Elections and Referenda

Every year during the GSA General Election, graduate students at the University of Alberta cast votes to elect fellow graduate students to five Directly-Elected Officer positions: President, Vice-President Academic, Vice-President External, Vice-President Labour, and Vice-President Student Services.

These student executives represent graduate students on committees and councils across campus and to all levels of government. Graduate students also elect ten Councillors-at-Large, who sit on GSA Council and represent all University of Alberta graduate students. 

GSA Referenda 
take place in years when graduate students are asked to vote on key issues. Past referenda have resulted in the implementation and/or continuation of graduate student services such as the GSA Health and Dental Plan, the Graduate Student Assistance Plan (GSAP), and the U-Pass program, as well as the creation of the GSA Dedicated Fee which enables graduate students to support the on-campus radio station, CJSR. Read the message from then-VP Student Services about the most recent GSAP and U-Pass Referenda here.


In March 2022, graduate students had the opportunity to elect the five Directly-Elected Officers and ten Councillors-at-Large. These elected representatives began their respective terms of service on 1 May 2022. 

The next GSA General Election will take place in early 2023. Please watch this space for updates. 

What's At Stake?

The GSA is led by a team of student executives, collectively and formally known as the GSA Directly-Elected Officers. The team is comprised of the President, Vice-President Academic, Vice-President External, Vice-President Labour, and Vice-President Student Services. The graduate students serving in these positions are elected each year in February in the GSA General Election to serve a one-year term (1 May – 30 April). These student executives actively engage with stakeholders and advocate for over 8,000 of their fellow graduate students about important matters (like tuition, funding, and supports for graduate students) through major University governing bodies and meetings with senior administration and government.

Without them, graduate students would not have a figurative seat at the table of the important decision-making bodies at the University, nor would they have access to essential services like the GSA Health and Dental Plan, the U-Pass, or GSA grants, awards, and bursaries.

Should I Get Involved?

Short answer? Yes!

As a graduate student, you have the opportunity to elect your graduate student leaders and you should make your voice heard through your vote.

But that's not all! Graduate students can also make the choice to put their names forward for election as any one of these student leaders. Remember, the GSA President and Vice-Presidents are all graduate students just like you who have chosen to dedicate a portion of their time and energy as they pursue their degrees to the betterment of their peers' graduate student experience at the U of A. Take the first step and "Discover Governance".

The GSA Chief Returning Officer (CRO), who oversees the GSA General Election and Referenda, will email all graduate students about the 2022 GSA General Election and Referenda beginning in early February 2022, but don't hesitate to contact us at gsa.frontdesk@ualberta.ca if you have any questions. 

Timeline - available early 2023

GSA Bylaw and Policy governs the Election and Referenda. If you have any questions, please contact the GSA Chief Returning Officer at gsa.elections@ualberta.ca


The results of previous GSA General Elections and GSA Referenda are available in the GSA Elections and Referenda Archive. A record of GSA Chief Returning Officer and GSA Speaker decisions and appeal decisions can also be found there.