Committees & Working Groups

The GSS credits its success to the energy, ideas, and talents contributed by its members. As a graduate student you are automatically a member of the GSS, and there are many different ways for you to get involved and help guide the efforts of your Society. On of the easiest ways to get involved is to join a GSS Committee.

The GSS Committees are working groups of graduate students, chaired by an elected student leader, that focus on areas of specific importance for the Society’s services and direction. Committees meet once a month, usually for no longer than two hours. Meeting dates are set based on members’ availability. Occasionally, some Committee work occurs over email, and it is expected that Committee members will take the time to engage via email in addition to attending the monthly meetings. The chair of each Committee consults and liaises with the GSS Council, Caucuses, and other Committees to ensure that Committee work contributes effectively to the overall success of the Society. Serving on a Committee is a great way to engage with and make an impact on issues that affect graduate students and the University as a whole.

Consider joining a Committee if you have:

  • an interest in participating in and learning about the GSS
  • an interest in ensuring that the GSS is reflective of the goals and aspirations of its members
  • a willingness to work collaboratively on projects and initiatives
  • skills and experiences beyond your specific academic field (for example, administrative or policy-related skills)
  • an interest in meeting and working with graduate students from across the university

The GSS values the work of our graduate student volunteers and recognizes that these efforts are crucial to moving our Society forward. Our volunteers are honoured every year at a fabulous Volunteer Appreciation Gala.

To join a committee, check out the descriptions listed below and fill out the Volunteer Form.

If you have any questions, contact the GSS in person at MBC 2203 or email


Benefit Plan Committee

Interested in your health and dental insurance benefits? Join the committee that works to get grad students the most for their money and the benefits they want.  It also handles special circumstances surrounding the Benefit Plan opt-ins and opt-outs, and adjudicates the yearly applications for Benefit Plan Bursaries to help students in financial need.

Electoral Committee

Responsible for running the elections and referenda of the GSS, the Electoral Committee is an intense but incredibly rewarding group that is integral to the governance of the GSS. Key times of year (when elections are normally scheduled) are between November-December, and March-April, however by-elections and off-cycle referenda sometimes occur.

Finance & Audit Committee

Responsible for overseeing the Society’s budgeting process and financial management.

Governance Committee

This group will be reviewing and proposing changes to the governing documents of the Society, including the Constitution, Bylaws, Policy and Regulations, and Terms of Reference of committees.

Grants Allocation Committee

Reviews grants from caucuses and individual students on a monthly basis and issues the GSS Caucus Grants, Professional Development Grants.  This group also makes recommendations to Council regarding changes to these programs.

GSS Appeals Board

This group acts as an appeal body for decisions that are made at other GSS Committees (such as the Grants Allocation Committee or the Electoral Committee).  A larger roster of members is available to serve in an “on call” basis when appeals come forward.  The composition of a given Appeals Board will be drawn from the roster, taking into consideration the availability of members and their relation to the issue(s)/group(s) being appealed.  Because of the “on call” nature of this group, the time requirement is unknown, however, when dealing with appeals, significant time and attention will be required from the Board members.  This is a great opportunity for graduate students who are interested in procedural justice issues, policy interpretation, and gaining experience in the area of appeals review.

Working Groups

Want to form and/or lead a working group for a one-time project or a special issue not addressed elsewhere? (Examples: obtaining more graduate space on campus or hosting a cooking workshop.) The GSS can help put students who are passionate about a particular issue in contact with one another to form an enthusiastic working group and can further provide meeting space, an email address or listserv, and other support. The GSS currently has a working group to discuss Research Assistantships at SFU.