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

GSS Newsletter December 2018


Hello Grads,

Welcome to your December GSS Newsletter!

As always, 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 – Friday, 9 am – 4 pm. However, we will be closed December 24th until January 2nd. Hope to see you around!

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Exciting news! If you’re interested in mental health issues at the university and contributing to overall graduate student well-being, we are looking for graduate students to be a part of our Mental Health and Benefit Planning Committee. In this group we discuss working solutions to mental health issues here at the university, workshop ideas for well-being events, and ensure the GSS benefit plan is meeting our needs. If you would like more information on this committee–like when and where it meets, or the terms of reference–or if you would like to join, please email our Director of Graduate Services, Anointing Momoh. at


Announcements From the GSS

Concerned About the Tuition Increase?


The 2019-20 budget proposes a 2% tuition increase for graduate students. Tuition for international students in programs with the “international differential” is purposed to increase by 4%.

For more information please visit:

While the university has asked for your feedback we would also like to hear directly from you. A formal process by the GSS is under consideration but if you have immediate feedback please email

Get involved!

A new working group to support graduate students and GSS directors to support advocacy is being launched to specifically deal with affordability issues. In addition to tuition the working group would address the cumulative effects of housing, transportation and graduate student funding. Interested? Email to join the working group.


Need Research Subjects?

The GSS and the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies are proud to present a brand new university-wide study participation recruitment system!
In an effort to facilitate participant recruitment across departments, a new recruitment system has been created that is independent of any department. This initiative has three goals:

  1. Promote the recruitment of participants from outside of the department to prevent bias and create more representative samples
  2. Make calls for participants more visible to the wider student population
  3. Promote students’ participation in experiments

How it works:
Once a study has received ethics approval, both faculty and students are eligible to upload information about their study to this webpage, ( All approved studies will then be featured in a weekly round-up blog post. Additionally, graduate students can also promote their study in the GSS lounge, as there is now a poster section specifically dedicated to study recruitment.
This initiative only works if people know it exists. This is where you come in! Please disseminate this message to staff, faculty, and students alike to spread the word and to make sure that both researchers and students learn about this new and exciting opportunity.


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 regarding 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 actively seeks 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. If you want to join our volunteer list please click here. We will contact you directly when volunteer opportunities come up. But here is what is currently going on:

Join a GSS Working Group!

The GSS is looking to relaunch and add to it’s list of working groups in order to increase the engagement of students with the society and to increase our capacity to collectively support and advocate for graduate students. We also want to know about the issues and student populations that you believe need more attention. Please follow this link to fill out a short survey and see if there is a working group you would be interested in joining:

SFU Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisory Group

Graduate students, are you concerned about equity, diversity and inclusion at SFU? Do you want to get involved in an important SFU initiative while also representing the society and its members? The GSS is seeking a graduate student volunteer to nominate to SFU’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Advisory Group. The goal of this initiative is to gain a better understanding of how well SFU is or is not doing in its efforts to advance equity, increase diversity, and achieve inclusion across the university.  The result of the community conversation (January-April 2019) will be a report and recommendations for a structure to further embed equity, diversity and inclusion into SFU’s processes, practices and policies. The work of the initiative is being guided by an Advisory Group comprised of students, staff and faculty.

The person selected would be appointed for the period of January 1, 2019 to April 30, 2019, with the possibility of extension for a further period of 4 to 6 months. The advisory group meetings are 1.5 hours every other week (typically on Thursdays from noon to 1:30pm). The successful candidate would also be expected to provide periodic updates to the GSS Executive Committee (either via email or in-person) in order to keep the executive up to date on how the initiative is progressing.

The person selected for the advisory group would also have the option of participating on sub-groups focussed on specific tasks (such as helping to organize an event) but there is no expectation that they will do so. If you are interested in this opportunity, please send a paragraph or two (200 words or less) explaining your interest and qualifications to serve on this group 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!


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

Mark your calendars! GSS’s Annual General Meeting will take place on February 5, 2019 at 4pm at SFU Burnaby (Maggie Benston Centre, room 2290-96). It will be followed by a social event in a location yet to be determined. More details to come…


Awards Centre

Soroptimist Foundation of Canada Grant

Applications are now being excepted for the  Soroptimist Foundation of Canada Grant the deadline of January 31, 2019. The award is for $7,500 each for two women in Western Canada and two in Eastern Canada. For more information or to apply please visit:


Announcements From the University

New Sustainability Project!

TumblerShare: Reduce Coffee Cup Waste on Campus When: every Tuesday 11am-4pmWhere: Renaissance Coffee (Applied Science location)SFU’s latest student-led sustainability program has officially launched! In effort to reduce paper cup waste, Tumblershare allows its members to conveniently borrow reusable, stainless steel tumblers at Renaissance Coffee (Applied Science location). Come by their weekly tabling hours to learn more about how the program works, how to register as a member, or how to get involved as a volunteer! You can also check out their Facebook or Instagram pages.


