Skip to main content Skip to local navigation
Home » About Us » PhESSA


Our mandate is to look after the rights and interests of doctoral students in our Faculty, and through student representation on Faculty committees, to ensure students have a strong voice in the governance and direction of the PhD program.

We are a unique part of the Graduate Environmental Studies Students Association (GESSA), which represents us in some capacities with the rest of the University. PhESSA uses a consensus-based decision-making process, with two co-chairs and an executive committee elected each year to liaise between students, faculty, and staff. Our organization also has a lounge, with a limited amount of lockers, desks, and computers, and is open to all doctoral students within EUC to use during their time at York University. 

In most recent years, PhESSA members have ensured doctoral student representation while sitting on faculty committees including the Faculty Executive Committee; the PhD Program, Curriculum, and Admissions Subcommittee; the Academic Appeals Committee; the Faculty Appointment Advisory Committee; the Equity Committee; the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee; the Tenure and Promotions Commitee; the Research Committee; the Awards committee; and the committee of instruction. Our executive also has representation across all of York University through our YUGSA delegates, members of the FGS council, and the York University Senate. We also have positions related to event organizing, finances, and adjudicating our bi-annual in-faculty Research Travel Fund. 

For more information about these roles or to be put into contact with previous executive representatives, please contact

GESSA Constitution (.pdf).
PhESSA Constitution (.pdf).

York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA)

The York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA) works to improve the learning, teaching, and working environments for all graduate students at York University.

YUGSA Website

Learn More

The Graduate Program in Environmental Studies at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Assistant to learn more.