Skip to main content
Student Services – Student Government Français | Print

York Federation of Students (YFS)

Location: 336 Student Centre, Tel.: 416-736-5324, Fax: 416-736-5827, e-mail:
Web site:
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday – 10am to 6pm

The York Federation of Students is dedicated to the representation and support of the student movement at York University. It is a democratic, non-profit, service-oriented organization committed to working towards a university environment wherein members of the federation (all undergraduate students) can pursue academic excellence as well as personal and social growth free from all forms of discrimination and harassment.

YFS is committed to universally accessible postsecondary education and rejects all impediments to postsecondary education including, but not limited to, financial constraints through tuition fees, residence costs, streaming and discrimination based upon gender, race, sexual orientation, class, religion, colour, ethnicity, nationality, geographic location, state of health or age.

The federation strives for the highest quality of postsecondary education available. It supports student organizations, on and off campus, which promotes its stated principle.

The federation offers many services, including a health plan, a student datebook, a courtesy phone, five cent photocopies and free International Student Identity Cards and Student Saver Cards.

YFS is located in 336 Student Centre, 416-736-5324. Come and visit for more information.

College and Faculty Student Governments

Student governments take different forms in each of the colleges and the Faculties but have the same general goal - to serve their student members using funds made available to them each year and to represent their interests in a variety of dealings with the University Faculties, service offices and departments, both academic and administrative.

Graduate Student Governments

At the graduate level, the student governments are the Graduate Students’ Association, the Graduate Business Council, and the Graduate Environmental Studies Students’ Association. Each of these organizations collects an annual levy from its members to finance its activities and programs. Student societies receive over one million dollars of support in this way. Annual elections within each unit provide the executive officer group which is responsible for the administration and accounting for these funds. Many of these organizations publish newspapers and newsletters to inform their members about their services and programs.

Other Student Organizations

Several student organizations receive annual levies from their constituents: Excalibur Publications, CHRY North York Community Radio, Community and Legal Aid Services Program (CLASP), ProTem, Theatre Glendon, Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) (refundable), Glendon Women's Centre, York Women’s Centre (refundable), Sexual Assault Survivor’s Support Line (SASSL) (refundable) and World University Services of Canada (WUSC) (refundable). These organizations are subject to the same financial reporting requirements as student governments. Constitutions and financial reports of these councils are public documents and are available through the Centre for Student Community and Leadership Development (SCLD), or the office of the individual organization.

Student Representation on University Committees

The participation of students in the governance of the University is an important element in effective decision making and policy development at York University. Students are entitled to participate as full voting members on the Board of Governors, the University Senate, Faculty Councils and other bodies. The system of governance established by the York University Act is bicameral, with two central governing bodies: the Board of Governors and the Senate. Decision-making powers are divided and/or shared among the Chancellor, the President, the Board and the Senate and some of these powers are delegated to or shared with other bodies.

The Board of Governors. The Board of Governors is vested by the York Act with authority for the “government, conduct, management and control of the University and of its property, revenues, expenditures, business and affairs”. The board consists of 30 members in addition to the President and the Chancellor. There are two designated seats on the board for students. By agreement of the board and the Student Senator Caucus, the selection of one student nominee each year has been done through a process of popular election among registered York University students, usually held in the spring. Upon election, the student's nomination must be confirmed by the Student Senator Caucus and recommended to the board. The term of office is two years. The board conducts much of its business through committees such as the Finance and Audit Committee, the Academic Resources Committee, Land and Property Committee, the Investment Committee and Community Affairs Committee.

The Senate. The Senate is responsible for the academic policy of the University, including the recommendation to establish new Faculties and colleges, admission standards, student aid policies, the establishment of degrees and diplomas and the structure and content of all academic programs. It is composed of the Chancellor, the President, the Chair and representatives of the Board of Governors, vice-presidents, deans, department Chairs and elected faculty members from each Faculty with some representation from other groups both inside and outside the University. Students are elected to the senate through their Faculty Councils. Students are represented on most senate committees, examples of which include Executive; Tenure and Promotion; Senate Appeals; Academic Policy, Planning and Research; Academic Standards, Curriculum and Pedagogy; and Awards.

Faculty Councils. York University consists of 11 Faculties and each has a Faculty Council which is responsible for making decisions on the variety of matters affecting the curriculum and academic policies of the Faculty. Each Faculty Council is a committee of senate and has, in turn, a number of council committees on which students sit as members. More details on the specific structure and student participation in a Faculty Council may be obtained through the office of the secretary of the council in your Faculty.

Students are also members of a variety of advisory and decision-making bodies throughout the University. Information about these positions can be obtained by contacting academic units or administrative offices. General questions about student participation in university governance should be directed to the University Secretariat (