History of the GSU
The Graduate Students’ Union began as the Post-Graduate Society, a society of the MUN Students’ Union, the undergraduate students’ union at Memorial. Formed to address the unique needs of a growing graduate population at Memorial, the society had several goals. These included providing activities of a more mature nature for graduate students, publishing a review of research being undertaken at the University to be distributed to other universities, and uniting the often isolated graduate student body.
As a society of the undergraduate students’ union, however, graduate students rarely got the attention they required. Although graduate students could hold positions on the Council, they represented only a small percentage of the student body and were not well represented. The needs of graduate students were viewed as those of a small special interest group.
Graduate students soon realized that their interests would be better addressed by an independent Students’ Union. A graduate students’ union would allow graduate students to more effectively represent themselves on University committees, boards, and councils. The Graduate Students’ Union was officially incorporated in 1971.
Today, the Graduate Students’ Union advocates for its members through comprehensive campaigns strategies directed at policy-makers. It also acts as an advocate on students’ behalf, and provides a number of services to improve students’ lives while they are studying at MUN.
The GSU is a member of the Canadian Federation of Students, working with over eighty other member students’ unions of the Federation across the country to campaign for more accessible post-secondary education and to provide services. In Newfoundland and Labrador, every post-secondary student, including the members of the MUN Students’ Union, the Grenfell College Student Union, the Marine Institute Students’ Union, and the College of the North Atlantic Students’ Union, are members of the Canadian Federation of Students. Countrywide, more than thirty graduate students’ associations are members of the Federation, and participate through the National Graduate Caucus.