Who We Are & What We Do
The Yale Graduate and Professional Student Senate (Senate) is made up of representatives from each of the graduate and professional schools. Senate is the overarching student government meant to be a liaison between all the graduate and professional schools and Yale University.
It is the mission of Senate to do the following:
- Foster interaction among students through the creation, promotion, funding, and sponsorship of community service and charitable events; social events; events of academic, intellectual, and professional interest; events or activities organized by official student organizations; events or activities of unofficial student groups.
- Influence the policy, culture, and views of the University through representation on official University Committees; by expressing views of the student body to the administration; by issuing statements of our position to the media and administration.
- Build relationships to external groups for the purposes of official business and social interaction, including but not limited to Yale student organizations, Yale Alumni and the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA), Yale undergraduate students and student organizations, Yale faculty, Yale staff, and the municipal administration and citizens of New Haven
- Oversee the management and maintenance The Gryphon and Gryphon’s Pub and to maintain the liquor license of the Pub.
There are officially 13 Graduate and Professional Schools. The Senate generally consists of about 50 Senators who are elected in elections held within each school. Depending on the school, elections are held either in the spring or fall, but a seat may be available in your school. We encourage all interested students to run for a seat on the Senate! If you have any questions about elections please feel free to contact the Secretary of the Senate, Molly Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What is a Senator?
A Senator is elected from his or her graduate or professional school and represents that school in all official Senate activities. Each Senator represents a maximum of 150 students. Each Professional School has a minimum of one Senator per school, and the Graduate School is represented by an equal number of Senators representing the Humanities, Social Sciences, Life Sciences, and Physical Sciences. Duties of a Senator include attendance at all Senate meetings, timely reporting of Senate activities and events to one’s constituency, and active participation on at least one Senate Committee.
The Senate meets at the Graduate and Professional Student Center at Yale, also known as The Gryphon, 204 York Street, New Haven. Meetings are held bimonthly during the academic year, on the alternating Thursdays of the month. The exact dates can always be found on our website calendar at gpsenate.yale.edu/calendar. Dinner is served at 7:15pm and the meetings start at 7:30pm and are over by 8:30-9pm. Meetings are open to everyone!
The Senate currently has seven Standing Committees, which meet throughout the semester to address the specific needs of the Graduate and Professional Student Community.
They are as follows:
- Community Engagement
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Professional Development
- Public Relations
In addition, the Executive Board oversees the operations of The Senate and the seven Standing Committees. Elections for Executive Board Officers are held each April in the Senate, and the new Executive Committee is responsible for directing the organization through the summer and into the next school year. The officer positions are: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Advocacy Committee Chair, Community Engagement Committee Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair, Funding Committee Chair, Professional Development Chair, Public Relations Committee Chair, and Social Committee C0-Chairs.
The Senate represents the graduate and professional student body in following university committees:
- Title IX student Advisory
- Library Policy
- The Gryphon Advisory
- Office of Career Strategy (OCS)
- Student Wellness Advisory Group
- Advisory Committee on Recourses for Students and Staff with Disabilities
- Mental Health and Counseling Advisory Committee
- Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility (ACIR)
Additionally, the Senate Executive Board members meet annually with the Yale Corporation (Yale University’s Board of Trustees) to discuss Graduate and Professional Student life.
What is the difference between Senate and GSA?
The Graduate and Professional Student Senate (Senate) represents all postgraduate at Yale, including the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and all the professional schools: Architecture, Art, Divinity, Drama, Forestry, Law, Management, Medicine, Music, Nursing, Physicians Assistant Program, Public Health. The Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) represents only the graduate students from the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Because our representation is so large, we focus on issues that broadly affect all graduate and professional students. As an example, we do our best to find new and fun ways for all professional and graduate students to socialize and work together. Please read our Mission Statement for more details.