Graduate Student Senate
The Graduate Student Senate--the Senate of the Legislative Branch--represents every graduate student enrolled in any of the programs offered by the Graduate College at the University of Oklahoma, giving them an official voice in student government. Additionally, each year a substantial portion of the SGA budget is allocated to GSS for two important initiatives: Outstanding Graduate Student Awards and the Research and Conference Grants.
Many Senators make up the Graduate Student Senate comprised of equal representation of Graduate College departments ranging from Native American Studies to Psychology to Mathematics. While each Senator is responsible for primarily advocating on behalf of their departments, Senators also participate in eight committees that oversee certain aspects of the Graduate Student Senate including:
- Academic Affairs: works on issues that affect graduate students in terms of their academic missions and goals, such as exam preparation week, the language test for international graduate assistants, etc. The committee also selects the Outstanding Graduate Students for the academic year.
- Development and Philanthropy: provides assistance, services, fundraising, grant writing, and leadership of a service project within the Graduate Student Senate.
- External Affairs: confronts problems of wages, health insurance, facility access rights, and the relationship of graduate students to their departments and the university community.
- Human Diversity: regularly schedules a series of panel discussions that allow students, faculty, staff, and members of the community to come together and discuss issues of human diversity in the academic setting as well as co-sponsoring activities with other cultural groups on campus and developing new ideas on how to address diversity issues.
- Internal Affairs: helps manage the Graduate Student Senate's relationship with other SGA branches, works on the Senate's bylaws, and oversees the Senate's internal policies and procedures.
- Public Relations: oversees advertising for events related to the Graduate Student Senate, as well as general advertising for the Senate.
- Ways and Means: manages both the Research and Creative Activities Grants and the Conference and Travel Grants allocation process as well as serving in an oversight role for the SGA budgetary process.
- Sustainability: focuses on identifying policies and practices University, state, nation, and worldwide that promote the most efficient and responsible use of resources. Recommends and coordinates sustainability initiatives to the University community that promote environmental sustainability on campus.