Maggie Benston Centre, #2203, 8888 University Dr, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6

GSS October 2018 Newsletter


Hello Grads,

Welcome to the September GSS Newsletter!

If you’d like to share your ideas, questions, and concerns with the GSS, or if you’d just like to stop by and have a cup of coffee, please don’t hesitate to drop by our office and lounge (MBC 2205). The GSS offices and lounge are open Monday – Thursday, 9 am – 4 pm. Hope to see you around!

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Good news! Yoga is back! Every Wednesday and Friday in the West Gym from 9:30 to 10:20 you can take advantage of free yoga for the mind. For Vancouver times click here. For Surrey click here.

This is gentle yoga open to all SFU students, faculty, and staff. Stretch, breathe, and relax. No previous yoga experience required. All fitness and flexibility levels welcome.

Announcements From the GSS


The Graduate Student Society (GSS) Director elections will be announced next week and we want you to consider running to be a part of the GSS Executive Team!


Positions are open to currently enrolled graduate students at SFU. These stipended positions are a great opportunity to develop leadership skills and to pursue initiatives and issues that are important to SFU’s graduate student body. Directors sit on the Executive Committee of the GSS, and in the past, have worked on projects such as: U-Pass negotiations, affordable housing advocacy, orientation, Graduate Provincial Scholarship advocacy, improving graduate student supervision, and exploring sponsorship opportunities.
The following positions will be contested during these elections:
Director of University Relations
Director of Graduate Services
Director of Finance
Director of External Relations
More information about the nominations period and about the positions will be available early next week.


Contribute to the Peak!

Have an interest in voicing your graduate student opinion and perspective to the wider university community? The GSS is encouraging grads to contribute to the Peak. As graduate students we have a unique and important perspective into the affairs of the university and our voices should be heard. For more information check out the Peak. Or you can email news ideas to or opinion pieces to Let’s have our voices be heard!


GSS Volunteer Opportunities:

Hey Grads, the GSS is actively seeking volunteers among our members! Volunteering is a great way to feel more connected to the university at large and to build a sense of community. We have tons of exciting opportunities for committee work going on this Fall. Here are the three current opportunities to sit on one of our committees:

Grants Allocation Committee

Reviews grants from caucuses and individual students on a monthly basis and issues the GSS Caucus Grants, Professional Development Grants.  This group also makes recommendations to Council regarding changes to these programs. If interested please contact Anointing, Director of Graduate Services on

Benefit Planning Committee

Interested in your health and dental insurance benefits? Join the committee that works to get grad students the most for their money and the benefits they want.  It also handles special circumstances surrounding the Benefit Plan opt-ins and opt-outs, and adjudicates the yearly applications for Benefit Plan Bursaries to help students in financial need. If interested please contact Anointing, Director of Graduate Services on

If you have any further questions or are interested in any of these opportunities, please contact the Director of Student Life, Dylan Flint, at, or if you’re eager to get started please fill out our volunteer sign-up form here.


Graduate Caucus Funding

Did you know that every graduate caucus gets money to spend on almost anything that benefits the grad students in your department? (See the Caucus Funding Spreadsheet for funds available to you for the rest of this fiscal year.)


Playland Tickets

Discounted Playland tickets are available using the GSS discount code. General admission and season pass
discounts for general and junior admission. This code is posted in the GSS Lounge and available by email:

Please note: The GSS info email is only checked during office hours.


GSS Events

Halloween Storytelling Event:

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the GSS are partnering to bring graduate students and their families a fun halloween storytelling event! We have hired an outside storyteller to come and preform some spooky halloween tales for grads and their kiddos. There will also be pumpkin painting, slime making, and more, plus drinks and snacks provided! So come join us October 25th in the GSS Lounge (MBC 2212) from 4:30 to 6:30pm. All ages are welcome, and this is a great way to try out costumes before Halloween! For more info, email Dylan at or to RSVP click here. Please RSVP by October 24th.


Announcements From the University

Sexual Violence Support


Volunteer Opportunity for Arts and Social Science Graduate Students

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is looking for a graduate student volunteer from within the faculty to sit on their Graduate Programs Committee. This is an opportunity that will look great on your resume and is a wonderful learning opportunity for anyone who is planning to pursue a career in academia or for anyone who wants to learn more about the internal workings of graduate curriculum development and approval within the faculty.

