Department of Political Studies


Political Studies

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Political Studies Graduate Student Association (PSGSA)

About Us

The Political Studies Graduate Student Association (PSGSA) is the representative and social organization of the Department’s graduate students. The PSGSA meets monthly to discuss matters such as departmental hires, representation in University government, and equity issues, as well as to plan social activities that help maintain a sense of community amongst members of the Department.


All Political Studies graduate students are members of the PSGSA, and have the right to vote on major decisions such as the election of the executive, which is comprised of the Chair, the Social Committee, and a variety of different representative positions on committees throughout the Department and the University.

For more information contact Linda Mussel, Jacob Robbins-Kanter, or visit the PSGSA Website.

Connect with the PSGSA on Wordpress

Chairs & Committees

Secretary Co-Chairpersons 
Linda Mussel
Jacob Robbins-Kanter

Department Meeting Representative
Linda Mussel (PhD; Co-Chair)
Jacob Robbins-Kanter (PhD; Co-Chair)
Sarah Sharma (PhD)
Douglas Yearwood (MA)

Graduate Committee Representative
Jeffrey Rice (PhD)
​Nastasia Bassili (MA)

Undergraduate Committee Representative 
Rebecca Wallace

Appointments & Staffing Representative 
Thomas Hughes

Renewal, Tenure, Promotion Representative 
Marin Beck

Equity Issues Committee Representative
Linda Mussell
Jayson Derow

PSAC 901 - Union Shop Steward
Linda Mussell
Samantha Twietmeyer

SGPS Representative
Korey Pasch

Colloquium Committee Representative 
Rebecca Wallace

Ethics Review Board Representative
Patricia Mockler

Social Committee 
David Walsh-Pickering
Jacob Robbins-Kanter
Elizabeth Mccallion 
* If you are interested in serving on the social committee please contact David Walsh-Pickering, Emma Paszat, or Korey Pasch.


PSGSA Queen's University At Kingston

(Approved by Referendum, October 7, 1985)
(Amended by Annual General Meeting, January 16, 1986)
(Amended by Annual General Meeting, January 8, 1991)
(Amended by Annual General Meeting, January 16, 1992)
(Amended by Annual General Meeting, February 12, 1998)

Article 1: The Association

  • The name of this organization is the Political Studies Graduate Student Association. Herein referred to as the PSGSA or the Association.
  • The objectives of the Association shall be:
  1. To contribute to the intellectual growth and cultural development of the Department of Political Studies and the Queen’s University community.
  2. To represent the interests of its membership within the University.
  3. To promote and co-ordinate the interests of its membership.
  4. To serve as a medium of communication between its members and other University organizations.

Article 2: Membership

  • All students in the Department of Political Studies currently registered with the School of Graduate Studies and Research at Queen’s University shall enjoy all of the rights and privileges of membership in the PSGSA.

Article 3: Annual General Meeting

  • The Annual General Meeting of the PSGSA shall be held on the third Thursday of January.

Article 4: Secretary-Chairperson

  • The members present at the Annual General Meeting shall elect a Secretary-Chairperson from among the membership of the Association.
  • In the event of his or her absence, the Secretary-Chairperson shall designate an alternate Secretary-Chairperson. In the event that such a designation is not made, the Association shall elect an alternate Secretary-Chairperson.
  • The duties of the Secretary-Chairperson or alternate Secretary-Chairperson shall include:
  • Chairing all meetings of the Association 
  • Setting the date and time of all meetings of the Association 
  • Circulating notices of all meetings of the Association o Recording and filing minutes of meetings of the Association or appointing a minute taker
  • Corresponding with other University bodies as instructed by the Association
  • Control and responsibility for any financial assets of the Association in coordination with the Association’s Social Committee
  • In the event of the resignation of the Secretary-Chairperson a by-election shall be held to fill the position pro-tem.

Article 5: Meetings

  • The Association shall meet at least once a month immediately prior to regular Departmental or Graduate Studies Committee Meetings.
  • Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order.
  • There shall be an Orientation Meeting each September.

Article 6: Quorum

  • The quorum for all meetings of the Association shall be nine on-campus members of the Association.
  • The quorum for the Annual General Meeting shall be equal to one-third of the on-campus membership of the Association.
  • IF at any meeting of the PSGSA (including the Annual General Meeting) quorum is not attained, then another meeting of the Association shall be held one week later, with proper notice given to all members. This second meeting shall be treated as valid irrespective of any quorum requirements.

Article 7: Elections

  • At its first regular meeting in September the Association shall elect delegates and alternates for terms of one (1) year to:
  • The Graduate Student Society (1)
  • The Graduate Studies Committee (3 MA, 3 PhD) 
  • The Departmental Meeting (1 MA, 1 PhD)
  • The Graduate Students Complaint Committee (2)
  • The Equity Issues Committee (2 – 1 male, 1 female)
  • The appointments and Staffing Committee (1)
  • The Personnel Committee (Tenure, Renewal, Promotion) (1)
  • Any other body requiring or requesting representatives of Graduate Students of the Department of Political Studies
  • As well as selecting members of the Association’s Social Committee (2-4).
  • In the event of the resignation of any delegate or alternate, by-elections shall be held at the first possible meeting.

