Graduate & Professional Student Senate

Get involved

 

Become a Senator

The Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) is the official student government for all graduate and professional students at UW-Seattle. GPSS represents students to the UW administration and state and federal governments and puts on regular social events. Each UW department sends two Senators to a meeting every other week on Wednesday evenings at 5:30 PM in HUB 332.

Senator requirements

Senator requirements

  • Attend at least three* Senate meetings per quarter
  • Get input from students in your department
  • Relay information from the Senate to students in your department
*If you will be unable to meet the attendance requirement but still wish to serve as a senator for you department please contact the secretary at gpsssec@uw.edu

Why become a Senator?

  • Ensure students in your department are heard
  • Meet people from other parts of campus
  • Develop professional communication skills
  • Provide information and resources to your classmates
  • Boost your resume

If you are interested, talk to your Graduate Program Advisor about the process for becoming a Senator in your department. If you have any questions email us gpss@uw.edu.

Learn more about Duties to be an Impactful Senator

Senator handbook

Senator handbook

The GPSS Senator Handbook contains information about the history, purpose, and operations of the GPSS. Below is the list of topics addressed in the handbook:

  • GPSS History
  • GPSS Structure
  • GPSS Function
  • Committee Information
  • GPSS Organizational Chart
  • Officers & Staff 2015-2016
  • Meeting Dates 2015-2016
  • Senator Rights & Responsibilities
  • Parliamentary Procedure
  • Parliamentary Procedure Guide to Common Motions
  • GPSS Constitution
  • GPSS Bylaws

Download the most current GPSS Senate Handbook 2015-2016

GPSS Executive Committee and Senate Meeting Schedule 2019 - 2020

Quarter Exec (HUB 303) Senate (HUB 332)
Fall October 2
October 16
October 30
November 13
December 4
October 9
October 23
November 6
November 20
Winter January 15
January 29
February 12
February 26
March 11
January 8
January 22
February 5
February 19
March 4
Spring April 8
April 22
May 6
May 20
June 3
April 1
April 15
April 29
May 13
May 27

 

GPSS Committees

GPSS has a variety of internal committees that participate in decision making for the organization. One of the ways that students can voice graduate needs across campus is through various committees. There are several standing committees that exist every year and are run by Student government itself and take care of various issues. Each committee has a specific set of responsibilities and issues that they cover. Members of these committees are appointed according to the GPSS Bylaws. To apply for a committee, fill out the application and email it to the committee chair.

List of committees

Executive

Executive

Composition

President, Vice President of Internal Affairs, Vice President of External Affairs, Secretary, Treasurer, five Executive Senators, and an ASUW Board of Directors member.

Functions

  • Takes specific actions to address the issues and concerns identified by the Senate
  • Reviews and recommends an annual budget to the Senate for the following fiscal year
  • Annually approves, by a 2/3 majority, special and departmental funding guidelines and criteria to be used by the Finance and Budget Committee
  • Approves presidential recommendations and appointments to the Services and Activities Fee Committee, Student Technology Fee Committee, GPSS Finance and Budget Committee, University Bookstore Board of Trustees, and SAGE
  • Acts on behalf of the Senate between Senate meetings

Meetings

Please see the 2019-2020 schedule above.

For more information, email the GPSS President at gpsspres@uw.edu

Judicial

Judicial

Composition

The Secretary (non-voting) and up to six Senators. Members of the Judicial Committee cannot sit on any other internal GPSS committees. Members cannot run for GPSS office and must resign from their committee position at least 35 days prior to the officer election if they choose to run.

Functions

The Judicial Committee is the standing investigative body of the GPSS. It investigates any grievance that arises concerning an interpretation of the GPSS Constitution or Bylaws or concerning any procedure, committee, officer, officer candidate, or Senator of the GPSS. The Judicial Committee has the right to review any proposed Bylaw changes before they are presented to the GPSS.

Meetings

At least once per quarter, or more depending on work load.

To inquire about committee openings, contact the GPSS Secretary at gpsssec@uw.edu

Finance & Budget

Finance & Budget

Composition

The Treasurer and five to nine Senators.

