Graduate Environmental Studies Students’ Association (GESSA)

The Graduate Environmental Studies Students’ Association (GESSA) is the student-run organization for Master’s students in the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) at York University. Representing about 200 Master’s students, GESSA is one of the largest governance bodies for graduate students at York University and an associate member organization of the York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA). All Master’s of Environmental Studies (MES) students are members of GESSA and are entitled to the use of its resources and services.

The annually-elected Executive (elections occur annually in November) coordinates the general activities of GESSA, organizes all programming and events, and acts as liaisons between administration, faculty, and students as needed. GESSA nominates MES students (nominations occur annually in September) to serve as representatives for the student body on various FES and York University governance bodies; this helps to ensure that the interests of MES students are considered in the decision-making processes of committees, councils, and the Senate. GESSA sponsors various student-led initiatives and community building activities such as Undercurrents, a peer-reviewed environmental journal collectively run by students and faculty and Maloca Community Garden (located in the southwest corner of campus), made up of organic communal and individual plots. Each semester, GESSA also provides funding for conferences and research through the Research and Travel Fund (RTF).

A door entry code is required to access this room; MES students can obtain the code by contacting GESSA (

GESSA holds general meetings on campus on a regular basis at which students are encouraged to participate, and opinions, comments, and ideas are always welcomed. GESSA communicates with their members though FES listserv emails, Facebook, posters, as well as regular office hours for each Executive member (posted on the office door).

For more information or to get involved, please drop by our office during office hours at HNES 136B (across from the main floor lounge), email us at and “like” us on Facebook!


From March 24-27, 2014, a referendum was held to determine the future of GESSA fees. MES students vote in favour of a fee increase. We have kept the referendum documents accessible to ensure that every MES student stays informed about the issues. Thank you for voting!

Referendum Newsletter

GESSA Referendum Brochure

Referendum Campaign Poster