Article 8: Instructions To Delegates

  • Persons elected to positions by the Association shall:
  • Act as delegates of the Association to the bodies to which they are elected
  • Express the wishes of graduate students as established by the Association in accordance with its Constitution
  • Report to the Association as fully as possible the issues and concerns raised on those bodies
  • Seek instruction from the Association on all matters affecting its membership
  • Notwithstanding any of the above, when instructed by the Association, present only the views authorized by the Association.
  • Any persons elected by the PSGSA may be recalled at any time by a two-thirds vote of members attending a meeting of the Association
  • Any PSGSA delegate absent without cause or having failed to notify their alternate of their absence from two consecutive PSGSA meetings or to consecutive meetings of the body to which they are delegate shall be understood to have relinquished their responsibilities as a graduate student delegate and a by-election held to fill the vacated position(s).

Article 9: Minutes

  • Minutes of all decisions made at all meetings of the Association shall be made available to any member of the Association

Article 10: Notice of Meetings

  • Notice of all meetings of the Association must be circulated in writing (e-mail or hard copy in Departmental mailbox) to every on-campus member of the Association as indicated by the Department On-Campus Graduate Student list at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of each meeting.

Article 11: Constitutional Amendments

  • Amendments to this Constitution shall be made by two-thirds majority vote at the Annual General Meeting or by Referendum.
  • All proposed Constitutional Amendments shall be circulated in writing to each member of the Association at least one week prior to the Annual General Meeting or by Referendum.
  • Constitutional Referendums shall proceed as follows:
  • A two-thirds majority vote at a regular or special meeting of the Association shall be required for a Referendum to be held.
  • Amendments to the Constitution by Referendum shall be adopted if they receive a two-thirds majority vote in favour, providing at least one-half of the membership has cast ballots.

Article 12: Bylaws and Policy

  • From time to time the Association may adopt bylaws and policies at its meetings
  • Bylaws shall be approved or amended only upon two-thirds majority vote of those members attending a meeting of the Association
  • Policies shall be approved or amended upon simple majority vote of those members attending a meeting of the Association
  • In the event of a conflict between a bylaw or policy and the Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail
  • In the event of a conflict between a policy and a bylaw, a bylaw shall prevail

Article 13: Special Meetings

  • Upon receipt of a petition signed by at least five (5) members of the Association requesting a special meeting of the Association, the Secretary-Chairperson shall call such a meeting
  • Notice of any Special Meeting shall be circulated to each member of the Association at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of said meeting

Professional Development & Resources


Affiliated Organizations

Queen’s University


Incoming Graduate Student Information

Welcome to the Department of Political Studies, and congratulations on your acceptance! The purpose of this page is to provide incoming graduate students with some of the information that they will need to make a smooth transition to life in Kingston and their studies at Queen’s.

Housing in Kingston

There are several online services that are helpful when you are looking for housing in Kingston.

Queen's Community Housing has information on Queen's owned building complex (An Clachan) and apartment building (John Orr Tower) that are geared to graduate students.

The Queen’s Town-Gown Relations website offers a very comprehensive list of resources including a useful map which should give you an idea of how far the places that you find are from campus.  Most of the graduate students in our department live in zones 2 or 3 on the map.  

The Kingston Whig-Standard’s classified ads are also a good source for listings.

Other options include the Society of Graduate and Professional Students Housing Listing Service, and the Alma Mater Society’s Marketplace site.  Both of these list requests for roommates as well.

In Ontario, tenants are required to give 60 days notice before they move out, so most September vacancies will not be advertised until the beginning of July.  The Queen’s International Centre has some useful information on what to keep in mind while you’re looking for a place to live in Kingston.  For information on your rights and obligations as a renter in Ontario, please visit the Landlord and Tenant Board's website.

The Student Affairs website includes a section on student safety and community living. Included is information, resources, and tips on how to keep safe while on and off campus. 


You will receive information on registration over the summer months from the School of Graduate Studies and the Registrar's Office.

There are two ways to pay tuition as a graduate student. See Registrar’s Office website for further information on both options (Cash and PPL - pre-authorized payment plan) and important dates. 

For those graduate students paying tuition by CASH, if you do not make payment by September 1st a late payment penalty will incur. However, if eligible, you may make Alternate Payment Arrangements (APA). This form must be submitted mid-July to mid-August. For those students paying tuition through PPL the first tuition payment will be deducted from your fees account in October. For exact dates, on either option, please see the Registrar's Office website.


Graduate students cannot register themselves in their courses through the student system (SOLUS). All course registration must go through the Graduate Assistant. Political Studies courses will then be entered into the system. Courses from other departments will need to be requested by an Academic Change form, which the Graduate Assistant will assist in preparing to take to the appropriate department for instructor signature. 


All graduate students in our department are represented by the Political Studies Graduate Student Association (PSGSA) at the department and university level, and by the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) at the university and community level. 

For more information on the activities of the PSGSA and who to contact about issues within its mandate, please browse the options on the left-side menu.  For more information about the SGPS, please visit its website.

Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows at Queen’s are now unionized. The Collective Agreement can be found on Human Resources website.

Orientation Week

The first week of September is Orientation Week.  The School of Graduate Studies (SGS), PSGSA, and the SGPS organize several welcome events for incoming students. The department holds a Teaching Assistant workshop and each incoming graduate student will meet briefly with the Graduate Chair to discuss course selection.

The department hosts a reception for all graduate students, new and incoming, and faculty in mid-September.

Contact information

All administrative questions about the department’s graduate program should be directed to the Department’s Graduate Assistant.