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MES students are members of the Graduate Environmental Studies Students’ Association (GESSA) and the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA).
GESSA is the student-run organization for graduate students in FES, and is an associate member organization of the Graduate Students' Association (GSA) at York. All graduate Environmental Studies students are automatically members of GESSA and are entitled to the use of its resources and services. The executive coordinates the general activities of the association and provides information on Faculty policy, issues and events to the student body. Members also act as liaisons between the Faculty and students as needed. Elected delegates represent MES students on various FES committees and at other levels of governance on campus. GESSA holds general meetings at which students are encouraged to participate and share ideas.
GESSA sponsors various student-run programs such as the Maloca Community Garden. Each semester, GESSA also sponsors social events and other community building activities. Funding for conferences and research is available through both the GESSA Research and Travel Fund and the GSA. For more information on how to become actively involved in GESSA, visit http://gessa.wordpress.com or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) represents the majority of graduate students at York University and provides support with issues such as health-care coverage, conference and research travel funds, as well as advocacy on issues such as tuition and university governance. Representatives from GESSA sit on the GSA council and participate in university-wide initiatives. For more information about the Graduate Students’ Association, visit http://www.yugsa.ca/.
MES representation on FES and other governing committees
MES students serve as representatives on FES governing committees. Representation on FES committees helps ensure that the interests of MES students are considered in decision-making processes. GESSA nominates representatives on Faculty and University committees each September. The following committees require MES representation:
Faculty Council (12 MES representatives) establishes policy in all academic matters relating to the Faculty through its standing committees. Faculty Council meetings are open to the FES community, and all MES students are encouraged to attend (designated MES representatives may vote).
Executive Committee (Chair of GESSA is a member) – prepares agendas for Faculty Council meetings and carries out any business as delegated by Faculty Council
Committee of Instruction (1 MES representative) advises the dean on all matters related to the implementation of academic programs in FES, and frequently makes major policy recommendations to Faculty Council.
MES Program and Curriculum Committee (2 MES representatives)
MES/JD Program Committee (1 MES/JD student representative)
Planning Programs Committee (1 MES Planning student representative)
Research Committee (1 MES representative)
Faculty Appointments Advisory Committee (1 MES representative)
Tenure and Promotions Committee (1 MES representative)
Appeals Committee (1 MES representative)
Outside of FES, the following two committees require MES representation:
Faculty of Graduate Studies Council (Chair of GESSA is a member)
York University Senate (2 GESSA representatives; normally one is an MES student and one is a PhD student). The Senate is the senior academic policy-making body of York University.