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

GSS Newsletter – August 3, 2020



Attend the GSS event and win prizes!

Are you looking for a job during the COVID-19 pandemic? What do you need to do differently since the nature of work has shifted? Please join us at 6:30pm on August 5 at the GSS work-search webinar series #1: Job Search Skills during the COVID-19 pandemic. The series is meant to be interactive and participants are able to ask questions in a friendly, non-intimidating setting. At the end of each event, we will draw 5 random lucky winners and offer a $10 gift card to each person. You can find the Presenters’ Bios on the event page.

Register here!


GSS Highlights

Volunteers are needed

Fall Orientation is right around the corner and we need volunteers! If you’d like to help out at this virtual event or be a part of the planning process, please fill out our volunteer sign up form here


The GSS Council met on July 14

The GSS Council met on July 14. Some important discussions and announcements: – New Stipended Position coming to the GSS: to help directors with Covid-19 related issues – Councillors’ Roundtable: we discussed what issues are affecting students currently – GSS 2020-2021 Budget Draft Update – New Director and two new Committees coming to the GSS: more discussions at the August meeting! . Here is a one-page summary of the meeting.



1. Cheque Requisitions: Any cheque reqs for caucus core funding reimbursements must be sent in before the end of the fiscal year. We need to set a date, I would say sometime in mid August, maybe the 7th or 14th? We need to make it clear to caucuses that we cannot process cheque reqs for reimbursements for expenses made in the 2019/20 FY that were meant to come out of the 2019/20 caucus core funding once the next fiscal year begins on September 1, 2020.

2. Banking information: We need to ensure that caucuses are aware that we have moved to EFTs and that we are not issuing cheques at the moment. Students must submit their banking information to the GSS using our secure, online form: need to emphasize that it is important that we receive this information for payments coming out of this fiscal year’s budget before we close our books on August 31. If students receive notification to submit their banking info from the GSS, they must do so promptly otherwise they will not get paid. *just as a note, I have had some issues with incorrect account numbers and I also have some pending payments from students who I have emailed on multiple occasions to remind them to submit their banking information, but I still have not heard from them…

3. Caucus Core to Trust Transfers: We also need to remind caucuses that those who have not used more than 50% of their total core allotment and wish to keep the remainder of their core funds must pass a motion at a caucus meeting to have 100% of their remaining core funds transferred to their trust.


Wellness & Safety

COVID19 Human Participants Research Update

SFU recently adopted a common  COVID19 impact scale and the current rating is High (H2). This scale now includes threeresearch types: General OnCampus, Human Participants Research (HPR) and Fieldwork

At H2, researchers are still expected to work remotely where possible. However, at this phase, researchers who require oncampus resources in order to perform their research are allowed access to labs or offices where an approved site safety plan is on file and displayed. The required site safety plans are based on a common set of standards defined by a cross-university working group, and are designed to comply with WorkSafe BC health and safety guidelines. 

As indicated in the COVID19 impact scale, the requirement of an approved site safety plan is expected to remain in-place for some time, including if the impact rating moves to “moderate”. Faculty Deans have been rolling out individual site safety plan approvals. A significant number of researchers with approved site safety plans have returned to campus, or are in the process of doing so. 

All in-person Human Participants Research (HPR) activities were previously restricted to remote-only. While remote is still encouraged, at H2, “minimal intervention” HPR may now resume. Examples of minimal intervention HPR permitted at H2 include: 1:1 interviews in an appropriate space, or small focus groups that can maintain required distancing.

All in-person HPR, on and off campus, requires a HPR safety plan approved through the Office of Research Ethics (ORE) processes. The HPRsafety plan details how procedures will be modified to take participant safety into account. Detailed guidelines and processes for developing and submitting an HPR safety plan, on and off campus, are available on the  ORE website

Fieldwork activity plans should continue to be submitted and approved through departmental and faculty processes, as they were pre-pandemic. We are currently working with faculties and environmental health and safety to provide guidance and to develop COVID-aware templates for fieldwork activity plans.  

Research-related updates and FAQs will continue to be shared on the VPRI COVID19 FAQ. Campus services information and general FAQs are regularly updated at





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

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