Established in 1964, the Graduate Students’ Union at the University of Toronto (UTGSU) is a democratically run, non-profit organization representing over 18,500 graduate students across more than 85 departments. All graduate students at the U of T automatically pay a membership fee upon registration every year (as part of their incidental fees) that grants them membership into the UTGSU.

Members can participate in the General Council, and act as a Course Union Representative or as a member of a UTGSU Committee or Caucus. Membership also provides grad students with voting rights at the Annual Meeting of the General Membership every November or December.

In addition to advocating for increased student representation and funding, the UTGSU provides graduate students with health insurance and various types of funding support (conference bursaries, Course Union grants, etc.).

The UTGSU building is located at 16 Bancroft Avenue, and contains the union and Health and Dental Insurance Offices, a gym available for booking by graduate students, and the Harvest Noon Café. 16 Bancroft Avenue is also home to the GSU pub, where we of the LGCU hold our weekly pub-night (though this has currently moved online due to COVID-19).

UTGSU activities

The GSU offers many committees and caucuses to get involved with. These groups are subsumed under the union and work on a number of issues.

Some of the committees are:

  • Civics Committee

  • Environmental Justice and Sustainability Committee

  • Equity and Advocacy Committee

  • Policy and Operations Committee

  • Finance Committee

  • Grad Minds

Some of the caucuses are:

The UTGSU also puts on events throughout the year, which you can find on their event page. By far the biggest of these is the Graduate Orientation Celebration and Info Fair, which generally takes place at the beginning of the Fall semester. This is a great chance to meet other graduate students from all over the university; don’t miss it!

Grad Room

The Grad Room is currently closed due to COVID-19. However, it is usually a lounge and programming space especially for graduate students at the U of T. Located at 66 Harbord St. (the intersection of Harbord and Spadina on the St. George campus), Grad Room is furnished with a Second Cup kiosk, Wi-Fi, a comfortable workspace, and patio seating. If you’re interested in hosting a social, academic, or professional event, the Multi-Purpose Programming Space on the lower level of the Grad Room is free for grad students to book. The Grad Room’s student program assistants are also available to answer questions regarding student programming opportunities.

Grad Room also enables grad students to enhance their graduate experience with the School of Graduate Studies’ Graduate Professional Skills (GPS) program. GPS is a professional development initiative that prepares graduate students for their academic and non-academic careers through a diverse range of workshops that cultivate highly marketable skills. GPS consists of a range of optional ‘offerings’ with a time commitment roughly equivalent to 60 hours of work: GPS offerings include workshops in communication skills, personal effectiveness skills, research-related skills, and teaching competency. Successful completion of the program is recognized by a transcript notation.

To learn more about GPS and its offerings, visit the GPS website or sign up for the Grad Room’s weekly newsletter.