Grad Students: Be the GSS Grad Rep for your department!


“Grad Reps” are elected by and from graduate students in their academic unit to serve on the Graduate Students’ Society Graduate Representative Council (GRC).  Participating in YOUR students’ society could be one of the highlights of your graduate experience here at UVic!


What do Graduate Representatives do?

– attend the monthly grad rep council meetings, and the GSS general meetings (schedule is below)

– meet with grad students in your program to discuss issues of concern and bring these back to grad council (and through to UVic)

– report back to your home department on discussions, information shared, and decisions made during grad council meetings

– contribute to a GSS committee (communications, events, finance, policy, student affairs)

– allow your academic unit to access the GSS Department Grant fund to help pay for an academic/social event or activity

– participate in major governance decisions about your Graduate Students’ Society

– participate in major decisions regarding GSS positions on university policy (e.g. international student tuition fees, campus sustainability)

– have the opportunity to represent graduate students on major university committees


How do I become the Graduate Representative for my department?

The nature of the election is determined by the students in the department, and usually depends on the number of students enrolled, whether the department has a department graduate student association/council/society that can administer the election, and whether students are studying on-campus or by distance.  All academic units should make the effort to select a representative before the first meeting of the Council on Tuesday, September 29, 2020.


Where there is not a formalized department graduate student council holding an election, interested students usually submit their name to their graduate secretary. If there are several candidates, elections are held either by ballot in the department office, email vote or election at a meeting of all graduate students in the department. Due to the current COVID-19 situation the GSS recommends that all elections be held online in some capacity.


My department has several programs. Does each have a rep?

No. The GSS uses the ACADEMIC UNITS established by the University.  These are listed here:   Each academic unit is eligible to have a representative on the GSS Graduate Representative Council (NOT each program or degree within the unit). 


It is the start of a new academic year!  As of September 1, 2020, every grad rep position is open for election.  As departments hold elections and submit reps, our GRC webpage will be updated and will vacancies: .  Remember, if you see only one name listed for your department, you can still volunteer to be an alternate rep (see below).


Can the role of grad rep be shared?

Yes! Each academic unit on Grad Council only has one vote.  However, many academic units designate one representative AND one alternate.  These reps/alternates can coordinate to ensure the academic unit has representation at every meeting, and if both attend a meeting, they can decide how to use their one voting card.  If there is willingness to share the work and closely communicate, electing a rep and alternate at the outset of the year can be a great strategy to share the responsibilities while ensuring your academic unit is always represented and someone is always at the table to hear important news.


When are the meetings?

Grad Council meetings are held on Tuesdays at 5 pm, usually on the last Tuesday of the month.  Meetings are currently held online via Blackboard Collaborate.


The GRC and AGM/SAGM meeting schedule for 2020-21 is as follows:

– 2020: September 29 (GRC), October 27 (AGM), November 24, December 15th.

– 2021: January 26, February 23, March 23 (SAGM), April 20, and a summer meeting if needed.


Each grad rep also serves on a committee of Council. Committees generally meet once per month.


Worried about a one year commitment?

We understand that many graduate students have semesters where they are on co-op, away doing research etc.  It is much better for your department to have representation for part of the year than not at all!  Just be clear with everyone about your time constraints.


I’ve been elected. What now?

Congratulations! Please ensure that your grad secretary OR the chair of your department graduate student association sends confirmation of your election to the GSS by email at


Once we receive notice of your election, we will send you an email with basic orientation information and a GRC Committee Preference Form to fill in and return on or before September 22, 2020.  A full orientation will be given before the first GRC meeting on September 29. 


(If you have not received this ‘welcome’ email by September 22nd, please check in with your grad secretary and with us at to trace any snag.)


Further information:

Contact GSS at