About GSA


The Graduate Student Association of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science provides 

  1. a forum where students and the VIMS administration are involved
  2. programs and services of special interest to graduate students
  3. support for a diverse and inclusive community for graduate students on campus

In addition to our academic missions, the GSA also functions with the social interests and emotional well-being of graduate students in mind. We provide many opportunities for students to interact with each other and broaden their experiences in graduate school. All of this serves the purpose of producing well-rounded and well-educated graduates, and a community where all students feel included and supported.

Who is in the GSA?

All registered graduates of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science are considered members of the Graduate Student Association (GSA). The GSA is made up of four units: the Executive Committee, Representatives to the SMS Academic Council and its Standing Committees, Representatives to W&M College-Wide Entities, and Committee Chairs and Representatives. Executive committee members are elected, nominated, or volunteered within the student body at the end of the spring semester. Representatives and committee positions are filled on a rolling basis when needed. The responsibilities of all units of the GSA are explained in detail in the GSA Catalog.


The GSA represents graduate students' academic, professional, and social interests to administration. Representatives of the Executive Council and Academic Council (AC) are responsible for communicating to administration.

Powers and Limitations

The GSA is the most representative and informational in nature. The GSA can intervene on behalf of graduate students in many venues. However, without knowledge of the spectrum of graduate student opinions, the representative powers of the GSA are greatly diminished. Therefore, active participation at meetings and on committees is crucial to effective graduate student presence.