About GSS

What is Graduate Student Senate (GSS)?

Graduate Student Senate (GSS), the governing body for graduate students at Bowling Green State University, is committed to being an efficient and effective governance organization for its constituents. GSS works for and represents the 3000 graduate students at Bowling Green State University.

Through legislative efforts, active representation on University committees, and ongoing communication with administration, faculty, staff, and students we strive to enhance graduate students’ academic and social experiences during their time at BGSU. We serve as the chief advocate for graduate student needs and issues throughout the university and the community at large. Additionally, we work for a higher quality experience for graduate students at BGSU, striving for improvements in every area, from support for graduate assistants to social and cultural engagement.

Decisions are made at BGSU every day that affect graduate students. Subtle changes, such as veteran's rights and adjustments to the student healthcare policy can occur without graduate student input. Graduate Student Senate exists to ensure the graduate student voice, when key issues are being addressed, is ever present and always heard.

The avenues through which GSS acquires and disseminates information include: General Assembly meetings, legislative efforts, and active representation on Faculty Senate and University-wide committees. Successful communication of information is only possible with the help and support of GSS senators and the departments and organizations they represent.

Each academic department or program, as recognized by the Graduate College, is eligible for representation within GSS.  Each department is awarded at least one (1) Senator, with additional seats being allocated if there are extra seats after all departments and organizations are allocated one seat. These seats are given within the perimeters outlined in the GSS Constitution and Bylaws.

All student organizations that are geared toward graduate students are also given one seat within the Senate. Both departments and organizations are given equal representation and votes carry the same weight.

Both full-time as well as part-time students are eligible to participate in GSS. Academic departments and graduate student organizations are strongly encouraged to elect or appoint their GSS senators at the start of the fall semester. Appointing or electing a proxy, a student who is able to attend in the absence of a senator, is encouraged.

Your representation in Graduate Student Senate allows for the following things:

  • For programs and departments to always be knowledgeable of what issues are affecting graduate students.
  • The ability to bring individual graduate student departmental needs to the general assembly.
  • The ability to vote on issues and concerns.
  • The exposure to other departmental successes and challenges.
  • The ability to receive professional development funding for all graduate students in your department or program.
  • The opportunity for graduate student participants to get "outside the box," enlarge their network, enhance their resume, gain leadership experience, become aware of the institutional structure and how it operates, meet key administrators on campus, and have the ability to affect change.

Talk to your academic department graduate coordinator or student organization leadership if you are interested in becoming a (an):

  • Academic Department Senator
  • Student Organization Senator

If you are looking for other ways to get involved, contact a GSS representative if you would like to be considered for a SEC committee chair position or for a representative position on one of over fifty GSS, Faculty Senate, or University-wide committees.

Article II of the GSS Constitution offers an overview of the duties involved with each role in the Senate, while the Bylaws of the Constitution provides a detailed description of the elected offices of the GSS. 

GSS General Assembly meetings are open to the public. Please consider joining us! All GA meetings are held from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Olscamp 117.

Contacting GSS

For questions or assistance please contact the Graduate Student Senate President:

Daniel M. Ricken