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GSO Information

General GSO Information

What is a GSO? A Graduate Student Organization (GSO) is a group of students that seeks to have representation at the Graduate Senate Meetings.

What does a GSO get? A GSO is afforded a Senator that should attend the Graduate Senate Meetings and represent the GSO in important matters that affect students all over campus, as well as their own. Additionally, a GSO has $250 earmarked for reimbursement of expenses used for doing GSO-related-things. Speak for questions on this, find the Community Liaison in the OGSL Staff Directory. If a GSO would like additional funds for a specific initiative or event, the GSO can petition the Senate for additional funds. Details of this are below.

Sounds Awesome! How do we make one? A new GSO should register as a New GSO on the GSO Registration Form located on the GSA Website under GSOs. After submitting this form, the Graduate Senate must approve of the creation.

What are our duties (heehee)? A GSO must only ensure that their GSO Senator is present at the Graduate Senate. It is good to note here that the GSO Senator is responsible for the information discussed at the Graduate Senate Meetings. As such, the Senator should be spreading the information to their other GSO members.

What happens if we fall short of our duties? The Graduate Senate reserves the right to disband a GSO if it falls inactive or otherwise fails to send representation.

How do I register my GSO that was around last year? To register your GSO, please fill out the online form located on the under GSOs > Organization Registration on this site. This form is mostly asking for contact information for Officers and Senators. This form asks for you to upload a copy of your GSO’s constitution, if you do not currently possess the most updated copy of your GSO’s constitution please email gsa@umbc.edu know and we can assist you. Note that GSO Registration no longer requires a budget.

Additional funding information: In accordance with the Annual Budget, each GSO is allocated $250 of guaranteed funding for FY18. GSOs may petition the Graduate Senate for additional funds.

A GSO may petition the Senate through a motion to award the GSO a specified amount of funding for a specific and singular initiative (e.g. a seminar series) or event. A detailed budget and description of the initiative or event must be included in this motion by the GSO submitting a completed Allocation Request form (found on the GSA website; gsa.umbc.edu > GSOS > Event Planning). A representative member, or group of members, of the GSO must present to the Senate its argument for passage of the motion.

This decision is due to the fact that many of our GSOs underspend their previously allotted $1000, while some required much more. Following the trends of typical GSO spending throughout the past few years, the total budget for GSOs will be presented at the first Senate Meeting Sept 11, 2017. Note that this removes the limit on maximum GSO funding. GSOs may therefore request any amount of funding so long as it is available from the GSA’s GSO Budget (presented with Annual Budget). However, the distribution of these additional funds must be supported by the Senate.

If you are planning on spending more than the allotted $250 by the end of September, for example, please make sure that your GSO representative will be present to the Senate at the September 11th meeting to discuss the need for additional funding. We will plan to have allotted time during the Senate meeting for these short presentations.

Once your funding is approved at the Senate meeting, you will then follow up with the Community Liaison using the the same procedure outlined on the Event Planning page once the event is over. All post event documentation must be filled within 2 weeks after the event to receive reimbursement.

NEW and INACTIVE GSOS: If you are interested in registering a previously inactive GSO or new GSO, please select “NEW GSO” from the dropdown menu of GSOs listed on the Organization Registration form and fill it out accordingly. In addition, be prepared to send one or more representatives to petition for approval from the Senate at the next Senate meeting. Once you are approved as a GSO, you will be able to use the allotted $250 as well as petition the Senate for additional funds at Senate meetings throughout the academic year.

GSO TRAINING SESSIONS: A representative from each GSO will be asked to attend a training session for GSOs and Graduate Senators that will be held in the half hour before the Senate Meetings. That is, GSO training sessions will be from 4:30 pm to 5pm in UC 312 on the dates of the Senate Meetings.

At these sessions, we will be discussing/clarifying any questions on GSO funding as well as the events planning process and the post-event reimbursement process. Light refreshments will be provided.