Functions

  • Oversees and approves the annual GPSS Budget
  • Allocates funding for the Special Allocation Fund (special projects funding for Registered Student Organizations)
  • Allocates funding for the Department Allocation Fund (special funding to build student communities in the UW’s various departments)

Meetings

TBD

To apply email Committee Application to GPSS Treasurer gpsstres@uw.edu

Diversity

Diversity

Composition

  • The Diversity Committee (DivCom) shall be composed of the Secretary and any number of volunteer members that are graduate and professional students
  • The Secretary shall chair and oversee the functioning of this committee
  • A Student Activities Office advisor will serve as an ex-officio non-voting member
  • Other recommended members and collaborators may include: GPSS Representative to Faculty Council on Multicultural Affairs, Faculty Council on Women in Academia, and Diversity Council, Graduate Opportunities & Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP), the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMAD), the Q Center, the Disability Resources for Students Office, the Women’s Center, the Office of Student Veteran Life, the ASUW Joint Commissions, and Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center, FIUTS

Mission

The GPSS Diversity Committee is a community of resistance undertaking strategic actions to eradicate the historical inequities inherent in institutionalized academic structures and settings. We recognize the inequities existing along lines of difference including racism, homophobia, sexism, ableism, bigotry, xenophobia, and other isms resulting from systems of oppression that perpetuate disempowerment. Rather than celebrate a neutral “diversity,” “tolerance,” or “multiculturalism,” the committee instead acknowledges the lived experiences of various groups of underrepresented and minoritized (URM) graduate and professional students on campus by combating injustices and empowering students through university resources.

Functions

DivCom promotes the inclusion and incorporates diversity elements into the GPSS’ goals and activities. Diversity includes but is not limited to consideration of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, dis/ability, age, religion, and nationality. To that end, the DivCom serves to:

  • Establish criteria for and award grants from the GPSS Diversity Funds
  • Plan, host, and promote campus-wide events and programming on diversity issues
  • Collaborate with students, faculty, administration, staff, and others on diversity programming, events, and activities
  • Facilitate communication between the GPSS and graduate and professional students working on diversity issues within their department, college, or school

Meetings

Fall 2019: Mondays, 5:30 PM in HUB 314

To be added to the DivCom email list, contact the GPSS Secretary at gpsssec@uw.edu

Graduate Student Experience

Graduate Student Experience

Composition

  • The Graduate Student Experience Committee (GSE) shall be composed of Vice President of Internal Affairs, Director of Events, Vice President for External Affairs (when possible), Policy Analyst (when possible), Director of Graduate Partnerships (when possible), GPSS Creative Director (when possible), GPSS Treasurer (when possible) and any number of volunteer members that are graduate and professional students
  • The Vice President of Internal Affairs shall chair and oversee the functioning of the GSE
  • Other recommended members and collaborators may include:Core Programs, FIUTS, Housing and Food Services, Student Regent

Functions

The GSE works with the Vice President of Internal Affairs and the Director of Events to ensure a high quality educational experience for all UW graduate and professional students. To that end, the GSE serves to:

  • Assess the graduate and professional student experience through surveys, focus groups, and/or informal discussions with Senators and their constituents to ascertain the student needs and desires
  • Design and organize social and informational events that build community among students of different departments and colleges and arms them with skills and information needed in graduate school and beyond. These events can be created and executed in collaboration with student associations, university organizations, and academic departments/colleges/schools
  • Promote the GPSS’ services and goals to the greater UW community and informs students, the administration, and other stakeholders of the GPSS’ positions, events and activities
  • Advocate for graduate and professional students and update the Senate on university issues and concerns related to student life broadly, such as technology, transportation, health, student fees, and student services by staying abreast of the university policies and ensuring that they are in line with the GPSS priorities

Meetings

Fall 2019: TBD

To inquire about committee openings, contact the GPSS Vice President of Internal Affairs at vpin@uw.edu

Legislative Advisory Board

Legislative Advisory Board

Composition

  • The Legislative Advisory Board (LAB) shall be composed of the Vice President of External Affairs, the Policy Director, the Organizing Director, and any number of volunteer members that are graduate and professional students.
  • The Vice President of External Affairs or their Policy Director shall chair and oversee the functioning of this advisory group.

Functions

  • Assists the Vice President of External Affairs in developing a legislative agenda for Winter Quarter’s legislative session
  • Advise and assist the Vice President of External Affairs on issues related to the GPSS’s lobbying efforts and in particular Huskies on the Hill Lobby Day
  • Assist with lobbying during the interim Spring, Summer, and Fall quarters

Meetings

TBD

GPSS Legislative Agenda

2018-2019 GPSS Legislative Agenda

UW SAGE Delegation

Student Advocates for Graduate Education (SAGE) is a coalition of Graduate Student Organizations from leading U.S. public research universities who are committed to improving the quality of graduate student life at their own campuses, and promoting access, quality, and opportunity for graduate and professional students at the federal level.

