About the GSC

The Graduate Student Council (GSC), a nonprofit organization incorporated on April 19, 1985, is the student government for Caltech graduate students, and it is our mission to “improve the academic, professional, and social experience of graduate students at Caltech by engaging with campus offices, building a diverse and vibrant community, and advocating for a better quality of life.” All enrolled Caltech graduate students are members of the Caltech GSC. The GSC interacts with the institute’s administrative bodies to put forward the interests of the graduate student body.

The GSC’s leadership is composed of a Board of Directors (BoD), nominated by the student body; elections are held if the number of nominees exceeds the number of positions allotted for each option. The BoD consists of division representatives, who are elected to represent their specified division. Associate directors, while not voting members of the BoD, may also be elected to represent the graduate student body as a whole and receive recognition for their service toward fulfilling the GSC’s mission. Directors on the BoD can be elected into Officer positions, as described below. Members of the BoD are required to take an active role in one or more of the four branches of the GSC: Academics, Advocacy, Communication, and Social. These branches, as well as the overall direction of the BoD, are overseen by the Steering Committee.


Steering: creates and implements the vision of the GSC. Steering runs BoD meetings, sets the agenda, compiles and uploads minutes, creates the budget, and communicates the GSC’s views through publications. Steering consists of the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and Committee Chairs.

Communications: ensures that the voice of the GSC is heard on campus. The committee manages the GSC website, GSC forum, GSC Facebook page and the Caltech Marketplace mailing list. If you need help making a poster or flyer to advertise your event, just reach out.

Academics: helps foster an environment in which graduate students can learn to become leaders in their fields. The Academics Committee oversees several events including: the Everhart Lecture Series, the GSC teaching/mentoring awards, the Graduate Research Spotlight, educational and professional development workshops, and the Take a Professor to Lunch Program.

Advocacy: represents graduate student interests to the Institute regarding healthcare, housing, stipends, and underrepresented students. Core to its mission is conducting surveys to assess these issues over time (e.g., the Fall 2017 GSC Survey and the Winter 2018 Healthcare Survey).

Social: plans and organizes social events for the graduate student community, including Graduate Underground Social Hour (GUSH), GSC Formal, Gradiators, the Halloween party, term parties, athletic events, and other miscellaneous events. It also assists with New Student Orientation and Thanksgiving.

Leadership Positions

Chair – oversees the operations of the GSC Board of Directors; runs BoD meetings and acts as the primary point of contact between the GSC and other organizations, including Caltech administration.

Vice Chair – The Vice Chair of the GSC assists the Chair in overseeing the operations of the GSC Board of Directors and acts as Chair in the elected Chair’s absence. The Vice Chair is a member of faculty Graduate Studies Committee and a guest at meetings of the Faculty Board.

Treasurer – keeps and maintains accounts of the GSC’s finances; chairs a Budget Committee that proposes and maintains the GSC’s operating budget; handles reimbursements of GSC-related expenses

Secretary – documents GSC business at meetings of the GSC BoD and oversees the GSC Weekly Announcements.

Academics Chair – leads the Academics Committee.

Advocacy Chair – leads the Advocacy Committee.

Social Chair – leads the Social Committee.

Communications Chair – leads the Strategic Communications Committee, as described above.

Arts Chair* – oversees the organization and promotion of the performing and visual arts among the graduate student population at Caltech through events and outreach (e.g., the Caltech Art Contest and Little Chandler Art Gallery openings); member of the Social Committee.

Athletics Chair* – oversees the organization and promotion of Athletic events (e.g., graduate student intramural sports and tournaments) in collaboration with Caltech Athletics & Recreation; member of the Social Committee.

Diversity/URS Chair* – oversees programming and advocacy related to the support of underrepresented students within the Caltech graduate student population; member of the Advocacy Committee.

Sustainability Chair* – leads the Sustainability Subcommittee; member of the Advocacy Committee.

Leadership positions are open to all members of the Board of Directors, regardless of previous BoD experience. Positions marked with an asterisk (*) may be held by associate director(s) or graduate students who are otherwise not members of the GSC BoD.

Additional information on the benefits of holding many of these leadership positions may be found here. Contact information for the current holders of the above leadership positions may be found on the GSC representatives roster here. See also the GSC Governing Documents

For the 2020-21 academic year, the number of available director positions on the BoD for each division will be as follows:

BBE – 9, CCE – 11; EAS – 17, GPS – 5, HSS – 2, PMA – 8

Please note that while the number of director positions (55 in total) is limited based on the number of students in each division as of the preceding fall term (1 per 25 students or fraction thereof), the number of associate director positions is uncapped.


GSC Structure