Equity, diversity and inclusion initiative (EDI)

SFU’s equity, diversity and inclusion initiative (EDI) is underway and now’s the time for you to get involved!   It’s time to talk, listen and reflect.  As we work towards a culture of greater respect and toward more inclusive and equitable practices at SFU, we’re asking students, staff and faculty to share their insights and expertise to help us advance equity, diversity and inclusion across the institution.  This is hard work.  We can only do this together.  Join the EDI conversation from Jan 15 to April 30, 2019 or go to for more information.

How can graduate students get involved? 

  • Present your research or participate in a panel
  • Attend an EDI event
  • Volunteer to a discussant at an EDI event
  • Be an ambassador for equity, diversity and inclusion – encourage members of your Department and Faculty to participate in the community consultation
  • Start a conversation with your friends and colleagues, summarize their input and submit your insights and suggestions
  • Lead or participate in an EDI dialogue circle and encourage others to do so
  • Tell us about an EDI topic or issue that is of concern to you

We encourage you to participate in this important initiative.  For more information please visit our website or contact Kim Hart directly at or 778.986.3690


Grad volunteers needed for fun GPS Family Event

Call for volunteers: Kids arts and crafts on January 10th, 2019,~ 3 – 5 PM, Global Student Centre (Burnaby). You’ll be invited to a reception with food and refreshments afterwards!

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) and International Services for Students (ISS) welcome new and returning students to SFU, including graduate students with families. For the children, there will be an arts and crafts session (think making paper snowflakes, colouring window hangings, and so on). 

GPS is looking for 3 grad volunteers who lead the arts and crafts stations. 

You can bring your creativity in if you wish, but they also have ideas for the stations. They will provide the material, so you basically just have to show up on the day of the event, do fun stuff with children of different ages, and enjoy some food and refreshments at the reception afterwards. Have a look at the full program.

Please contact Tomke at if you wish to volunteer, or if you have any questions. 


Sexual Violence Support


Boozhoo! Greetings!

Denver Lynxleg (Anishinaabe/Scottish) is the Indigenous Graduate Student Coordinator (IGSC), with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. She is on campus every Tuesday and Thursday to support Indigenous students’ transition into graduate studies and enhance current Indigenous graduate students’ holistic academic path through support, mentorship, workshops and as a resource connector.  As a displaced member of Tootinaowaziibeeng Treaty 4 Reserve in Manitoba Denver is honoured to be a guest on the traditional and unceded Coast Salish territories.

  • 9-5 pm Tuesday and Thursday
  • AQ 6085 Burnaby campus(located on the 6th floor in the English department take the elevator closest to the Indigenous Student Centre)

To book an appointment: call 778-782-9222 or e-mail


On Campus Events

The SFU Omics research day is an opportunity to showcase the great omics research happening at SFU. This full day event will feature oral presentations, poster presentations, and a keynote presentation about data-driven biology and the interdisciplinary fields that stem from it. This event is open to SFU students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Time + Place: Thursday January 10th, 2019 at the Big Data Hub. Opening remarks at 9:00am. Sign-in/registration starts at 8:30am. To find out more, visit:


Announcements from the Community

The Institute for Diaspora Research and Engagement

The MVRD Black Experience Project

Project goal

The Metro Vancouver Regional District (MVRD) Black Experience Project aims to begin mapping out the diverse experiences of people of African descent (Black) in Metro Vancouver. This project will begin to examine the experiences of people African descent in the MVRD with the objective to develop a better understanding of their historical contributions, challenges with integration, and their aspirations for the future as they attempt to make Vancouver their home.

In keeping with its mandate to provide quality research on diasporic communities, the Institute for Diaspora Research and Engagement (IDRE), in collaboration with the Hogan’s Alley Society*, extend an invitation to SFU graduate students to participate in the MVRD Black Experience Project. This is an opportunity for graduate students to contribute to research design and implementation from the ground up. In Phase One of the MVRD Black experience project, we will:

  1. Lead a data driven needs based assessment designed to examine and analyze the assets (human and material) of the Vancouver Black community; and
  2. Identify the gaps between what the community has and what it needs.

In order to achieve these goals, the MVRD Black Experience Project will be relying both on quantitative and qualitative research. Successful candidates will be engaged not only in ethnographic research in the Black community of Vancouver, but will also take part in the design, collection and analysis phases of the project.

Break down of tasks for the graduate student:

• 10% Discussion of the research goal and procedure;

• 70% Field work, data collection and interviews;

• 20% Data input, analysis and coding, and writing up the data.

As a result, a deep familiarity with issues pertaining to African descent diaspora is preferred.

*The Hogan’s Alley Society: The purposes of the Society is to research, preserve and promote the historical, cultural, societal and economic contributions made by Black Settlers and their descendants to Vancouver, Greater Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest and Canada.

For more information on this opportunity, please contact one of the following people as soon as possible:

June Francis – or Lama Mugabo –