In March, members of the UW SAGE Delegation traveled to Washington, D.C. to advocate for policies that directly impact UW graduate students. To learn more about the 2019 advocacy issues, check out the 2019 SAGE Day on the Hill White Papers. Contact our Vice President of External Affairs at gpssvpex@uw.edu for additional information!

Travel Grants

Travel Grants

Composition

  • The Travel Grants Committee (TGC) shall be composed of the Treasurer and four to six at-large Senators or graduate and professional students appointed by the Treasurer.
  • The Treasurer shall chair and oversee the functioning of this committee.

Functions

The TGC works to allocate funding in a manner that supports the personal and professional development of graduate and professional students through participation in academic and professional conferences and competitions. To that end, the TGC serves to:

  • Assist the Treasurer in communicating policies and procedures governing the Travel Grants process
  • Utilize the Travel Grants Rubric in allocating travel grant funds. In fall quarter, the committee will use the Rubric agreed upon by the previous year’s committee. The current committee can decide to amend the rubric after the Fall Cycle has closed, and have these changes take effect for the Early Winter Cycle Travel Grants applicants shall be judged based on the criteria delineated in the Rubric
    • The recipients are selected by a simple majority vote of the committee.
    • It is recommended that each application be graded by three committee members since some members tend to be low or high scorers.
    • If a TGC member has applied for a travel grant, the individual cannot participate in the application review for that specific application cycle.
  • Assist the Treasurer in advertising the availability of Travel Grants to the GPSS Senators and other graduate and professional students
  • Review and recommend an annual Travel Grants budget to the Finance and Budget Committee for the following fiscal year.

Meetings

  • The TGC shall be formed no later than November 1 each fiscal year. At the time of its formation, it will assume responsibility for the allocation of the GPSS Travel Grants. In the event that the previous Travel Grants Committee is no longer in session, the Executive Committee shall temporarily assume the responsibility in the interim.
  • It is recommended that the TGC plans to meet nine times during the academic year (Fall through Spring).
    • Four times during Fall quarter
    • Twice during Winter quarter
    • Three times during Spring quarter
  • During the summer the committee shall meet twice, once in early July and once in early August to evaluate Summer Cycle applicants. If the Treasurer is unable to convene the TGC during the summer, the Executive Committee shall assume the responsibility and evaluation of Summer Cycle applications will occur during Executive Committee meetings.
  • A quorum of the committee shall be a simple majority of its members plus the Treasurer.

To inquire about committee openings, contact the GPSS Treasurer at gpsstres@uw.edu

Science & Policy

Science & Policy

Composition

  • The Science and Policy Committee (SPC) shall be composed of Vice President of Internal Affairs, Director of Events, Vice President for External Affairs (when possible), Policy Analyst (when possible) and any number of volunteer members that are graduate and professional students.
  • The Vice President of Internal Affairs or its designee shall chair and oversee the functioning of the SPC.
  • Other recommended members and collaborators may include:
    • Representatives from the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), the Forum on Science Ethics and Policy (FOSEP), Emerging Leaders in Science and Society (ELISS), and other student groups and UW faculty engaged in science policy.

Functions

The SPC is to enhance the discourse between scientists and policy makers through advocacy, community building, and student empowerment, working with the Vice President for Internal Affairs and the Director of Events as well as the Vice President of External Affairs or Policy Analyst when possible. To that end, the SPC serves to:

  • Assist student scientists in developing their skills in communication across disciplines and to the general public and promote public awareness of science research at the University of Washington, by providing opportunities to develop partnerships in the UW and greater Seattle community
  • Create opportunities and organize science and events in collaboration with other GPSS committees, UW organizations, and national organizations (such as the National Science and Policy Group) as needed.

Meetings

TBD

Arts Council

Arts Council

*NEW* This Council was created during the 2018-2019 year to create a space for students in the arts across campus to collaborate interdisciplinarily, develop stronger community, and advocate for the improvement of issues recognized during Council meetings which affect students within the arts at UW. Students in the departments of Drama, Music, Dance, and Art + Art History + Design are encouraged to join, however other graduate students who are interested in the committee are also more than welcome. Supporting the arts on campus is incredibly important and we are only as successful as the effort we invest. Meeting dates, times, and locations will be posted shortly, if you have any questions in the meantime please contact gpsspres@uw.edu. 

GPSS Liaisons

The 2019-2020 list of GPSS liaisons is currently pending. Please check back soon for updates. If there are any questions in the meantime email us at gpss@uw.edu

If you are interested in becoming a Liaison, please follow this link to the application for an updated list of open appointments and to submit your interest for a position.

The GPSS President appoints graduate and professional students to serve as GPSS Liaisons to the University committees, which determine policies that impact graduate and professional students.