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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Opportunities for Student Involvement

AOS Handbook: Student Involvement

As a graduate student at UW-Madison, you have a multitude of opportunities to become involved on campus and in your academic discipline. This involvement enhances your academic, professional, and social development. AOS graduate students are fully-fledged members of the department and expected to participate in all areas of academic life.

The AOS Graduate Student Association (GSA) serves as the department organization that represents the interests of graduate students. GSA elects student representatives onto faculty committees, organizes prospective student recruiting, mentoring and outreach programs, and department seminar series. It is in your best interest to attend and participate at GSA meetings.

The Associated Students of Madison (ASM) is composed of roughly 50 elected or appointed students, 50 student employees, 12 professional staff members, and 200 student appointees on committees that hold legal rights to recommend university policies, budgets, and candidates for UW employment. ASM allocates approximately $51 million in segregated university fees each year and is responsible for management of the Student Activity Center, distribution of the student bus pass, and the day to day operations of StudentPrint. ASM is not a Registered Student Organization. The roles of ASM can be divided into three categories: direct action, governance, and service.

Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA)

  • The Teaching Assistants’ Association (AFT Local 3220) is the labor union for TAs and PAs at UW-Madison. As a result of decades of organizing and by working together as a union, graduate students at UW-Madison have achieved good health benefits, tuition remission, and many other gains.  The TAA is a democratic union run by the members. All key policy decisions are made at monthly membership meetings.

Registered Student Organizations

There are more than 750 student organizations on campus. The best way to seek out current organizations is to visit the Center for Leadership and Involvement (CFLI) website, and visit the Registered Student Organization directory. This list will not include unregistered student organizations, and you may find that there are groups in your department that you would like to get involved with as well. If you are interested in officially registering an organization you are involved, you must register. Once registered through CFLI, your organization is eligible for funding from ASM, and your group can reserve rooms in the Union and access other resources.

Department Activities

The department hosts a number of academic and social gatherings throughout the semester. Weekly events include the department colloquium series on Monday afternoons, the department seminar series on Wednesday afternoons, and the weekly weather watch on Friday noon. Students are expected to attend Monday and Wednesday seminar series, and occasionally present at the department seminar. Weather watch is an informal activity focused on forecasting of upcoming phenomena. In addition, there are annual events such as the Robock Lecture, the AOS/AMS Solstice Party, the AOSS building-wide poster session that are excellent events for getting to know colleagues, presenting your research, and socializing with other students.

Outreach and Community Connections

The Wisconsin Idea is the principle that education should influence and improve people’s lives beyond the university classroom. For more than 100 years, this idea has guided the university’s work. Learn how you can get involved through Public Service.

The Morgridge Center for Public Service connects campus with community through service, active civic engagement, community-based learning and research, and more.

The AOS GSA has an outreach committee that can put you in touch with local school groups, non-profits, and other agencies looking for volunteers to help or present science activities.

Engagement with the Graduate School

The Graduate School facilitates opportunities by which graduate students can interact with and provide feedback to leadership on important graduate education topics. Email to find out more.

AOS Related Centers and Institutes

AOS is connected to many research centers on campus, many of which are in our building. See here for more information.