Graduate and Professional Student Association

GPSA Elections

Join the 2019-20 GPSA senate and represent your college and department. Spots are available for all GPSA positions. For the list of openings and details on the elections process, read on!


GPSA Election applications open February 1, 2019 until March 1, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Apply on CougSync by completing the 2019-2020 GPSA Election forms (you will need to log in with your WSU ID).

Election Openings:

Although senators confirmed through special elections hold "at-large" positions, GPSA senate strives to hear voices from all graduate and professional departments on campus. After the 2017-18 General Elections, several departments still do not have representation in senate, and so GPSA especially invites application from the following colleges and departments. Any department not listed is already represented. The number of unfilled seats is listed after the department name.

  • College of Arts and Sciences
    • Chemistry [1]
    • Criminal Justice [1]
    • English [1]
    • Fine Arts [1]
    • Foreign Language & Cultures [1]
    • School of Music [1]
    • Animal Science [1]
    • School of Design and Construction [1]
    • School of Economic Sciences [2]
    • School of the Environment [1]
    • School of Food Science [1]
  • College of Education
    • Ed Leadership and Counseling Psych [1]
  • College of Engineering & Architecture
    • School of Design and Construction [1]
    • School of Electrical Engineering and CS [1]
  • Graduate School
    • Material Science and Engineering [1]
    • Molecular Plant Science [1]
    • Individual Interdisciplinary [1]
  • College of Veterinary Medicine
    • CVM [2]
    • Molecular Biosciences [1]
    • Veterinary Medicine (DVM - Prof students) [5]

If you are from a department that is not listed above, please still apply. The selection processes prioritizes under-represented departments, but at-large senators can represent the college they reside in to fill remaining spots.

Special Elections: By the Book

According to GPSA Bylaws Article II, § 3, special elections are used to fill open senate seats. The bylaws state:


  1. Special Election to fill Senator Seats
    1. A Special Election shall be held at least once a year to fill vacant Senate seats not filled during the General Election. Seats may also be filled due to resignation and/or vacancy.
      1. All Senate seats not filled during the General Election shall be converted to “GPSA at-large” seats.
      2. IAC [Internal Affiars Committee] in conjunction with Executive Board shall vote to approve Candidates before the second Senate meeting of the semester.
      3. A rubric shall be made available immediately following the conclusion of the General Election to all Members indicating the selection criteria for at-large positions. IAC shall update this rubric once a year.
      4. An Additional Special Election must be held:
        1. If 30% or more of the Senate is vacant or at the discretion of the Executive Board.
    2. Members must file an application for Candidacy.
      1. An application period spanning a minimum of ten (10) consecutive business days shall be a part of the election process for the Special Election.
      2. The IAC shall be responsible for coordinating with Executive Board Members to advertise the application period in various mediums beginning at least one (1) week prior to and continuing through the application period.
    3. All Candidates must complete the same documentation as required by the General Election.
    4. Approved Candidates shall assume Senator duties immediately with the title “Senator at-large for the (College Member resides in)”


Without the legal-speak, here's how it works:

On July 16 applications will open and be accessible on CougSync. To apply, you will need to complete the same documents as in a general election, including some personal information, your department, and a candidate statement. Elections will be open until August 16. After the application period closes, the Director or Internal Affiars will coordinate with the Executive Board to review applications and select final candidates. This selection will be done based on the quality of the applications.

All final candidates will be required to attend New Senator Orientation on August 20 at 5:30pm in CUB L40. Candidates will then be introduced to the full senate body during the first senate meeting on August 27, during which senate will vote on approval. If approved, candidates will become Senators At-large from the college in which they reside.

Simple, right?

Special Elections Timeline

Date Event Action Required
July 16, 2018 Applications for Special Elections open Log on to CougSync and complete the "2018-19 Fall Special Election: Senator Application Form"
August  16, 2018 Applications close at 11:59 p.m.  Do not wait until the last minute. If you miss the deadline, the Director of Internal Affairs and the Executive Board will not review your application. Check the form early, so you have time to ask questions if needed.
 August 19, 2018 Candidates Announced  All applicants will be notified of final decisions by this day.
 August 20, 2018 New Senator Orientation Candidates will meet with the full GPSA senate body for training and orientation in CUB L40 at 5:30 p.m. Attendance is mandatory for candidates and senators.
August 27, 2018 First Senate Meeting Candidates will be presented to the senate body for approval. If approved, candidates will begin their term as senators at-large from the college in which they reside. The full senate schedule can be found at the GPSA Meetings page.