Senate

The Graduate Student Government Senate is made up of one or more representative(s) of each graduate department at the University of Maine.  Meetings are held bi-weekly during the Fall and Spring semesters at the Graduate School. To view the Graduate Student Government Senate meeting times and locations please visit the meeting schedule website.

Responsibilities of the Graduate Student Government (GSG) Senators:

  • Senators are responsible for the passing of GSG business and events onto their constituents.
  • Senators are required to attend all GSG Senate meetings. Substitute Senators (proxies) are allowed and shall notify the Secretary of their substitution for the attendance record.
  • Participation in voting is required by all Senators present at meetings (officers excluded).
  • Senators shall serve on at least one GSG Standing, Ad Hoc, or University Committee. The Executive Committee will facilitate or appoint committee placement. Senators shall familiarize themselves with the GSG Constitution, Bylaws, Standing Rules, and parliamentary procedures.

Questions concerning the responsibilities of the Senators should be directed to the Vice President.

…. But what does it all mean?

You represent your department in the GSG Senate. Like any other governmental body, you should bring concerns that your constituents have to the attention of the GSG Senate. You should then return to your department/program with highlights from the Senate meeting. If you are unable to attain a list of your constituents e-mails, you may ask the front desk of the Graduate School for help.

You are expected to attend the GSG Senate meetings held every other Wednesday at 12:00pm in the large conference room of the Graduate School (Stodder Hall, Room 57) – make sure you sign the attendance sheet each meeting. Meetings usually last under an hour (feel free to bring your lunch). If you cannot make a meeting, send a proxy in your place. It is important to represent your department at all meetings during the school year in order to stay qualified for grants. For more information on grants, please visit the grants webpage.

As a senator for the GSG, you are required to cast a vote every time. Voting is what makes a democratic body work. If you feel you are unqualified or unable to vote either way on any issue, please place an abstention vote.

You must serve on at least one committee. During the first few meetings, the Secretary will be announcing committee vacancies. Please sign up for one early – or you may be placed in an undesirable committee. If you have any questions regarding committees please contact the Secretary.

How should I report back to my department?

Any way you would like. Here are some common practices:

Keep brief notes on the meeting, you can then send out an email to all graduate students in your department/program highlighting the key facts – for example:

The GSG met again today. The officers seem really cool. They will be giving out $25,000 in grants this semester. The deadline for grants is October 15th. The Health Insurance Committee is looking for new volunteers. See me, your friendly department GSG Senator, for more details on today’s meeting.

Your department’s administrative assistant may have a graduate email list already generated and they can assist you in distributing correspondence.

You can post the highlights of GSG meetings somewhere in your building/department. It is recommended to find a high traffic stretch of space in your building/department. The more students who see your highlights the more informed they will be.

How should I keep up to date with GSG affairs?

The easiest way to keep up-to-date with the GSG is to attend our Senate meetings. However, keep an eye out for upcoming events, meeting minutes, and other activities on the GSG website. You may also contact any member of the Executive Committee if you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding anything GSG related.

 

Don’t be afraid to voice your opinions during meetings!