The person selected would be appointed for a 1-year term, starting ASAP – September 30, 2019. Only three (approx 2hr) meetings are held every year, typically in October, January, and May, and usually on Tuesday afternoons.

The committee is chaired by the FASS Associate Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and is comprised of grad chairs from every department within the faculty. The selected candidate would be expected to be available for all meetings and to review comprehensive document packages in preparation for those meetings, with a particular focus on how the proposals might impact graduate students. The student representative on this committee will be a voting member so this is an important role that will help shape the future direction of graduate programming within your Faculty and can provide you with high level professional experience.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please send a paragraph or two (200 words or less) explaining your interest in this opportunity, your qualifications to serve on this committee, and a statement indicating that you are available for the required meeting times to our Executive Director (Pierre Cenerelli) at and our Director of University Relations (Chantal Turpin) at We need to receive your expression of interest as soon as possible!


Arts and Social Science Grad Students – Your Feedback is Needed!

Attention graduate students within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the Associate Dean is asking for graduate students from the faculty to take a couple of minutes to provide input on the existing graduate student section of the FASS website so that it can be updated to better reflect the needs of the students using it. Please take a couple of minutes to fill out this quick, four question, survey to have your voice heard. Survey Link


SFU Biosafety Committee

The SFU Biosafety Committee is charged with overseeing the safe use of biohazards by all members of the university community including faculty, staff, graduate students and undergraduate researchers. The Biosafety Committee is a standing committee with faculty and staff representation from across campus.  The committee is responsible for developing and implementing policy, programs and procedures with respect to biosafety issues at SFU.
The committee is seeking a new graduate student representative. An ideal representative is one who is familiar with working in a laboratory with bio-hazardous material (e.g., human blood, microbes, recombinant DNA, transgenic plants) and who would be available for meetings. The time commitment is not onerous; the committee meets once per semester for 1.5 to 2 hours each time.
Terms of reference and the policy may be consulted here.
Please send your resume or CV and a paragraph description on why you want to be on the committee to or email directly.

SFU Radiation Safety Committee

The University Radiation Safety Committee is charged with overseeing the safe use of radioisotopes and radiation-emitting devices by all members of the SFU community including faculty, staff, graduate students and undergraduate researchers. The committee is responsible for developing and implementing policy, programs and procedures with respect to radiation issues at SFU. It is a standing committee of the university with faculty, staff and student representation from across campus.
The committee is seeking a new graduate student representative. The ideal candidate would be familiar with working in a laboratory with radioisotopes and/or radiation-emitting devices and available for meetings. The time commitment is not onerous, as this committee meets once per semester for 1.5 to 2 hours each time.
The committee terms of reference and policy can be found here:
If you are interested, you may send your resume or CV and a paragraph (less than 200 words) describing why you want to be on the committee and your qualifications to or Please respond ASAP!

Search Committee for the Dean of Library Services

A Search Committee for the Dean of Library Services is in the process of being formed. Specific information regarding the composition and terms of reference of the committee is found in Policy A 13.05.
As the incumbent dean has indicated the preference to be considered for re-appointment, the search committee’s task will be to conduct a performance review. The review will include meeting with the incumbent and broad consultation within the University, with the Senate Library Committee, with the Deans and Vice-Presidents, and with appropriate external constituents.
Membership on the committee includes one undergraduate student, selected by the SFSS and one graduate student, selected by the GSS.
To minimize scheduling difficulties, meetings for the Search Committee have been set in advance at the Burnaby campus.  Anyone serving on the committee must be available to attend the meetings in person for the following schedule of dates/times:
  • Initial meeting – Wednesday, October 31, 2018, 2 to 4 pm
  • Townhall – Tuesday, November 22, 2018, 1 – 3 pm
  • Interview – Wednesday, Dec 12, 2018 – 2 to 4 pm
  • Final Meeting – Tuesday, January 8, 2019 – 2 to 3 pm
If you are interested in this opportunity, please send us a brief (up to 200 words) statement setting out your interest and qualifications for this position at and pierre.cenerelli@sfugradsociety.caStatements must be received no later that Friday, October 19, 2018.

Announcements from the Community

Funding opportunity!

A Vancouver nonprofit organization is looking for research being done on the following topics:

  • arts advocacy and election strategies
  • funding allocation for the arts in municipalities across BC
  • the relationship between art and well-being

There is potential here for graduate student internships to be funded through Mitacs ( Any FASS graduate students engaged in or interested in such research to please contact Sean at