SAGE is a national graduate student coalition comprised of public universities, members of both the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the American Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU). SAGE serves as an advocate and a network for graduate students at public institutions aiming to empower graduate students to meet the challenges of graduate education and to form partnerships across universities.


Dedicated to creating a community of student leaders from the preeminent public research universities in the United States that is committed to bettering their own student bodies and promoting educational access, quality, and opportunity nationally.


In the Fall of 2008, the Graduate Student Government of the University of Texas at Austin sponsored the 2008 Graduate Governance and Advocacy Summit. The summit brought together the graduate governments of the nation’s preeminent public universities to discuss how best to promote the quality of life, quality of education, access, and affordability for graduate students at public institutions. The result was the formation of Student Advocates for Graduate Education.

In the Spring of 2009, the new members of SAGE met in Washington D.C. to advocate on behalf of their constituents.  We advocated providing more access to public higher education, increasing funding for public higher education, changing the tax status for graduate students, and increasing loan forgiveness for students working in public service.  We made some headway and looks forward to continue working on those issues.

In the Fall of 2009, the original members of SAGE and some additional invitees met at the University of Washington in Seattle to continue building the organization.  SAGE established a mission statement, a constitution, and bylaws and set plans for a second advocacy day in Washington D.C. in the Spring of 2010.  A more complete discussion of and pictures from the second national conference are available under the meetings tab above.

In the Spring of 2010, SAGE met for the second time in Washington D.C. to continue advocating for our students.  Roughly 30 SAGE delegates from around the country met with over 100 legislators over a three-day period.  During the time we were there, Congress introduced two bills dealing with two of our major concerns: tax exemption for graduate student fellowships and bankruptcy proceedings for student loans.  We look forward to continuing to work with Congress to ensure that these bills are signed into law. 

AY 2014-15 LEADERSHIP (Contact all officers via [email protected])

Katie Lavoie, Chairperson ([email protected])

Phillip Saccone,  Vice Chairperson ([email protected])

Nicole Robinson, Director of Communications ([email protected])

Erin , Political Director ([email protected])

Chris Lizotte, Long Term Planning Director ([email protected])

Ellyn Perrone, External Advisor ([email protected])



Michael L. Benson, Chairperson 2012-2014

Katie Lavoie,  Vice Chairperson 2012-2014

JoEllen McBride, Director of Communications  2012-2014

Lauren Menasco-Davis, Political Director 2012-2014



Alberto M. Ortega Hinojosa, Chairperson, 2008-2012

Michael L. Benson,  Vice Chairperson, 2010-2012

Jamal Madni, Director of Communications, 2010