GPSS Committees

About 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 these. There are several standing Committees that exist every year. Each Committee has a specific set of responsibilities and issues that they cover. Most of these Committees are open to any graduate and professional student.

Committees Open to All Students

Empowerment, “Diversity,” and Accountability Committee


  • The Empowerment, “Diversity,” and Accountability Committee (EDA) shall be composed of the Vice President of Equity and Inclusion and any number of volunteer members that are graduate and professional students
  • The VP of Equity and Inclusion 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 the Faculty Council on Race, Equity, and Justice, the Faculty Council on Gender, Equity, and Justice, and the Diversity Council, Graduate Student Equity and Excellence (GSEE), the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMAD), the Q Center, the D Center, the Women’s Center, the Office of Student Veteran Life, the ASUW Joint Commissions, the Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center (ECC), and the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS).


The GPSS Equity and Accountability 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. Last revised in 2019 by Giuliana Conti (Music Education), Amy Gabriel (Public Policy & Governance), Breon Haskett (Sociology), and Meshell Sturgis (Communication)


EDA broadly functions as GPSS’s accountability branch by incorporating diversity and empowerment into GPSS goals and activities and promoting inclusion. Diversity includes but is not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, dis/ability, age, religion, language, and nationality. To that end, the EDA serves to:

  • Undertake strategic actions to eradicate the historical inequities inherent in institutionalized academic structures and settings;
  • Establish criteria for and award grants from the GPSS Diversity Funds;
  • Annually conduct GPSS Composition Surveys;
  • 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;
  • Hear grievances concerning inequities existing along lines of difference including, but not limited to, racism, homophobia, sexism, ableism, bigotry, and xenophobia, and refer grievances or complaints to the Judicial Committee for investigation when applicable under Article VI, Section B, Clause 2, subsection a.


Questions, comments, and concerns can be directed to the VP of Equity and Inclusion, Meshell Sturgis (she/her) at To be added to the Diversity email list, visit: UW Mailman.


Diversity Committee Members

Senator's Name Role
Marty Varela Chair
Forest Lisinski Member
Matthew Moran Member
Kush Patel Member
Meshell Sturgis Member
Sruti Sukumar Member

Legislative Advisory Board


  • 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 Committee.


  • 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 Graduate Student on Day on the Hill
  • Assist with lobbying during the interim Spring, Summer, and Fall quarters


Wednesdays 2:00PM to 3:00PM. More information can be found here.

GPSS Legislative Agenda

2020-2021 GPSS Legislative Agenda Coming Soon!

Legislative Advisory Board (LAB) Members

Senator's Name Role
Joel Anderson Chair
Nicholas Juno Member
Evans Kaame Member
Nathan Mitchell Member
Saleena Salango Member

UW SAGE Delegation

Student Advocates for Graduate Education (SAGE) is a coalition of Graduate Student Organizations from leading U.S. public research universities 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 for additional information!

Travel Grants


  • The Travel Grants Committee (TGC) shall be composed of the VP of Finance 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.


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.


  • 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 VP of Finance at

Travel Grants Committee Members

Senator's Name Role
Sarah Myers Member

Science & Policy


  • 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.


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.



Science and Policy Committee Members

Senator's Name Role
Ella Spurlock Chair
Lauren Cortez French Member
Lauren Gonsalves Member
Jacob North Member
Davon Thomas Member
Kaley Wypyszynski Member

Arts Council

The Arts Council creates a space for students in the arts across campus to collaborate interdisciplinarily, develop a stronger community, and advocate for the improvement of issues recognized during Council meetings that 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 soon, if you have any questions in the meantime please contact


Arts Council Members

Senator's Name Role
Jack Flesher Chair
Hannah Griggs Member
Sarah McKiddy Member
Leah Miller Member
Madalena Monnier-Reyna Member
Nic Morden Member
Michele Newman Member
Inga Schwemin Member

Committees Exclusive to GPSS Senators or Officers



President, VP of Internal Affairs, VP of External Affairs, VP of Equity and Inclusion, VP of Administration, VP of Finance, seven Executive Senators, and an ASUW Board of Directors member.


  • 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


You can find the full schedule of meetings here. For more information, email the GPSS President at



The VP of Equity and Inclusion (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.


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.


At least once per quarter, or more depending on work load. To inquire about committee openings, contact the GPSS Secretary at

Judicial Committee Members*

Senator's Name Role
Raj Shekhar Dewangan Member
Jenna Lee Member
Julia Saucedo-Saracho Member
Tripti Sinha Member

Finance & Budget


The VP of Finance and five to nine Senators.


  • 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)


For Fall Quarter 2023, Fridays from 11:00AM to 12:00PM. More information can be found here. For more information, email the GPSS VP of Finance at

Finance and Budget Committee (F&B) Members*

Senator's Name Role
Van Mai Chair
A.J. Balatico Member
Jon Choi Member
Peter Correa Member
Pratima KC Member
Maleen Kidiwela Member
Sean Lin Member
Sachin Nayak Member
Michelle Noyes Member
James Sherrell Member
Terrance Wang Member

GPSS Liaison!

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. Learn more about the general appointment of a Liaison by reading the Liaison Handbook. Contact with any questions.