Wescoe Hall outside view


History Graduate Student Organization

The History Graduate Student Organization (HGSO) is charged with assisting the academic development of the University of Kansas’s History graduate students. To fulfill this charge, the HGSO has organized monthly Professional Development events, planned graduate student works-in-progress workshops, and organized academic conferences. The HGSO also strives to ease the transition to Graduate School for incoming students. The HGSO Mentoring Program assigns an HGSO member to each first-year graduate student, offering guidance and support to our newest cohort.

Current HGSO Executive Committee 

President: Alicia Houser

Vice President: Matt Beil

Communications Officer: Clark Terrill

Treasurer: Haoran Ni

Social Chair: Hayden Nelson


Incoming Graduate Students

Finding a place to live in a new city can be difficult. Below you will find some helpful aids and links to get your search for suitable graduate student housing started.

Things to consider when looking for housing:

  • Type of Community: undergraduate, graduate, working professionals, families, etc.
  • Proximity to Campus: The Lawrence Transit System is free for students. You might consider looking for housing that falls on one of their bus routes. Lawrence is a bike friendly city. If you plan on biking to campus, consider living on top of Mt. Oread to avoid a hilly ride. In general, this means west of campus. 
  • Noise and Traffic Concerns: If you choose housing located near Memorial Stadium or Allen Field House, please be aware that you will likely experience high noise levels and encounter difficult traffic and impossible parking on game days. Moreover, housing near Memorial Stadium is usually populated by undergraduate students, which may or may not be an ideal living situation for the reclusive and studious graduate student. In general, noise is a concern for housing located north and east of campus between around 15th and 9th streets, Iowa and Massachusetts.
  • Cost: If you are interested in sharing living expenses, a number of apartment complexes offer roommate matching services.

Graduate student-friendly locations

Property Management Companies

Locations known to be popular among undergraduate students

  • Berkley Flats
  • The Connection
  • Hawks Pointe (three different locations)
  • Legends Place
  • The Reserve

Below is a simple checklist to complete once you arrive at KU.

GTA Health Insurance

  • If you are a GTA or KU Student you may choose to purchase Health Insurance from the University. This insurance provides you discounted rates at KU's Watkin's Health Center. 


Graduate Student Resources

Article I: Name, Purpose, and Membership

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the History Graduate Student Organization of the University of Kansas

Section 2. The purpose of the History Graduate Student Organization shall be:

2.1. to act as a non-partisan organization facilitating contact between History graduate students and the faculty and staff of the Department of History, other academic departments, and the administration of the University of Kansas

2.2. to assist in the academic development of History graduate students

2.3. to assist in the social communication of History graduate students

Section 3. Membership

3.1. Membership in this organization shall be open to all graduate students within the Department of History at the University of Kansas

3.2. No person shall, on the grounds of race, creed, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or such other factors that cannot be considered lawfully, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity within this organization.

Article II: Officer Qualifications, Designations, & Duties

Section 1. All officers must be graduate degree-seeking students within the Department of History of the University of Kansas.

Section 2. The Executive Committee officers of this organization shall consist of the following:

2.1. President

2.2. Vice-President

2.3. Communications Officer

2.4. Treasurer

2.5. Social Chair

Section 3. The graduate members of the Advisory Board and Staff Needs committee shall be appointed by the President and hold full departmental voting status.

Section 4. The role of the Executive Committee:

4.1. Shall be the planning and legislative body

4.2. Shall fulfill the policies enacted by this organization

4.3. Shall have the executive power to initiate programs and activities for all members 

4.4. Shall send one member to each general meeting to keep history graduate students informed of union activities

Section 5. Duties of the President

5.1. Shall be to preside at and conduct all meetings

5.2. Shall act as the official host and representative of this organization in campus functions

5.3. Shall be responsible for implementing legislation enacted by this organization

5.4. Shall be responsible, with the consultation of the Executive Council, to see that this constitution is adhered to

5.5. Shall be responsible for the HGSO binder

5.6. Shall act as contact point for incoming graduate students in the History Department

Section 6. Duties of the Vice-President

6.1. Shall fulfill the duties of the President as defined in Section 5 during the absence or incapacity of the President

6.2. Shall oversee ad hoc or special committees as created by the Executive Committee

6.3. Shall serve as the HGSO representative on the Graduate Student Advisory Board (GSAB) 

6.4. Shall be responsible for coordinating professionalization and academic development.


Section 7. Communications officer

7.1. Shall be responsible for maintaining accurate minutes of all meetings

7.2. Shall be responsible for correspondence to other organizations and individuals

7.3. Shall be responsible for communicating decisions and events of this organization to the History graduate student body

