Below are the bios of all of the candidates standing for the GSS Executive elections.
Director of External Relations
My name is Matthew McDonald and I’m running for the position of the Graduate Student Society’s Director of External Relations. I’m a third year PhD student in the economics department, and I’m looking forward to getting involved in the important discussion and decision-making that takes place at the GSS and impacts all of us graduate students in various ways.
I am not interested in holding this position just to get a CV line item: the Director of External Relations position offers many opportunities to advocate for and improve the well-being of graduate students by increasing the resources and services available to them, and I intend to take full advantage of those opportunities. Metro Vancouver is in the midst of an affordability crisis that particularly affects those enrolled in graduate programs at SFU. By reaching out to government representatives as well as other, similarly-minded student groups, I can help find solutions for housing, childcare, and funding assistance, all tailored to the lives and experiences of graduate students.
Thank you for considering me for this important position. If elected, you will be able to count on me as a steadfast advocate for the interests of SFU graduate students during these financially stressful times.
I am Bugrahan Ceylan, graduate student in M.A. in Political Science Dep. I graduated from the Turkish Naval Academy in 2014, with a B.A. in International Relations. I worked in different positions as an officer in the Navy for almost four years. I joined the SFU in Fall 2018. I study over Pacific Sea Maritime Trade Security. I love soccer, snowboarding and latin dances.
I will do my best to contribute to the Graduate Student Society by representing and defending the interests of the Society and the Simon Fraser University outside. My general policy is going to be “ensuring the maximum utility in external representations”. Service in the best interest of our Society and University is going to be my honorable priority.
As an MSc Finance candidate at SFU, I’m facing my share of challenges head on and they’ve made me empathetic towards every student’s needs. We’re all in the same boat and as the Director of External Relations, I want to ensure that this boat emerges out of all the storms through the support of all internal and external bodies that want the best for us. Through monthly surveys, access to my personal email and availability to meet students personally, I will proactively address situations that can be an obstacle to making our graduate school journey a meaningful one. I aim to increase the overall ranking of SFU through my contribution.
Director of Finance:
That is the essence of struggle, we never get tired of failure. We all know our limitations, still we try to surpass our better selves, to become the best that we can be. Even if we can’t, the journey is always worth it.
Now, I am on a journey to be the Director of Finance at GSS.
Director of Graduate Services:
Hello, I’m Nicholas Page – your candidate for Director of Graduate Programs. As a former Paramedic, Constituency Assistant, and M.A. candidate in the School for International Studies I bring with me years of experience in mental health, public safety, public policy, and governance. It is my goal to use this experience to enhance our current graduate programs, while also implementing new initiatives.These include:
- Improving accessibility to existing mental wellness programs;
- Enhancing our current UPASS benefits – lobbying for greater West Coast Express Discounts, free Park & Ride Services, grace periods, and a long-term rate freeze;
- Creation of a discount food & grocery program – utilising ‘waste’ food that isn’t truly waste on campus, and harnessing the buying power of the university and its supply chains to better serve students and increase sustainability.
- Renewing the Holiday Hamper Program with support from Private Donors & the Private Sector
In addition, I will work closely with fellow Directors to enhance our legal aid program by working with non-profits, and review recent enhancements and changes to the benefits plan to ensure you are seeing the positive results you deserve.
These goals will be achieved in a fiscally-responsible manner, with no new spending being implied – thus safeguarding the Society’s economic future.
I look forward to seeing all of you in the coming weeks! Please feel free to get in touch – I would love to hear your comments and suggestions. I can be reached via email at email@example.com anytime.
Director of University Relations:
Faculty of Environment Graduate Student, SFU Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Alumnus
My name is Thomas Budd. It is my privilege to stand as your candidate for Director of University Relations. 2018 represents my sixth year of advocating for students at SFU. I have had the honour to serve on the SFU Board of Governors, SFU Senate, as President of the SFU Economics Student Society, and various university governance committees. As an active participant within the SFU community for the past half decade, I bring a depth of understanding on how to represent your interests to the SFU Administration in a way that fosters inclusivity and open dialogue.
- Affordable housing for graduate students: Graduate student housing is not scheduled to expand until 2028. I will work with the administration in finding a balanced approach that will advance the date when new housing units become available to graduate students.
- Supervision for the 21st century: I will work with SFU as part of their student experience initiative to improve the supervisory experience for graduate students.
- Standardization of student representation at SFU: I will advocate for a uniform approach to student engagement across faculties and departments that supports meaningful student consultation practices.
I will continuously seek your advice and ensure your message is heard by SFU’s highest executives. With your support, we can continue to build an SFU that reflects our values and remain responsive to our needs as students.