Graduate Student Association

Graduate Student Association

As a graduate student in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese and Latin American Studies, your membership in the Spanish and Portuguese Graduate Students' Association (SPGSA) is automatic. The role of the SPGSA is very important as the various responsibilities of the association are to represent our specific concerns as graduate students at the departmental, union and university levels. Below you will find a list of Executive positions; usually, Master’s and first-year PhD. students comprise the Executive and realize the events and responsibilities of the association for that academic year although any member of the SPGSA can apply for Executive membership:

  • President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Symposium Coordinator(s)
  • Journal Editor(s)
  • Union Representative (CUPE 3902)
  • GSU Representative

Events and Responsibilities

The SPGSA constitution outlines the responsibilities of each of the above Executive members. Contact the SPGSA liaison if you would like to review a copy of this constitution. These positions are great CV building opportunities and are fantastic ways to develop non-academic oriented skills. As review, some of the most important jobs that Executive members fulfill are the following:

Levy-Wasteneys Symposium: In the spring of every academic year, the SPGSA presents its annual graduate students’ conference. This conference is partially funded by an endowment to the SPGSA. Click here for more information on the Levy-Wasteneys Symposium.

Apuntes hispánicos Journal Editor(s): Every academic year, a graduate student journal is edited by the SPGSA and a hard copy is launched sometime in the spring or subsequent fall of that academic year. The journal has been published for over 15 years and was formerly published under the name Tinta y Sombra. Click here for more information on Apuntes hispánicos.

Graduate Students’ Colloquium Series: The aim of the Colloquium series is to give students in the department an opportunity to share their research, practice conference material or practice their presentation skills in a CV building exercise. Usually held on Friday afternoons at least a couple times a semester, these colloquia are organized on a regular basis by a volunteer of the SPGSA or by the President if no volunteer is available.

GSU Representation: The Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) provides funding to graduate associations only if a representative of that association is present at all the monthly meetings of the GSU government. The GSU representative must be able to make a commitment to attend these evening meetings (often lengthy) as we depend on the funding of the GSU to support our events. These meetings are a great opportunity to get involved in the ‘political’ side of university life.

Fundraising: Although we receive and can petition some funding to support our organization, most of our expenses are covered by our own fundraising efforts. The Treasurer is typically responsible for spear-heading fundraising, but all members of the SPGSA are requested to participate in this important aspect of the association. Presenting proposals and requesting support from consulates and embassies, large corporations and small businesses have been most lucrative in the past. This is really a group effort!!!

Please consider these positions and responsibilities and have in mind in which role you would like to participate for the upcoming academic year. At the first general meeting of the SPGSA to be held in September, these positions will be ‘voted’ upon—all positions must be filled! Thank you in advance for your enthusiasm to participate!