GSO Representative Training

Welcome to the GSO general assembly! Below, you’ll find information relevant to your responsibilities as a departmental representative. Go over requirements and application review policies, and then quiz yourself on representative expectations with the questions we’ve provided at the end of each module. 

Expectations & Responsibilities

This module will familiarize you with the expectations and responsibilities of GSO Program Representatives

Program representatives are expected to:

  • Attend every GSO General Assembly meeting and Grants & Awards Review Session (review sessions always immediately follow General Assembly meetings during the regular 10-month academic school).
  • The GSO holds GA meetings in June and July — attendance is required, however there are no review sessions during these months.
  • If a program representative is unable to attend a General Assembly meeting due to having their Grants and Awards application being reviewed, scheduling conflicts, illness, family emergency, etc., they must find an alternate to attend in their place. 

Program representatives are expected to

  • Share all information from the General Assembly meetings and/or GSO Executive Council Committee with their constituents.
    • All correspondence to representatives will be sent from the GSO secretary.

Program representatives are expected to:

  • Represent their program and its constituents in voting opportunities on GSO business.
    • Program representatives are often asked to vote on important issues on behalf of their constituents at GSO General Assembly meetings. Their vote must reflect the consensus of the program, not their own personal views.
    • The GSO Executive Council will provide all necessary information fro the representatives to fully inform their constituents of the issue and successfully tally votes to reach a consensus.
    • Program constituent opinion can be easily collected using email or a third-party polling application (i.e. SurveyMonkey or Google Forms)

Program representatives are expected to:

  • Uphold all University Student Conduct and Confidentiality Policies.
    • The University of Hawaii at Manoa Student Conduct Code can be found here.
    • The University of Hawaii at Manoa Confidentiality Notice, which requires a signature from all recently hired Graduate Assistants, can be found here.
  • Program representatives review personal applications from their Color Groups for funding. While all identifying information is redacted prior to their review, all discussion of applicants and their applications must be restricted to the Review Session. This includes being conscientious of pronoun use when referring to the applicant (i.e.: Use “the applicant,” rather than “she” or “he”).
  • Be conscientious about discussing information not provided by the applicant, but that may be beneficial to the applicant, while not revealing their identity.
    • For example: A representative may want to emphasize that an applicant is nearing graduation and never received GSO funding before.
    • Also, for example: It would be inappropriate for an representative to discuss an applicant’s marital status or parenthood.

New Rep Training - Responsibilities

These questions are meant to help you review the information available via the modules concerning the responsibilities and expectations of a GSO representative.

Grants & Awards Application Instructions & Policies 

This module will familiarize you with the policies and procedures for submitting a successful application for funding from the GSO Grants & Awards program. While this module covers the basics of the Grants & Award Program, the complete GSO Grants & Awards Application Instructions and Policies should be reviewed for more detailed information.

  • Applicants who pay the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) Student Fee are eligible for funding. It is automatically paid as part of semesterly fees (appears as MAN GSO Fee on your bill). Please check the current Program List for all eligible degree and certificate programs.

How to Submit an Application

  • All applications must be submitted electronically here.
  • Once the applicant has submitted the first page, an email will be sent to the address provided with a recovery link, which allows applicants to stop and save their application, and make changes.

Application Deadlines

  • There are ten opportunities to apply for funding during the academic year: Once per month, 5 times during the fall semester and 5 times during the spring semester.​
  • The application must be submitted no more than six months before the proposed activity begins or six months after the proposed activity ended.

What can be Funded

  • Up to $1000 for domestic projects and $2000 for international projects. Applications requesting more than the maximums will not be reviewed.
  • The following items can be funded:
    • Professional conference travel or attendance, including airfare, accommodations, and registration fees.
    • Professional development, i.e. workshop or special course attendance
    • Research travel and materials.
  • The following items can NOT be funded:
    • Per Diem
    • Food
    • Ground Transportation
    • Personal Expenditures.

The GSO Grants & Award Application requires:

1. An anonymous cover letter,

2. An anonymous technical abstract (

3. An anonymous non-technical abstract (

4. An anonymous, itemized GSO Budget Form,

5. An anonymous Budget Justification (

6. Two anonymous letters of recommendation, and

7. A redacted (i.e. anonymous) conference letter of acceptance, if applicable.

Please note that Color Groups may have their own requirements of supplementary materials, which may include cost comparisons for flights, accommodations, research materials, etc. Each semester we ask that Color Groups revise their policies (found on the GSO Application Review Laulima Page) to reflect any changes to the group’s requirements. These requirements are not published and thus we ask representatives to communicate them to their constituents to increase fundability of their applications.

Application Deadlines

Applications are due two weeks prior to a GSO General Assembly meeting by 11:59pm Hawai‘i Standard Time in order to be reviewed at that General Assembly.

  • Due dates can be found and downloaded here.
  • Corrections, missing documents, and letters of recommendation are due one week prior to the meeting for the application to be eligible for review.
  • If additional documents and/or corrections are not received in accordance with these deadlines, the application will be reviewed at a subsequent meeting once the application is complete.
  • Applicants with missing required application documents and/or letters of recommendation will be automatically declined within one week after the last meeting of the semester in which the application was submitted.
  • For graduate students who are in their semester of graduation, applications will only be considered if they are received at least two months prior to graduation and for conferences that will take place within a month after graduation.

Application Review Policies

1. Applications are reviewed by members of the General Assembly and GSO G&A Committee, which is composed of Program representatives. Program Representatives are clustered into Color Groups based on general overlap and similarity of program focus in order to most effectively review applications.

2. The Color Groups’ decisions for each application are final and there is no appeal process.

4. In 2006, the GSO Assembly adopted a “no representative, no review” policy. For an application to be reviewed, the representative of the program to which the applicant belongs must be present. If an application has not been reviewed because of the absence of a representative, the application will be held until the next review session and will not be reviewed until the program representative attends the review session.

5. The GSO Color Groups shall fund approved proposals a minimum of $250 for domestic projects or $500 for international projects, unless the total requested is under the minimum, and a maximum of $1000 for domestic projects and $2000 for international projects.

6. The Color Groups may partially fund approved proposals as long as there is no partial funding of a Category on the Itemized Budget Form, unless fully funding the subtotal would exceed the Color Group’s available funds for the academic year. If no meritorious proposals are forthcoming for a given month, Color Groups may choose not to award funding.

7. Color Groups’ available funds are calculated each semester, and is based on the average fraction of students enrolled in each program and of requested funding from the previous academic year.

8. A student can only receive partial funding if they request funding in multiple Categories. If there is a request for funding of multiple categories, the Color Group can choose to partially fund the application by funding one of the items and not all of them. However, if an applicant only applies for funding of one Category, then the Color Group can only fully fund or decline the application.

New Rep Training - GA Policies

These questions are meant to help you review the information available via the modules concerning the responsibilities and expectations of a GSO representative.

New Rep Training - Examples

These questions are meant to help you review the information available via the modules concerning the responsibilities and expectations of a GSO representative.