Washington University has a strong tradition of what has come to be called "shared governance". Graduate students are represented at virtually every level of the decision-making process affecting graduate students, from departmental committees to the two graduate student representatives to the University Board of Trustees.
The Graduate Council of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences acts as a discussion forum on all matters pertaining to the Graduate School and serves, subject to review by the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, as the legislative branch of the Graduate School. The Council is chaired by the Dean of the Graduate School and consists of one faculty and one graduate student representative named by each of the degree programs offered through the Graduate School.
The presence of graduate students on the Council as coequals with faculty is symbolic of the active role graduate students are expected to play, in partnership with the faculty, in their scholarly development. A permanent committee of the Graduate Council is the Executive Committee, elected at the end of the academic year by the outgoing Graduate Council. This Committee oversees the establishment and operation of standing and ad hoc committees; does planning for the Graduate Council; functions as an advisory panel for the Graduate School; and its members serve on the Academic Integrity Committee.
Constituted in Spring 1993, the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) is the graduate student governing body composed of one representative from each degree-granting department or program in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, as well as graduate students from Engineering and the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis.
The primary objectives of the GSS are to provide channels of communication among graduate students, the Dean of the Graduate School, and other members of the University community; to enhance the graduate student experience through professional development programming and social events, and to provide a forum for graduate student concerns.
The Graduate Professional Council serves as the representative body for graduate and professional students; advocating for all 7,000+ graduate and professional students at WashU; encouraging interschool and interdisciplinary cooperation within the university; organizing campus-wide social events open to all graduate & professional students; and support other [school, department, or interest specific] graduate & professional student organizations.
The Board of Trustees is legally responsible for the institution whose assets it holds in TRUST. Trustees must assure themselves that the institution is heading in the right direction and is well-managed. In short, they must fulfill their responsibilities, legal and moral, as TRUSTEES.
The Professional and Graduate Student Coordinating Committee (ProGradS) is a standing committee of the University that considers issues affecting graduate and professional students in general (i.e. issues that are not specific to a given school, degree, or discipline).