Graduate Student Government
Graduate Student Association
All full-time students in graduate programs are members of the Graduate Student Association (GSA). The mission of the GSA is to enrich the graduate student experience and to represent, support, and promote graduate student interests and values. An integral and essential part of the Rice community, the GSA provides programs and services aiding in recruitment and retention of graduate students, represents graduate student interests to the University administration, and builds a strong sense of community both on and off campus.
The GSA represents all graduate students and is comprised of two branches: the Council and the Executive. The Council consists of representatives from all departments who serve as the voting body for the graduate students. The Executive is led by the president, internal vice president, external vice president, secretary, and treasurer, and these positions are elected by the Council. Graduate students also participate in university affairs through their representatives on many standing and ad hoc university committees, such as the Graduate Council, the Research Council, and various department committees.
One function of the GSA is to promote academic, professional, and personal development of graduate students. The association accomplishes this by supporting professional development opportunities, alumni networking, and well-being programs for students. Another function of the GSA is to encourage social interaction among graduate students from different departments and cultures. To that end, the association organizes a variety of social activities, including picnics, intramural sports, and volunteer opportunities, that are open to all members of the graduate student body. For more information on the Graduate Student Association, see gsa.rice.edu.
School and Department Graduate Student Associations
A second strata of graduate student governance on campus are the specific GSAs of schools and departments who represent particular concerns and interests of students to the deans, to the chairs, and to the larger GSA. Each school and/or department is encouraged to develop its own governing structure to advocate for graduate concerns and initiatives at Rice.