The GPSSA is the democratic body that represents the concerns of graduate students in the Department. We elect representatives every September to serve on various committees in the Department and elsewhere in the York Community, such as the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) and CUPE 3903, which bargains collectively on behalf of graduate and teaching assistants.

The GPSSA holds regular meetings to connect the various representatives and to provide a forum for raising the concerns that you may have as a graduate student, including academic and work-related issues. In these meetings, we also seek to find solutions to our common problems. This year a number of critical issues and challenges need to be addressed both within our Department and graduate studies as a whole, including: collective bargaining for a new contract for teaching and research assistants; the hierarchical restructuring of graduate studies and budget cuts; the lack of full TAships for all PhD students; improving graduate student supervision; growing our graduate run journal, Problematique; building greater community among students in a large department; and promoting greater public exposure for our members and their research through the new GPSSA website.

The GPSSA is also very active in organizing social events for faculty, staff and students. One of the most exciting aspects of graduate life is building lifelong relationships with fellow students and future colleagues. Aside from officially sponsored GPSSA socials, students in our department also convene reading groups, involve themselves in political activism, and also promote a diverse array of artistic, athletic, and social events outside of the department.



Section One: Aims and Purposes

The general role of the GPSSA is to establish and advance the common interests of graduate students in the Graduate Program in Political Science by:

  • Monitoring Department and Graduate program practice and promoting improvement in all facets of the Graduate Programme;
  • Providing a forum for graduate students to discuss relevant Department and Graduate Programme Issues;
  • Establishing clear and precise positions on issues of importance to graduate students in the Programme;
  • Communicating graduate student concerns to Department, Programme and university-wide bodies;
  • Supporting and promoting social activities among graduate students.

Section Two: Rules of the GPSSA Meetings

It will be the responsibility of the liaison to provide students with one week written notice of all GPSSA meetings along with a proposed agenda.

  • The chair shall be elected or confirmed at the outset of each meeting.
  • The minute-taker shall be elected or confirmed at the outset of each meeting and shall be given appropriate remuneration.
  • The first order of business for each meeting shall be the confirmation of the agenda.
  • Meetings of the GPSSA should not normally exceed two hours.

Section Three: Procedures for the Establishment of GPSSA Policy Positions

The following proposals represent the indispensable and minimal procedures for the establishment of a GPSSA policy position. These procedures focus upon the relationship between motions and GPSSA policy, and do not prescribe by-laws for the development of motions themselves. Generally, Bourinot's Rules of Order regarding motions shall apply.
Policy proposals must be put in the form of a motion, and must be seconded.

Motions are carried by simple majority of those present and voting either in the affirmative or negative.

A successful motion in plenary constitutes the graduate student position as established by the GPSSA. Students are expected to respect the GPSSA policy position as being arrived at in a democratic manner.

All policy positions may be reviewed at subsequent meetings.

Section Four: Rules for GPSSA Representatives and Liaison

The function of GPSSA representatives to Graduate Programmes, Departmental and university committees is to effectively communicate and promote graduate student concerns.

In order to ensure that policy making in the GPSSA remains democratic, GPSSA representatives will:

  • Regularly attend the meetings of the committee to which they have been elected by the Association;
  • Report to the GPSSA on the agendas and proceedings of their committee;
  • Review past policy stands taken by the GPSSA;
  • Return to the GPSSA for policy direction, in the event that GPSSA policy is unclear or non-existent;
  • Refrain from presenting their personal positions as GPSSA policy