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EXECUTIVE POSITIONS

Co-Presidents:

The co-presidents/president (from now on referred to simply as president) are elected in April and their position officially starts on June 1st. The president is responsible for the management of all GGS activities. The president’s duties include:
1. Calling GGS council meetings twice a semester. GGS councils are generally advertised one or two weeks before their occurrence.
2. Preparing the following year by planning elections in April and encouraging people to get involved in GGS activities.
3. Ensuring all activities proposed within the GGS framework are ethical and reasonably (responsibly?) planned. They must make sure all facets of the GGS activities are correctly handled by the VPs and the Committee officers.
4. Maintaining a certain level of activity throughout the year.
5. Serving as a link between the department Chair and the graduate students for academic and non-academic events planned within the GGS.
6. Ensuring that duties registered in the GGS memo are correctly executed and prepared on time.
7. Maintaining relations with other graduate associations as well as PGSS by taking spontaneous initiatives
8. Maintaining communications within the society. They must send and check e-mails, print handouts, prepare meetings, create posters, make sure events are correctly planned, prepared and organized.
Attending most of the GGS activities and trying to make the GGS one of the department’s assets.

VP Events:

The requirements for the VP events consist of planning and coordinating the events within the department while being an active member of the society.
The VP's responsibilities include:
1. Attend all meetings, activities, and events unless prior arrangements have been made.
2. Organize and coordinate annual GGS happenings (i.e. Mont-Saint-Hilaire week-end; Welcome day meeting, Graduate Student Day Forum)
3. Maintain a strict respect of deadlines inherent to organized events (room bookings, licences, e-mailing, etc.)
4. Entertain ideas from other members by listening intently and proposing new activities. Then the President will examine all options before making a decision.
5. Look cautiously at the feasibility of such happenings and try to help with the organization and promotion of those.

VP Geospectives:

The VP Geospectives position shall be a dual-head position, as it requires a lot of personal investment. The VP's responsibilities include:
1. Attend all meetings, activities, and events unless prior arrangements have been made.
2. Plan the schedule of the seminar series early enough to avoid stressful moments. This includes meeting the faculty and undergraduate members involved in geospectives to propose, contact and confirm guest lecturers
3. Ensure proper advertising of the the seminar series .
4. Monitor the Geospectives cash flow. Planning in advance if the money devoted to Geospectives will be spent and how it will be spent.
5. Coordinate the setting of the seminar series organization the day of its happenings

VP Intramural Sports:

The requirements for the VP Intramural Sports consist of registering for and organizing intramural sports and other recreational activities in the department while being an active member of the society.
The VP's Responsibilities Include:
1. Attend every meetings, activities, and events unless prior arrangements
have been made.
2. Determine if there is an interest for particular sports (ie. volleyball),
and then register these teams on behalf of the department of geography.
3. Organize other recreational activities such as squash tournaments,
pick-up hockey games and announce them to the geography community.

SOCIAL COMMITTEES

Coffee Hour

Coffee hour is a weekly gathering organized by the GGS. Coffee Hour aims at gathering grad students around coffee and cookies. It has generally been held before the 631 course (an hour before). It was in 2003-2004 academic year, it was organized on Mondays. A sheet of paper is generally posted on the grad lounge’s door and collects the names of people volunteering for bringing or cooking cookies for the semester

ACADEMIC POSITIONS

GGS Council

GGS meetings can be called by any of the execs or someone thinking that an issue shall be raised.
The president chairs the session and makes sure that minutes of the meeting are recorded and later published. There should be at least three GGS council meetings throughout the year. These meetings are open to any grad students and can be held at any time during the year. It might be useful to organize one during the fall to get some feedback about what has been organized in the department, and to get a follow-up with issues raised at the executive meetings. Things are generally discussed in a more direct way and decisions are made quickly.

Graduate Affairs Committee

Three graduate students sit in on the GAC. The main task is to review student applications for the upcoming semester. Other tasks include finding new funding sources, allocating fellowships, scholarships and awards and reviewing program changes. The committee meets only 2 or 3 times in the fall semester, but is much more time-consuming in the winter term, where many more applications have to be reviewed (over 30 in an average year). Applications need to be read before each meeting and can take upwards of 15 minutes to read. In the winter term, meetings are much more frequent (approximately every two weeks starting in mid-February until the end of the semester). Each meeting is usually between one and two hours. While time-consuming, sitting on the GAC is interesting if you want to get to know a little bit more about the internal workings of the department and funding issues.

Undergraduate Affairs Committee

Participating in the UAC is a great opportunity to get involved in the discussion pertaining to new course proposals or course revisions in geography at the undergraduate level. The meetings are also an occasion for the undergraduate representative to discuss issues that are of concern. These are conducted as round table discussions, web-meetings or as e-mail exchanges. Discussions and issues are noted and forwarded to departmental meetings for further action if they cannot be directly put into effect by the UAC.

Department Faculty meetings

Approximately twice a semester, the faculty and representatives of both the undergraduate and graduate societies meet to discuss subjects pertaining to the inner-workings of the department. A typical meeting will consist of a recap of the previous sitting, reports from both the Undergraduate and Graduate Affairs Committees, and the tabling and discussion of new business (e.g. formation of new programs or classes, funding issues, etc). As the graduate representative, you will be afforded the rare opportunity to see professors neither as teachers nor supervisors, but rather as individuals of varying opinions dealing with the “behind-doors” operation of the department. Sitting on this committee requires a minimal time commitment, as only 4-5 meetings are scheduled per academic year. However, let it be noted that what they lack in frequency is made up for in duration. Meetings typically last at least 2 hours, so bring a cup of coffee.

AGSEM (T.A Union)

AGSEM is McGill University’s teaching assistant union, it represents all graduate students employed as TA’s. The union is legally recognized so it is responsible for the negotiations of collective agreements between the university and TA’s.
As a department representative, you are responsible for attending meetings and discussing what is going on with TA’s in your department. There usually only 2 or 3 meeting each semester but they are significantly more when they are negotiating with the university and considering a strike. However, this will probably occur only every 3 years or so. The position is still important during times of labor peace because this is when the policies and strategies are reviewed. All meeting are held at the Thompson House and as an added incentive for attending they provide free beer and pizza.

PGSS

The Post Graduate Student Society is the graduate student body for all graduate and post-graduate students. It owns and runs the Thompson House, administers the health and dental plan, and sits on numerous university committees.
As a Geography councilor, you are responsible for attending meetings and being a link between fellow Geography graduate students and the PGSS. Further, you expected to consult them when important decisions are being voted on by the council. There are 3 or 4 meeting a year in the ballroom at the Thompson House and a great free meal is provided.