7.4 Shall collect department committee meeting minutes, and HGSO meeting minutes for the HGSO binder

7.5. Shall manage election voting


Section 8. Duties of the Treasurer

8.1. Shall keep a record of the finances of this organization

8.2. Shall be responsible for the distribution of funds required for the implementation of events and decisions passed by this organization

8.3. Shall facilitate fund raising activities if needed, with the assistance of the committee


Section 9. Duties of the Social Chair

9.1. Shall be responsible for initiating and planning social functions for the entirety of the HGSO membership

9.2. Shall be responsible for communicating social events of this organization to its members 

Article III: Election Rules & Regulations

Section 1. Elections shall be held on an annual basis, taking place each April at a time to be determined by the Executive Committee

1.1. Elected officers shall serve for one year

1.2. There shall be no limit to the number of terms served by each officer

Section 2. For the week prior to the holding of elections, nominations shall be accepted for officer positions. All members of this organization shall be eligible, and nominations must be submitted in writing to a current member of the Executive Committee. Self-nominations shall be accepted. Members are not eligible for candidacy in more than one position. Any member nominated for multiple positions shall be consulted by the Executive Committee prior to elections in order to determine their preference for a particular position.

Section 3. Elections shall be held over a one week period. Elections will open on Monday. One ballot shall be distributed by the Communications Officer to each member, and must be returned by the close of the Department of History on the second day of voting in order to be counted. Those nominated members receiving the most votes for a specific position shall be declared the winner. In the event of a tie, the winner shall be determined by the flip of a coin, preferably a quarter.

Article IV: Removal & Succession

Section 1. Removal

1.1. Excessive violation of or disregard for the constitution of this organization and/or dereliction of duty shall be grounds for removal proceedings against any of the elected officers

1.2. The general membership shall vote on the removal resolution

1.3. Removal shall be accomplished by a 2/3 majority of all members present for removal proceedings

1.4. Removal proceedings may be initiated by any voting member of the organization

Section 2. Succession

2.1. In the event of removal, resignation, or vacancy of any elected officer, their responsibilities shall be fulfilled by another member of the executive committee, with the Vice-President accepting executive duties in the case of presidential removal, until a special election may be held to fill that position

Article V: Committees & Appointments

Section 1. Graduate Representatives

1.1. This organization shall have the power to determine graduate representatives on departmental committees

1.2. A call for volunteers to serve as such representatives shall be issued at the beginning of each fall semester. The responsibilities of committee members shall be described in detail in the call for representatives. In the event of a tie, graduates will be offered an alternate committee position. If no alternate positions are available, the decision will be made by a coin toss, preferably a Kansas quarter, absolutely not a Missouri Quarter. Review of volunteers and determination of appointees shall be reserved to the Executive Committee

1.3 Student representatives from each committee will be responsible for taking committee meeting minutes. Committees with multiple graduate representatives shall designate one note taker per meeting


Article VI: Amendments

Section 1. Any amendment to this constitution must be approved by a unanimous vote of the Executive Committee

Article VII: Ratification

Section 1. A simple majority of votes cast by members of this organization shall be sufficient for the ratification and implementation of this Constitution


Funding Opportunities

Potential graduate students who wish to be considered for funding through the History Department should indicate their interest by checking the appropriate place on the online admission application. Insofar as Department resources allow, all students who are admitted for fulltime study, except those who have secured external funding on their own, are provided with a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA). Foreign students whose native language is not English are eligible to hold a GTA, provided they meet the University's and the Department's standards for written and spoken English. Students are also encouraged to seek GTA positions in other deparments. Graduate students have successfully been appointed to positions in the Humanities and Western Civilization Department and the Environmental Studies Department.

Applicants who indicate that they are seeking Department funding will automatically be considered for nomination for University-wide fellowships and grants for entering graduate students if such funds are available. Graduate Studies offers a limited number of fellowships and supplemental scholarships for first-year students. Some are specifically reserved for minority students, and applicants who identify themselves as members of minority categories can be considered for these awards. Graduate students in African, East Asian and Russian/East European history are strongly urged to apply simultaneously for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships from the appropriate KU Area Studies centers. FLAS fellowships provide recipients with tuition remission and a stipend while they pursue their degree program and enroll in formal language study.

Students are often encouraged to apply for external, non-departmental funding beginning in their first year of study. Non-deparmental and external funding does not count towards departmental funding and have the extra benefit of allowing students more time for research and writing without the responsibility of teaching. Various sources of external funding are available to students. Discuss with your advisor the most suitable opportunities and specific time frame for external funding.

Below you will find a list of external and non-departmental funding sources. This is a general, non-comprehensive list. Students should seek funding opportunities specific to their field of study in coordination with their advisor.