Join the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly!

Interested in shared governance? Want to become a member of the 2021-2022 term of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly? Here is a listing of positions and their descriptions for the upcoming 2021-2022 term.


General Voting Members

  • Must attend all of the GPSA meetings twice a month.
  • Remain sufficiently informed about issues brought before the GPSA to cast informed votes on resolutions, formation of committees and other matters.
  • Elect GPSA Voting Members
  • Elect GPSA Officers and standing committee chairs
Time Commitment: 3-5 hours a month

Open Positions:

Arts and Humanities - 3 voting members
Life Sciences - 3 voting members
Physical Sciences and Engineering - 4 voting members
Social Sciences - 4 voting members

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the GPSA and ensures smooth operation in coordination with the standing committee chairs. Meets every week.


  • Assures the smooth and effective operation and maintenance of the GPSA
  • Delegates responsibilities as needed to accomplish the duties of the office and the goals set forth in the Charter and Bylaws
  • Chairs the general meetings
  • Sends notice of actions and recommendations to administrators and other governance bodies
  • Serves as spokesperson of the GPSA
  • Serves on Executive Committee
Time Commitment 15- 20 hours per week

Executive Vice-President (EVP)

  • Assists the President
  • Recruits students to serve on the GPSA
  • Maintains an accurate list of members
  • Tracks attendance
  • Compiles and distributes general meeting agendas and materials
  • Chairs the Executive Committee
  • Chairs general meetings in the absence of the President
Time Commitment 15-20 hours per week

Vice-President for Operations (VP Ops)

Description: The Operations and Staffing Committee is charged with appointing graduate and professional students to committees staffed by the GPSA, and with maintaining and updating the GPSA Charter, GPSA Bylaws, and relevant documents.
  • Chairs the Operations and Staffing Committee
  • Maintains an accurate list of committee appointments
  • Coordinates committee reporting procedures
  • Maintains communication with committee appointees and chairs
  • Reviews and updates the GPSA Charter and Bylaws
  • Chairs general meetings in the absence of the President and EVP
Time Commitment: 10-15 hours per week, with the bulk of the work in the Fall

Vice- President for Communications (VP Comms)

Description: The Communications Committee is charged with maintaining a strong communication link between the GPSA and all graduate fields, professional schools, and the Cornell community
  • Chairs the Communications Committee
  • Oversees and manages communication between the Executive Committee, the GPSA, the grad/professional community, and administration
  • Chairs general meetings in the absence of the President, EVP, and VP Ops
Time Commitment 10-15 hours per week

Committee Chairs

Chair of the Diversity and International Students Committee (DISC)

Committee Description: DISC promotes diversity and inclusion in all its forms within the GPSA membership and within the broader graduate and professional community at Cornell.
  • Organizes and chairs DISC meetings.
  • Communicate with groups engaged with diversity and international student issues in order to involve and engage diverse students with the work of the GPSA.
  • Provide a forum to discuss diversity and inclusion within the graduate and professional student  community. 
  • Engage Cornell administration in issues affecting diversity and international students.
  • Bring before the GPSA resolutions on issues related to diversity and international students.
Time Commitment: 5-10 hours per week

Chair of Student Advocacy Committee (SAC)

Committee Description: The GPSA Student Advocacy Committee works on issues of diversity, finances, stipend levels, mental and physical health, accessibility, child care and the general well- being of all graduate and professional students. The Student Advocacy Committee works in consultation with other relevant student and University committees and interested parties.
  • Organizes and chairs SAC meetings.
  • The committee works in consultation with other relevant student and University committees and interested parties.
  • The committee works with the Programming Board to plan two town-halls and sponsors and draft GPSA resolutions promoting ideas and solutions for issues that affect graduate and professional students.
Time Commitment: 5-10 hours per week

Chair of the Graduate and Professional Student Programming Board (GPSAPB)

Committee Description: The GPSPB organizes GPSA-sponsored events for graduate and professional students such as receptions, speakers, socials, Grad Ball, Grads Night Out, and other events that may arise.
  • Organizes and chairs GPSPB meetings.
  • Organizes and plans Grad Ball, socials, mixers, etc. including booking venues, catering and advertising.
  • Helps SAC plan their town hall.
  • Serves as point of contact with relevant administrators.
Time Commitment 3-10 hours per week, possibly more as Grad Ball approaches in the Spring

Chair of the Faculty Teaching, Advising, and Mentorship Award Committee (Faculty Awards)

Committee Description: The Faculty Awards Committee solicits nominations for and administers one or more annual awards to recognize faculty who exhibit excellence in the teaching, advising, and mentorship of graduate and professional students.
  • Organizes and chairs Faculty Awards meetings.
    • At least three meetings in the Spring.
  • Organizes the nominating process for awards.
  • Organizes the nomination review process.
  • Organizes and plans the award ceremony.
Time Commitment Minimal work in the Fall; 3-10 hours per week in the Spring during the nomination and award process

External Committees

University Assembly (4 delegates)

Description: The UA examines matters which involve the interests or the welfare of a substantial segment of the University community and makes recommendations to the appropriate officers or decision-making bodies of the University.
  • Delegate represents the interests of the GPSA on the University.
  • Serves on at least one UA committee (meets 1-2 times a month).
  • Brings relevant issues back to the GPSA for discussion.
Time Commitment: 3-5 hours per week

General Committee of the Graduate School (GC) Delegate [2 year term]

Description: The GC is the administrative, legislative, and judicial board of the Graduate School and approves revisions to the Code of Legislation, approves appointments to the graduate faculty, and makes recommendations for new advanced degrees.
  • Represents the interests of graduate students on the GC
  • Maintains confidentiality of discussed agenda items
Time Commitment: 2 hours a month