The Society for the
Study of Social Issues


Graduate Student Committee (GSC) Officer Positions

The SPSSI Graduate Student Committee is comprised of seven elected officers who oversee programming to support graduate students in their professional and personal development. Elections take place each spring, with new officers starting their term shortly after the SPSSI conference in June.

Chair and Chair-Elect (Two-Year Term)

Each year, SPSSI graduate student members elect a new leader of the Graduate Student Committee. Persons elected to lead the GSC spend one year serving as Chair-Elect, followed by one year as the committee Chair.

The committee Chair is responsible for directing the Graduate Student Committee, overseeing ongoing and new initiatives, and leading committee activities at the SPSSI conference. The Chair attends SPSSI Council meetings and acts as a liaison between the committee, SPSSI Council, and SPSSI Central Office staff.

The Chair-Elect spends one year getting oriented to the committee and working closely with the Chair to implement committee initiatives. This prepares the Chair-Elect to assume the role of Chair during their second year on the committee. The Chair-Elect is also responsible for co-chairing the GSC Diversity Preconference and for conducting another small project of their choosing. They attend SPSSI Council meetings.


Members-at-Large (One-Year Term)

Each elected GSC Member-at-Large implements ongoing initiatives and new projects related to a specific area of SPSSI’s work. Each Member-at-Large carries out a small project of their own choosing while also carrying out assigned duties as listed below.

Member-at-Large Diversity Focus:
Co-chairs the SPSSI Diversity Preconference. Takes the lead on identifying a preconference theme, assembling a budget proposal for the event, identifying speakers, and planning the preconference program. Works with the Chair-Elect to oversee the preconference from start to finish.

Member-at-Large Communications Focus:
Actively solicits submissions for Social Issues from Student Perspectives, the GSC section of SPSSI’s newsletter The Forward. Conducts targeted outreach to student members of SPSSI based on themes and deadlines for upcoming issues. Exercises editorial oversight by reviewing all submissions and editing those accepted for Social Issues from Student Perspectives.

Member-at-Large Academic Focus:
Recruits speakers with expertise in research or teaching methodologies and facilitates content for the GSC’s methodology webinar series. Currently manages a writing accountability group for graduate students.

Member-at-Large Policy and Applied Work Focus:
Recruits speakers with expertise related to policy work and non-academic careers. Facilitates content for the GSC’s policy webinar series. Plans the international lunch held at the SPSSI conference.

Member-at-Large Membership Focus:
Oversees the GSC’s mentor lunch at the SPSSI conference. Organizes, writes, and releases a quarterly newsletter that outlines current GSC initiatives and opportunities for grad student involvement. Plans SPSSI grad student meet-ups outside the annual SPSSI conference.


Requirements of All GSC Officers

All committee members are expected to:

  • Attend regular committee conference calls
  • Fulfill responsibilities outlined in their individual officer role description
  • Implement a small project that contributes to the aims of their officer position
  • Assist with grad student travel award reviews
  • Greet student attendees at the conference registration table
  • Host the GSC-cosponsored social event at the SPSSI conference
  • Regularly contribute to SPSSI GSC social media pages

Officers who fail to fulfill their duties may be removed from their position. Vacated positions will be filled by appointment.

Why Run for the Graduate Student Committee?

GSC officers have the opportunity to:

  • Network with other graduate students who share common research interests
  • Collaborate with SPSSI Council members and with other SPSSI committees
  • Work with SPSSI’s outstanding staff, who help to support committee initiatives
  • Exercise creativity in finding new ways to support our passionate and engaged graduate student community

Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin