Within your college*, there are departments and/or schools. For example, within the College of Arts and Sciences, there is a Department of Political Science, and within the College of Fine Arts, there is a School of Film. However, when referring to departments and schools, GSS and most university officials typically refer to them both as "departments".
Within departments, there is a department chair and graduate directors for every graduate degree grant program. Therefore there is no such thing as a "graduate department chair" or even "graduate departments". Instead, there are graduate programs within departments headed by a graduate director (who is a faculty member).
Within your department, there may be a Graduate Committee, headed by your graduate director. The purpose of this committee is to create department policies for graduate education and to select prospective student applicants. Some graduate committees within departments permit graduate students (from within the department) to sit on that committee.
Sitting on your graduate committee can be a a very important and rewarding experience. We encourage you to contact your graduate director for more information.
Department Student Associations
Many colleges and departments have student associations. For example, the College of Health and Human Services has a "senate" for their graduate students. The Department of Physics has a "student association" for all physics graduate students. These organizations are very important in helping with graduate student concerns and to promote social activities. Contact your department chair or graduate director to see if your department has a student association. If not, you should create one yourself by registering it as an official OU student organization. Click here for more info.