Standing Committees


The Diversity Committee works on the important questions of diversity on our campus, including LGBT and women’s concerns.  This committee will make periodic reports to the Senate on these topics, especially making recommendations on action to be taken by the Senate and Executive Board to improve graduate student academic life at the university.  This committee will coordinate with any GSO University Senators serving on University Senate committees related to diversity.

Concerned about Diversity on Campus? Fill out our submission form here!


The Finance Committee advises the Senate and Executive Board on financial matters.  This committee receives all Special Programming requests and constructs the Annual Budget, making recommendations on the disposition of both in accordance with the Fiscal Policy.  This committee is chaired by the Comptroller, and will work with the Comptroller in making periodic reports to the Senate of the state of the GSO’s finances.  This committee makes periodic recommendations to the Senate of updates to the Fiscal Policy.

Graduate Employment Issues

The Graduate Employment Issues Committee is responsible for addressing issues related to graduate student employment such as stipends, benefits, workload, work type, and the work relationship between graduate students and their departments. The committee advises the GSO on employment issues and works to improve the working landscape of SU for graduate students through the study of employment issues and advocacy.  This committee will make periodic reports to the Senate on these topics, especially making recommendations on action to be taken by the Senate and Executive Board to improve graduate student academic life at the university.  This committee will coordinate with any GSO University Senators serving on University Senate committees related to graduate employment.

Graduate Pandemic Committee

The Graduate Pandemic Committee is charged with consolidating and distributing information on how Syracuse University responds to pandemic conditions. It is especially committed to understanding different departmental responses to pandemic conditions, the policies they adopt in response to such conditions, and how actively they accommodate their graduate student body in ways that are appropriate to their department’s risk of exposure. Additionally, it is an active role of this committee to advocate for the graduate student body regarding limiting their risk of exposure to pandemic conditions, and to provide the tools possible for graduate students to make informed decisions and to advocate for themselves so that they may fulfill their roles as graduate students as safely as possible.

Concerned about student life on campus? Fill out our submission form here!

Outreach and Civic Engagement

The GSO Outreach and Civic Engagement Committee is chaired by the External Vice President and a Vice Chair. The committee is charged with retaining participating members, attracting new graduate students to the GSO, and working to increase graduate student awareness of the GSO as a representative body, and will coordinate with the Internal Vice President for the purpose of increasing student representation within the GSO Senate. Furthermore, the committee is charged with increasing civic and community engagement at local, state, and national levels and developing the GSO’s connections to the people of Syracuse as well as to the national body of graduate students. Toward this end, the committee will plan and host collaborative events on Syracuse University’s campus and develop advocacy proposals for the GSO Senate on issues that fall under the GSO Policy Platform and/or the advocacy platform of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS). The committee will assist the External Vice President in planning and running events and other activities in fulfillment of the above ends.

Professional, Academic, and Creative Work (PAC) Grant (Formerly Travel Grant)

The GSO Professional, Academic, and Creative Work (PAC) Grant Committee manages the GSO Professional, Academic, and Creative Work (PAC) (formerly Travel) Grant Program. The committee is chaired by the GSO Recording Secretary, who may select a vice-chair. The committee aims to increase the diversity of applicants, as well as to ensure that the application, application process, review process, and award notification process is equitable for all graduate students. The committee reviews applications, determines awards, and conducts annual reviews of the program for possible improvements in accordance to the Grant Program Policy as approved by the Senate. This committee makes periodic reports to the Senate of its decisions and recommendations of updates to the Grant Program Policy. Furthermore, the committee is charged with developing a list of resources and additional (non-GSO) sources of funding at the University, College/School, Regional, National, International Levels to support equity in access to conference engagement amongst graduate students.

Racial Injustice: GSO Statement & Resources

Please see our official statement at the end of this post in PDF format. Resources and their links are listed below:

Get involved.

Attend a demonstration in your community if you are physically and mentally able. At these actions, keep yourself and others safe. Wear a mask and keep a minimum of six feet from other protesters. Additionally, get involved on campus!

#NotAgainSU is a Black, student-led movement protesting racial injustice on Syracuse’s campus. They work to promote community education on institutional and systemic racism, hold SU administration accountable for addressing and denouncing bias on campus, and promote transparency between SU administration and students, faculty, and staff.


  • You can donate to Black Lives Matter here:

  • Learn more about Black Lives Matter as an organization here:

  • You can find a national list of bail funds here:

… and here:

  • You can donate to the Black Visions Collective here:

Sign petitions. 


Below is a link from academic folks dedicating their time to putting together a list of texts on race, identity, oppression, and prejudice:

Take care of yourself.

Are you a teaching assistant or instructor of record and struggling to figure out how to talk to your students about race and oppression? Check out these resources below:

  • The Score. An Urban Music Education Podcast:

Inquiry for Math and Language Placement Exam

Dear Everyone,

This is to inform you that I will be arriving at Syracuse University, beginning Fall-2018 semester to pursue MS in Computer Science. Now in the Syracuse ReadySet website, there is a mention of Placement Exams to be taken prior to enrolling in classes.

I have some queries related to the same:

1.) Is it mandatory to take Math Placement Exam and Language Placement Exam for Graduate Students?

2.) As far as Language  Placement Exam is concerned, I have already taken TOEFL Exam. Is it sufficient or I have to give Language Placement Exam as well?

Please guide me.

Thank You

Yours Sincerely

Ravishankar-Subramani Iyer

(SU ID: 479540972)

Student concerns are our concerns

November 12, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

Last Monday (Nov 3), a coalition of student groups called THE General Body held a rally and marched to the administration building, Crouse-Hinds. There they presented a list of grievances, demands, and solutions to the leadership of the university and began a sit-in.

The GSO Executive Board believes both the students and the administration have dealt with each other in good faith. Minor incidents aside, overall both sides have treated the other with respect in the negotiations and discussions they have held. The responses from the university’s leaders, while not perfect, are the start to many dearly-needed dialogues on common problems.

The interests of the THE General Body align in many ways with the broad graduate student body. The GSO is supportive of the changes they demand that are in line with the wishes of the entire graduate student body. However, as the graduate student government on campus, we have a responsibility to represent all of our students, including both those participating in the sit-in and those who are not. Any process of negotiation and allocation of significant resources to student concerns must incorporate the elected, representative student government. We continue to represent your interests in all decision-making processes at the university, including ongoing ones.

We are pleased to report that the GSO has made progress in finding solutions and beginning conversations on many of the problems facing students in the past years. These include:

  • Improving student access to decision making processes, including access to university committees through direct representation and new student advisory boards
  • Raising minimum stipends given to Teaching and Research Assistants 7% last year, with ongoing talks for increases this and next year

We also support conversation and action about many of the issues brought forth by THE General Body, including:

  • Creating a process to address student grievances and clarify existing grievance processes.
  • Improving diversity training within orientation programs for students, faculty, and staff.
  • Improving and creating programs that work to prevent sexual assault, educate the community, and provide comprehensive care to victims of sexual assault
  • Construction or renovation of the student center to centralize student services and create a center for student community on campus.
  • Prioritizing library funding, giving students the resources they need to make Syracuse a preeminent research institution.
  • Increasing transparency of university finances.
  • Improving mental health services, with attention paid to increasing staffing to provide services to students.

We have compiled a more detailed accounting of the GSO’s stance on the demands of THE General Body here.

Both the Graduate Student Organization and the Student Association are committed to representing all students fairly and accurately.  We cannot do this without your voices. The GSO has office hours Monday through Friday. Please feel free to always email or Tweet us if you have ideas or concerns about the university, graduate student life, or the GSO itself. The GSO can only get better if we hear from you. Come to the GSO Senate meetings – the next one is Wed, Nov 19 at 5:30pm in Life Sciences 105. The GSO also engages directly with the Chancellor and his leadership team to solve many, many other problems. To give input into the university’s new planning process, Fast Forward, use their website.  They are hungry for ideas and input! The Chancellor’s Workgroup on Sexual Violence Prevention, Education, and Advocacy is currently gathering information and will hold an open meeting tonight at 7:30pm in Schine 304ABC. And the Express Yourself forum has produced many workgroups which are addressing diversity and inclusion concerns.


GSO Executive Board

Patrick Neary, President
Sam Leitermann, Internal Vice President
Vantiel Elizabeth Duncan, External Vice President
Sarah Ledford, Comptroller
Jasmine Vickers, Recording Secretary
Jose Muller, Financial Secretary