How does all of this work?
First and foremost
The GSA operates in accordance with the Governing Documents.
The Graduate Senate is built from elected members from each program and/or cultural/professional/interest groups across the graduate student population at UMBC. The Graduate Senate has overarching control of the organization, exerted during Official Meetings of the Graduate Senate. Between these meetings, the elected members of the graduate student body constituting the Executive Council (EC) are given the authority by the GSA Governing Documents to make decisions on behalf of the Graduate Senate. These members are (click to see a description of responsibilities and current contact information):
- Vice President
- All Standing Committee Chairs
The Office of Graduate Student Life (OGSL) is built from four Graduate Assistants that work for The Graduate School to aid in carrying out the mission of the GSA as laid out in the GSA governing documents. To be clear, the OGSL works to execute the policies and procedures the Graduate Senate lays out. Although the overall goals of the OGSL are driven by the Graduate Senate in this way, the day-to-day operations are overseen by staff from The Graduate School. Namely, an Executive Administrative Assistant (EAA) of the Associate Dean of The Graduate School is placed in the OGSL to assist with logistics concerning personnel and PeopleSoft (or other administrative software) finances.
The GSA is built from both of these groups and led by the Executive Council.
GSA Funds come from student fees. All graduate students that have programs on campus pay the Graduate Program Fee. As of the 2018-2019 Academic Year, this fee is assessed from each graduate student as $17 per credit hour. These funds are delivered to The Graduate School at UMBC, who gives authority of the funds to the Graduate Senate. Per the GSA Bylaws, it is the responsibility of the GSA Executive Council to develop and present a budget to the Graduate Senate for approval each year.
Graduate Student Organizations are the entities that the GSA assumes form a representative sample of the various groupings of students on campus. GSOs may be formed around a grouping of students by program or around a grouping of students based on any cultural/hobby/professional interest. Graduate Students may be a part of more than one GSO, but GSOs send senators to the Official Meetings of the Graduate Senate. At these meetings, each GSO must have a unique representative.
Starting in 2011, GSOs began to be allotted funds from the main GSA Funds. This program is codified as the GSO Funding Initiative.
Starting in 2010, the GSA began to award grants to students for their research or professional development. This program is codified as the Grants Initiative.