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

GSS May 2019 Newsletter


Hey Grads,

Welcome to your May Newsletter!

We hope you are having a nice start of the summer term. This is my first newsletter as your new Director of Student Life. I’m looking forward to working with the graduate student community here at SFU and an exciting year ahead!

As always, if you’d like to share your ideas, questions, or concerns with the GSS, or just want to stop by and have a cup of coffee, please drop by our office and lounge (MBC 2205).

The GSS Lounge and Offices are currently on summer schedule: Monday – Thursday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (closed Fridays). We hope to see you around and wish you a great summer!


Opportunities to Get Involved

We are now recruiting volunteers for Graduate Student Orientation in August. Volunteering is a great way to feel more connected to the graduate student community, meet people, and gain experience. To join the GSS volunteer list, please click here.

If you have previously signed up as a volunteer and would like to be informed of future opportunities, or if you have questions about volunteering, please email Marina at


GSS Events

We are planning a summer social and will be announcing it shortly. Please watch this space in next month’s newsletter.


Announcements from the GSS

Welcome new GSS directors!

Please welcome new and interim GSS directors:

GSS Elections

We would like to invite you to join the GSS executive team. This is an announcement for the Graduate Student Society (GSS) Director by-elections and we want you to run!

To run in the election please fill out the appropriate nomination form and return it to MBC2205 or email it to The forms are available online at and at the GSS Offices (MBC 2205). The deadline for completed nomination forms is Monday, May 27th at 9 am.

About the Director Positions
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 ExecutiveCommittee of the GSS, and in the past, have worked on projects such as: U-Pass negotiations, affordable housing, tuition, graduate orientation, improving graduate student supervision, Graduate Provincial Scholarship advocacy, and exploring sponsorship opportunities.

The positions available are:
Director of Finance >>> Terms of Reference

Director of University Relations >>> Terms of Reference
** These terms of reference are presently under review and may be modified during the elected directors period of service.

For more information about the positions please visit:

Introducing Graduate Sports!

Exciting news! The GSS is partnering with SFU Recreation to bring you a graduate student drop-in sports program. We will be alternating between indoor soccer and basketball, with the option of adding different sports depending on demand.

The program will run on Friday evenings, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at East Gym on the following days:

  • June 7, 14
  • July 5, 12, 19, 26
  • August 2, 9, 16, 23

This drop-in program will be free of charge for graduate students. After the summer pilot ends, we would love your feedback. We are hoping to make this a more permanent program, if it is a success. So please help spread the word and join in!


Get Involved! GSS Committees and Working Groups

Are you interested in getting more involved in your graduate student society? The GSS has several committees and working groups that help help GSS operations, help deliver services and advocate on behalf of students.
There are three active working groups:

  • Space Working Group  (long term space for the GSS)
  • Affordability Working Group (tuition, housing & more)
  • International Student Working Group (advocacy & community building)

** There are also two working groups students are interested in forming dealing with Supervision and a proposed Burnaby Mountain College for graduate students.
If you are interested in these working groups please email:

The GSS has the following active Committees: 

  • Governance (GSS policy development & review)
  • Finance Committee (responsible for GSS Budget and Audit)
  • Benefit Plan Committee (manages the GSS Benefits Plan)
  • Electoral Committee (conducts GSS Director elections)
  • Grant Allocation Committee (reviews student & caucus funding requests)

To get involved with one of the committees please fill out the following form:


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 promotions@the-peak.caand 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!


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.


$ Awards Centre $

Here is a link to the currently available Summer Awards posted by GPS. If you are aware of an additional award, or if you would like an award featured here, please email Marina at


Announcements From the University

The Women’s Center needs graduate student volunteers!

The SFU Women’s Center has asked the GSS for graduate student volunteers for their highly celebrated summer story time event this July. If you are interested, or would like more information, please email Paola at Thanks for your help! It is always a really fun event, especially for students with families.


Join the Lunch ‘n Chat English Conversation Group

Practice your English in a casual environment at the bi-weekly English Conversation Group “Lunch ’n Chat”. Leave each session with new conversational skills, more confidence in speaking, and connections with other multilingual graduate students. Bring your own lunch. Drop-in, no registration required.

Next meeting: Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Location: GSS Boardroom (MBC 2212)

See the full schedule and topics here:–lunch–n-chat-.html 


On Campus Events

TSSU Surrey Office Grand Opening Board Game Party – Wednesday, May 22, 4:30 – 6:30pm @ SUR 351 (by the library). The TSSU is celebrating securing an office space at Surrey. There will be snacks and board games. Feel free to bring a decoration for the office! More details

Red Women Rising: Indigenous Women Survivors in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Reading Group – Every other Monday, starting on May 27 at Harbour Centre, Room 3100. The group will meet to discuss, reflect and learn from the recent report done by Indigenous Women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. If you are interested in joining the reading group, please email Seamus at You can download the report here. More details about the event.

Graduate Student Conference: Creating a New Digitally Democratic Map

The Graduate Caucus of the School of Communication presents the 2019 Graduate Student Conference “Creating a New Digitally Democratic Map” on May 22, 2019 at SFU Harbour Centre, from 9:30am to 5:00pm. To find out more, please contact the organizers (Amy Harris or Eji Mimiko) at:


Announcements from the Community

Pint of Science

If you like science and beer, and appreciate both simultaneously, please read on…

On May 20 -22, 2019, researchers across nearly 300 cities worldwide will be sharing their discoveries with you in their local pub, bar or café at this year’s Pint of Science festival. We are excited to announce that Pint of Science is coming to Vancouver for the first time ever this month! Pint of Science is a not-for-profit organization run by a community of thousands of scientists across the world. During the three-day global event, a diverse range of researchers will be discussing their latest findings in open and accessible environments across the city. Each themed night involves two speakers, Q&A sessions and some other surprise activities.

This year we have three themes running in parallel:

Some of our own post-docs and colleagues from SFU will be taking part in the Planet Earth and Beautiful Mind themes

Our Body: May 20th & 22nd

Beautiful Mind: May 20th, 21st, 22nd

Planet Earth: May 20th, 21st, 22nd

For more details:

All of the events start at 7.30pm – for more information on locations, speaker details and a sneaky look at the talk titles, click on the link above where you can also get your hands on tickets (for FREE). Grab some before they’re gone!


LOGIC2019 Women in Chemistry Retreat

The Women in Chemistry group at the University of Saskatchewan is organizing a national retreat, Leaders Overcoming Gender Inequality in Chemistry (LOGIC) 2019. You are invited to attend the national event LOGIC2019, which aims to bridge the gap between women and visible minorities in the areas of chemistry. The goal of LOGIC is to create an impact on women and visible minorities in the chemical sciences by providing them with solid models and the opportunity to develop their network to facilitate their advancement in their careers. For this, we have a very large number of speakers and most of the meals provided during the retirement period.

For more details, please visit the website:

You can register via Eventbrite here:

If you have any questions please contact the organizers via email: