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Graduate Student Senate Records

Identifier: RG12.0004.001

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Scope and Contents

The records of the Graduate Student Senate include minutes of meetings, meeting agendas, resolutions, correspondence, newsletters and news clippings, and other documents related to their activities, the University of Iowa, and graduate students.Subjects addressed in the records include tuition increases, protest of apartheid in South Africa during the 1980s, financial aid, guidelines for teaching assistants, grading practices, and CIA recruitment on campus.

The collection consists of 11 series:

Series I, History, contains personal accounts of the founding of the GSS in 1968.

Series II, Agenda and Minutes, includes, in chronological order, information about Senate meetings and budget information.

Series III, Publications, consists of GSS newsletters, newsletter production notes, pamphlets, handbooks, news clippings, and newsletters from other organizations.

Series IV, Constitutions and Policies, includes copies of the Senate's initial and subsequent constitutions, as well as copies of various University policies.

Series V, Legislation and Resolutions, is a partial (1979-1989) record of the Senate?s legislative activity.

Series VI, Correspondence, includes letters to and from Senate officers, primarily the president and treasurer.

Series VII, Committees, includes reports, membership rosters, and other documents concerning the various committees of the G.S.S., including Elections, Affirmative Action, and Study Abroad.

Series VIII, External Organizations, includes brochures, announcements, and other printed matter from organizations that were in regular or occasional contact with the GSS.

Series IX, Reports, includes reports produced by GSS on such topics as student fee allocations, salaries and collective bargaining for graduate assistants.

Series X, Subject, arranged alphabetically, covers a wide range of topics, including bulletin board postings, employment opportunities, the graduate reading room at Main Library, insurance for students, and thesis preparation.

Series XI, Audio Recordings, consists of audio tape cassettes and includes recordings of meetings, budget hearings, and seminars, mainly from 1988-1991.


  • Creation: 1968-1992


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

The Graduate Student Senate was officially organized on May 24, 1968. Prior attempts to establish a group representing the interests of University of Iowa graduate students had been made in 1966 but were unsuccessful due to uncertainty over the expected roles of the administration and students. Alvin H. Scaff, Associate Dean of the Graduate College, was a significant organizer of the G.S.S. because he believed graduate students needed to have a forum in which to express their concerns about issues of importance to them. At the time of its founding, the G.S.S. obtained financial support and recognition from the Graduate College and University Administration.

Senators are elected by fellow students to represent their respective programs or departments. During the initial meeting in 1968 a constitution was proposed and adopted. Also at the meeting there was discussion of creating a graduate student center, but attendees decided instead to develop a newsletter as a way to facilitate communication among graduate students and their representatives.

As of 2003, the Graduate Student Senate office was located in 415 Gilmore Hall and has a website, which can be accessed here. The site contains its constitution, adopted or draft resolutions, senators' names, minutes of meetings, calendar, and committees.


4.50 Linear Feet

Method of Acquisition

The University Archives received the records of the Graduate Student Senate from Christopher Rosebrook, the treasurer of the organization at the time, on June 3, 1993.

Related Materials

Records of the Graduate College (RG12.0001.001)

Records of the University of Iowa Student Government (RG02.0007.001)

Records of the University of Iowa Faculty Senate and Council (RG03.0001.001)

Collection processed by Melissa Gomis, 2003.
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242