastores, but you'll have to pay real-people prices. USA Today isavailable at Skibo and in the bookstore for the usual 50 cents. CMUreceives the ClariNet electronic news - this means that there are awhole mess of bboards on which you can read Reuters, UPI, and APstories. For example, clari.usa.topis a pretty good way to get United States news, and you can check outclari.local.pennsylvaniaif you want to keep up-to-date on what's going on in this lovely state.
There is a lot of equipment floating around which belongs to thePsyCokeTM(i.e., to the graduate students): volleyball andsoftball equipment, etc. In previous summers we have a championshipsoftball team in the GSA league. If you would like to use thisequipment, find someone with keys to the Coke closet.
The grad students from CMU and from the University of Pittsburgh gettogether each spring to hold our own conference. This is an opportunity topresent our research in a conference setting and to get to know what we are alldoing. It is a good public speaking experience and we hold a great softballgame and picnic afterwards. It is lots of fun and is a great way to get to knowthe grad students and faculty at Pitt. We alternate location each year (alongwith the title; some years it is the Pitt-CMU Conference).