The Graduate Student Government Senate is made up of one or more representative of each graduate department at the University of Maine.  Meetings are held bi-weekly during the Fall and Spring semesters at the Graduate School.

Responsibilities of GSG Senators

Senators are responsible for the passing of GSG business and events.

Senators shall attend every GSG Senate meeting.  Substitute Senators (proxies) are allowed. Proxies shall notify the Secretary in the attendance record of their substitution. Participation in voting is required by all Senators (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 responsibilities of the Senators should be directed at 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 and officers and return to your department/program with highlights from the Senate meetings.

You are expected to attend the GSG Senate meetings held every other Wednesday at 12:00pm in the large conference room of the Gradute School (room 57) – make sure you sign the attendance sheet each meeting. Meeting usually last under an hour (feel free to bring your lunch). If you cannot make a meeting, send a proxy in your place.

You must serve on at least one committee. During the first few weeks, the Secretary will be announcing committee vacancies. Please sign up for one early – or you may be placed in an undesirable committee.

How should I report back to my department?

Any way you like. Here are some common practices. Keep brief notes on the meeting. Send out an email to all graduate students in your department/program highlighting the key facts – like this:

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.

Or, maybe your department secretary has a graduate email list already generated and they can assist you in distributing correspondence. Or even post the highlights somewhere in your building/department.

Must I vote every time?

Yes. 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.

How should I keep up to date with GSG affairs?

Well, besides sitting through meetings, keep an eye on the GSG First Class conference and the website.

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