Resources for GSA Council Members

Who is a GSA Council Member?

GSA council members are representatives designated by graduate student organizations to represent their organization at the GSA’s monthly general council meetings. The full council of the GSA serves as the highest decision making body of the organization.

What do I need to know about the GSA as a Council Member?

The GSA as a body serves as the official graduate student government of the Rutgers New Brunswick Piscataway campus. The GSA as a body exists to further graduate student interests, graduate student university relations, and the social, cultural and academic enrichment of graduate students. Practically speaking the GSA is responsible for the use of a percentage of the student fees of its constituents and is responsible for using these fees in such a way as to promote those goals. The GSA Executive Board and Officers along with the GSA Council make decisions on behalf of the organization.

What are my rights and responsibilities as a GSA Council Member?

A full explanation of the rights and responsibilities of council members is available through the GSA constitution. But here is a quick summary.

  • The general council is the highest decision-making body of the GSA, and a vote of the council can The overturn actions by the executive committee and any individual GSA officer.
  • The GSA is organized so that the executive committee is meant to make most decisions in the place of the council for efficiency and in general has the full authority to make GSA decisions. However, the general council has the right to revoke this authority for a specific issue, in which case all decisions on the issue would be made by the general council via voting.
  • Council members have the right to request information about all standing GSA policies.
  • Council members have the right to request clarification on the interpretation of the GSA constitution.
  • Council members have the right to request information about any votes taken by the executive committee.
  • Council members have the right to request information about the GSA’s allocations to GSOs.
  • Council members may request the on file email accounts of other council members for the sake of planning and coordinating.
  • Council members may request that a message be sent to all other council members.
  • Six academic GSOs in concert may initiate the process of removing a GSA officer, a substantive vote from the full council of 2/3rds or more is required for removal.

What do I need to know about GSA Council Meetings?

A full explanation of the rights and responsibilities of council members is also available through the GSA constitution. But here is another quick summary.

  • Council meetings must occur at least once a month from September to May. As a condition for funding and recognition, all GSOs must send representatives at least once a month to council meetings.
  • No council meeting can occur without the council being provided seven days notice.
  • Council members can call for an additional meeting to occur, if 20% of the council members agree.
  • Agendas for council meetings must be made available prior to the meeting, and minutes for council meetings must be made available.
  • No council member can vote on behalf of two separate GSOs at once.
  • Constituents must be officers of a GSO for them to vote on that GSOs behalf.
  • Only Academic GSO representatives may formally vote on substantive matters.

Are grad students not representing an organization welcome at the council?

Yes! All graduate students have the right to attend GSA council meetings and have the right to bring up any issue they would like to discuss at the meeting. It is the constitutional responsibility of the Executive Board to make sure that anyone who wants to raise an issue has the chance to.

Additionally, all graduate students have the right to call for the council to take action on any issue within its authority and can do this even if they don’t plan to attend any council meetings by email the secretary of the GSA or the president. Contact information is available here.