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

GSS December 2019 Newsletter


We hope your December is going well and you are looking forward to the holidays and the winter break. This is my last newsletter as your Director of Student Life. It has been a great experience to work with the graduate student community at SFU, and I look forward to passing on the baton to the newly elected Director at the end of this month.

In the meantime, here are this month’s announcements from the GSS and the SFU community. To hear about events as they happen, please follow us on Facebook.

As always, we are happy to see you stop by our offices and the GSS lounge (MBC 2205) for a chat, to get some coffee, and connect with fellow graduate students. The GSS Lounge and Offices are open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Announcements from the GSS

New: Graduate Yoga in the GSS Lounge

Join other graduate students for an afternoons of Graduate Yoga in the GSS Lounge on Thursday, December 12th, 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm.

The event is free to all graduate students. Instruction and mats will be provided. Please arrive early, as the event will be open to the first 15 arrivals. We encourage you to wear comfortable yoga or workout clothes.

No prior experience needed! Come to get active, relax, and connect to fellow graduate students.

The event is organized by the GSS at SFU and SFU Recreation. For more information, please email


Grad Nights at Club Ilia

Every Tuesday, from 6 to 9 pm, Club Ilia offers a special for graduate students with discounts on select beers and burgers.

This is a great opportunity for grad students from different programs to meet, talk, unwind and build a sense of community. Please join in and spread the word!

Grad Nights


Stay tuned for the GSS Annual General Meeting!

The next Annual General Meeting (AGM) is scheduled for February 11th, 2020, at MBC 2290. The AGM is one of the biggest events of the GSS because it’s when we update our Bylaws and Constitution (aka the most important internal governing documents!) 

There will also be food and a themed social at Club Ilia!

What else would you like to see at the AGM? Please answer this 5-min survey with your preferences! 


GSS Affordability Bulletin

We at the GSS are continuing our education campaign for graduate students about the affordability of your education. This month, our posters focus on the rising tuition costs that are being used to replace inadequate government funding. Graduate student tuition has increased approximately 15% in real terms since 2008-09 and has more than doubled since 2001-02. Check out this month’s poster, last month’s poster, and the entire GSS submission on affordability here:

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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.)


Announcements From the University

Call for Nominations:  Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy

The Sterling Prize Committee is looking for work that challenges complacency.  The Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy is awarded annually for work that presents new ways of looking at the world that are daring and creative.  Whether a student, a staff member, an academic at SFU, or a member of the community at large, the recipient of the Sterling Prize is selected for decidedly unconventional and distinctly untraditional work that provokes a wide audience.  The recipient receives a cash award of $5,000 and makes a public presentation.

The Nomination Form can be found at:

A list of previous recipients and further information about The Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy can be found at

Deadline for nominations is February 15, 2020.

A committee member may be available, upon request, to offer some guidance in the preparation of the nomination package if adequate notice is provided before the deadline. Any inquiries can be sent to the Vice-President, Academic Office at


Centre for Accessible Learning

SFU is committed to the full participation of students with disabilities in all aspects of academic life.  The Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) supports such equal participation by coordinating the provision of services and reasonable accommodations (adjustments to programs or policy) for students with mental and/or physical disabilities.  Graduate students are encouraged to contact CAL as early as possible to confidentially explore any disability-related issues or needs.  Please visit the Centre’s website for further details:


Contribute to The Peak

The campus newspaper, the Peak is always looking for new graduate student contributors to cover issues such areas as family housing, tuition & finances, child care, student-supervisor relationships, and GSS advocacy campaigns and any other issues of interest to graduate students.

Graduate student voices are often not heard loudly enough when it comes to campus issues. Along with The Peak, we would like to see that changed. If you’re new to journalism or writing, The Peak offers freelancing positions that pay per article written. Email the Promotions Coordinator at and they will get you on the mailing list for the newspaper section you want to write for. We hope to see some of you take up this opportunity!


Announcements from the Community

Events and Announcements for Indigenous Graduate Students

Here are some upcoming events and announcements for Indigenous graduate students. 

The Western Social Science Association (WSSA) annual meeting, which will be held in Portland, Oregon from April 1-4, 2020, has a strong Indigenous Studies section and offers a very friendly environment to present your research.

2020 Vine Deloria, Jr. American Indian Studies Paper Award (see link for details).

Applications for the Parliamentary Internship Programme (PIP) is now open. PIP is a ten-month non-partisan, full-time, paid internship in Ottawa. Every year, ten university graduates have the opportunity to work with two Members of Parliament to learn about the work that goes on in the House of Commons. The interns also take part in paid legislative study tours within Canada and abroad. For more information, please contact The deadline for applications is January 31st, 2020.

Postdoc funding opportunities

The Mitacs Accelerate industrial postdoc provides up to 3 years of funding valued at $55,000/year for research with a company or not-for-profit, as well as access to professional skills training courses. Visit links for more details.

Mitacs Elevate provides two years of postdoc funding valued at $60,000/year plus extensive customized professional development training ($7,500/year non-cash value).


If you have events or announcements that you would like to see included in next months’ GSS newsletters, you can share them with us by emailing

Follow the GSS on Facebook: