The Graduate Council is the representative student government for graduate students, making up half of the Assembly of the Student Government of the University of Chicago. It is comprised of 17 representatives chosen by the various professional and graduate divisions. Each division is guaranteed a representative on the council, and is given an additional representative for every 500 students in the division.
The Graduate Council has many responsibilities, and as a consequence, it has many unique ways to engage the graduate community. One of the primary goals of the council is to break down divisional barriers, and help support a unified, University-wide identity. To achieve this goal, the council is heavily involved in planning and executing programming that is aimed at the whole graduate community. Additionally, the council provides financial support for graduate travel, as well as graduate organizations planning events for grads. In past years, in addition to large on-campus events such as the Gargoyle Gala, GC-sponsored events have included bowling nights, First Fridays at the MCA, ice skating on the midway, Pritzker's speed dating event, as well as many others.
In addition to social programming, the Graduate Council serves as an intermediary between graduate students and the administration. As a representative body, it creates a space in which students from across the University can identify areas of mutual concern and discuss possible solutions. The Graduate Council works throughout the year to create channels of communication between grads and administrators, both to provide feedback from the community and support grad initiatives. One of the important responsibilities of Graduate Council members is to assist in the appointment of graduate student members to standing committees that cover a variety of issues affecting all students. Many of these are Student Government committees, such as the Student Government Finance Committee, which oversees funding allocations to RSOs throughout the year, while others function outside SG and throughout the University.