Senate Responsibilities

Welcome to the Graduate Student Association Senate at UAB. The purpose of this information is to make sure that every Senator knows the basics about the GSA. If you have any questions, please Email the President


This is a letter from your graduate program director or department chairperson (or their assistants) that nominates you to serve on the GSA Senate as a representative of your department. The letter is sent, preferably by email, to the Secretary or given to the Secretary at a GSA Senate meeting.


The GSA Senate meetings are usually held the first Wednesday of every month at 5:00 p.m. Senators are responsible for attending Senate meetings. However, if he/she is unable to attend the Secretary must be notified prior to the meeting and an excused absence will be recorded. Five unexcused absences in a 12 month period results in removal of voting rights.


The right to vote as a Senator is an important privilege. It is the Senate that makes important decisions on how graduate student fees are spent. As a Senator, voting is one of the most important ways the voice of the department is heard. Senators must be present to vote, no absentee voting or proxy.


One of the most important duties of a Senator is to forward monthly minutes and other legislation and notices sent by the Executive Board to graduate students in their department. At least one Senator per department should keep a current email list of their students.

In addition, Senators are required to serve on one GSA/University committee for at least one semester per academic year. Senators should also keep their peers informed about GSA travel grants, and activities by posting notices in their buildings and answering any questions students may have. Much of the money we spend goes to travel grants and activities, so be sure to let your students know about them!


The GSA frequently forms committees to make decisions about a topic. This is a great way to take an active role in the GSA and a stepping stone to other leadership positions. Many of the decisions made by the GSA are formed during committee meetings. Also, serving on committees helps you learn more about the GSA and how it operates.


Please print a copy of the GSA Constitution and read it! It is the framework of our Association and it helps explain how things should work.