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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. A GSO represents a graduate program or a non-department related group of students.

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 if they register on time at the beginning of the academic year. To 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 GSO Committee 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? 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 this online form. This form is mostly asking for contact information for Officers and Senators. All GSOs are guaranteed $250 as long as they register by September 21st. Any GSOs registered late will not be guaranteed this funding. 

Additional funding information: In accordance with the Annual Budget, each GSO is allocated $250 of guaranteed funding for FY19 if they register on time (see above). GSOs who register late will petition the Graduate Senate for funds at monthly Senate meetings and those that register on time are guaranteed their first $250 for FY19 and may also petition the Senate for additional funds as needed..

A GSO may petition the GSO Committee 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 A representative member, or group of members, of the GSO must present to the GSO Committee its argument for approval.

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 10, 2018. 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 GSO Committee and 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 GSO Committee at the next available meeting to discuss the need for additional funding. Please ensure that your allocation requests are submitted and approved before your event takes place.

The next available GSO Committee meeting will be: February 13th, 2019, 11-12pm, Commons 308.  

Once your funding is approved by the GSO Committee, 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 petition the Senate for 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 September and October Senate Meetings (4:30-5pm in UC 312). 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. If you missed one of these sessions or have further questions, please contact the Community Liaison at gsa@umbc.edu.