The GSA engages in both internal and external advocacy in pursuit of the priorities developed in the GSA's annual Board Strategic Work Plan.
The GSA has seats on all the major governing bodies of the University, including the Board of Governors, and brings graduate student issues to the table.
GSA Officers also meet regularly with senior University Administrators about matters affecting graduate students.
The GSA is involved in advocacy and information sharing with other institutions at the national, provincial, and municipal levels.
At the municipal level, the GSA is a member of the Edmonton Students’ Alliance, which works together to share information and represent students in the Edmonton region.
Provincially, the GSA works closely with other Alberta GSAs as part of the Alberta Provincial Graduate Advocacy Council (ab-GPAC). ab-GPAC is a student-led, non-partisan organization that advocates to the provincial government on behalf of over 15,000 graduate students enrolled in graduate programs at Athabasca University, the University of Alberta, and the University of Calgary. At the U of A, the GSA President, the GSA Vice-President External, and one additional graduate student serve as ab-GPAC board members.
The U of A has played a key role in ab-GPAC ever since its incorporation in March of 2015 and has collaborated closely with the other members on multiple advocacy efforts including the submission of position papers to the provincial government on the subjects of graduate student labour relations, tuition and fees, the provincial funding model for post-secondary institutions, and more. Each year ab-GPAC also submits provincial budget recommendations to the government and regularly attends meetings with both the Ministry of Advanced Education and its undergraduate counterparts the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) and the Alberta Students’ Executive Council (ASEC).
For more information on ab-GPAC, you can visit their website.
Nationally, the GSA participates as an observer in ThinkGrad, attending conferences with other Canadian GSAs to share best practices and discuss key issues affecting graduate students.
Provincial Budget 2019-2020
The GSA, alongside other campus stakeholders and constituency groups, has deep concerns about the potentially adverse effects to the quality and accessibility of post-secondary education at the University of Alberta as a result of the budget cuts detailed in the province's current budget. Accordingly, the GSA has been involved in the issuing of the following statements:
- Joint statement issued by the GSA, the Students' Union, the Non-Academic Staff Association, and the Association of Academic Staff: University of Alberta -- found here,
- Statement issued by ab-GPAC -- found here, and
- Statement issued by the GSA President, Fahed Elian -- found here.