Graduate students, through the Graduate Students' Association (GSA), play a critical role in University governance. The GSA President and Vice-Presidents are the official representatives of graduate students at the University of Alberta. There is graduate student representation at virtually every level – from academic and discipline appeal boards, to various planning committees, councils and task forces, to GFC and the Board of Governors.
The GSA President and Vice-Presidents are the lead negotiators for graduate student collective agreement and labour negotiations. They lobby and advocate for graduate student interests at all levels, organize graduate orientations, workshops, and other forms of graduate student engagement.
The GSA President and Vice-Presidents perform these responsibilities in addition to their academic programs and other academically-related duties such as research assistantships or teaching.
The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR), Departments, and Supervisors should be mindful of the extracurricular work required of the GSA President and Vice-Presidents during the period of their service to the GSA--usually one year--in addition to their academic studies and give consideration for one-year relief as required.
Department Academic Progress Reports
It is recommended that Departments conducting annual academic progress reports on their graduate students take the service by the GSA President and Vice-Presidents into consideration in the assessment of the student's progress.
Upon request, the GSA President and Vice-Presidents will be treated as full-time for loan signing purposes even though they may be registered part-time. (As with the SU, the Office of the Registrar will need a memo yearly from the GSA as to which students are to be treated as full-time. The Registrar's Office will update a LSE [loan signing exception] positive service indicator to their record for a one-year period.)
Normally, requests for an extension of up to one year will be reviewed favorably by the Department and the FGSR.
Eligibility to hold internal U of A awards may be extended for one year to the GSA President and Vice-Presidents, upon request.
The GSA President and Vice-Presidents, when registered in thesis-based graduate degree programs, are eligible to hold a thesis registration with no instructional fees during their term of service with the GSA.
All requests for relief for extensions and scholarship eligibility must be made by the current GSA President or Vice-President involved and must thoroughly document the contribution the GSA President or Vice-President has made during their year of service.