What is it?

The Discover Governance program aims to educate and empower graduate students from a range of backgrounds and disciplines to run for office at the GSA and, in doing so, lend their voice to the decision-making processes that shape their academic and personal experience during their time at the University of Alberta.

Discover Governance offers informative sessions each year in advance of the GSA General Election in February. This slate of events has passed but individuals events continue to be offered upon request. Email us at gsa.frontdesk@ualberta.ca we would be happy to schedule an alternate session for you.

Sessions
* Can't make these dates? Email us at gsa.frontdesk@ualberta.ca & we would be happy to schedule an alternate session for you.
How Does The GSA Work

29 November 2022 @ 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

There's no better place to start than here. Learn everything you need to know about the GSA and how its elected student leaders help shape the graduate student experience.

This session will provide information on the GSA governing structure and ongoing work, as well as give a brief overview of the positions of Councillor-at-Large; and the positions of President, VP Academic, VP External, VP Student Services, VP Student Life, and Associate VP Labour.

Meet the Current Student Executives

10 January 2023 @ 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

What better way to "discover governance" than to meet the very people carrying out the work for the 2022-2023 term? Learn everything you need to know about how these elected student leaders help shape the graduate student experience.

Base Camp

Let's get down to the nitty gritty. Discover the weekly workload, committee memberships, and anything else that matters for each of the six elected student executive positions. Attend any or all sessions!

  • Session One: President - Thursday, 12 January 2023 @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM*
  • Session Two: VP Academic - Friday, 13 January 2023 @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM*
  • Session Three: VP Student Services - Monday, 16 January 2023 @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM*
  • Session Four: VP External - Tuesday, 17 January 2023 @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM*
  • Session Five: VP Student Life – Wednesday, 18 January 2023 @ 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM*
  • Session Six: Associate VP Labour - Friday, 20 January 2023 @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM*

 


The GSA is led by a team of student executives, collectively and formally known as the GSA Directly-Elected Officers. Starting with the 2023-2024 term, the team will be composed of the President, VP Academic, VP External, VP Student Services, and a newly-established VP Student Life.An additional role, the Associate VP Labour, will be elected by and for the benefit of Academically-Employed Graduate Students (AEGSs). All the graduate students serving in these positions are elected each year in February in the GSA General Election to serve a one-year term. Each of the student executives has a specific portfolio for which they are responsible.

The President is a graduate student with interest in all issues relating to the graduate student experience at UAlberta: from academics, to services, to health and wellness, to academic employment and professional development. In addition to the GSA Board and the GSA Council, they serve on a number of governing bodies including the GSA Governance Committee, the GSA Budget and Finance Committee, the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) Council, the General Faculties Council (GFC), and the Board of Governors and associated committees. The President meets regularly with senior University administration including the President, Provost, Dean of FGSR, Dean of Students, as well as meetings with leaders of other UAlberta constituency groups/associations. 

 

The Vice-President Academic is a graduate student with interest in representing the graduate student body in academic matters, including details relating to program and degree requirements, academic standing, and professional development. In addition to the GSA Board and the GSA Council, they serve on a number of governance bodies including the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) Council and associated committees and GFC and associated committees. They also meet regularly with the Dean of FGSR.

The Vice-President External is a graduate student with interest in representing graduate students to the community beyond campus. They advocate for the betterment of the graduate student experience at all levels of government. In addition to the GSA Board and the GSA Council, they serve on a number of committees including the GSA Awards Selection Committee, the Alumni Council, the Residence Advisory Committee, the Alberta Graduate Provincial Advocacy Council (ab-GPAC), and the Edmonton Student Alliance.

The Vice-President Student Services is a graduate student with interest in representing graduate students to key players that provide UAlberta graduate students with essential services. These services include the GSA Health and Dental Plan, the U-Pass, the Graduate Student Assistance Program, as well as a host of University of Alberta-provided services. In addition to serving on the GSA Board and the GSA Council, they oversee GSA grants, awards, and bursaries and serve on a number of governance bodies including two U-Pass committees, the Campus Food Bank Board of Directors, committees associated with the Physical Activity and Wellness (PAW) Centre, and other student health and wellness committees. They also meet regularly with the Dean of Students.

[forthcoming]

Since the GSA is the trade union for the UAlberta academically-employed graduate students, the Associate VP Labour serves as the chief negotiator of the collective agreement on behalf of these students and represents their interests. The work of the Associate VP Labour relates directly to the Graduate Student Assistantship Collective Agreement, including frequent meetings with individual academically-employed graduate students. In addition to the GSA Board and the GSA Council, they serve on a number of governance bodies including the FGSR Council, the UAlberta Joint Worksite Health and Safety Committee, the GSA Labour Relations Committee, the GSA Governance Committee, and the GSA Budget and Finance Committee.

 

Discover Governance is an initiative presented by—and part of the mandate of—the GSA Nominating Committee.