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

GSS Newsletter September 2018


Hello Grads,

Welcome to the September GSS Newsletter!

We hope you enjoyed your summer and welcome back (to) Fall Semester! 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 – Thursday, 9 am – 4 pm. Hope to see you around!

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Last month SFU Health and Counseling unveiled their new 24/7 access app and hotline (My SSP) for free mental health services. To learn more about the service please visit My SSP’s website. If you have had any experience with using the service (the good, the bad, the ugly, whatever), we want to hear about it. We want to gather as mush graduate student feedback as we can on this. So if you have had anything noteworthy or remarkable that you would like to share, please feel free to email Dylan at Also, if you would like to bring your feedback to our Mental Health Working Group please email Anointing at

Have you heard about the TA/TM Wellbeing pilot program? As you know, Teaching Assistants and Tutor Markers have a unique university experience as they juggle life as both a student and a teacher. A pilot program has been launched by Health and Counselling which aims at supporting TAs and TMs in enhancing their own well-being and offers helpful strategies to create conditions for well-being within labs and tutorials. While the program is currently under way, participants can join at any time. Presentations in your own department regarding the program are also available upon request. To learn more about the project, to hear feedback from participants, or to join the pilot yourself please click here.

Announcements from the GSS

If interested in learning more about this award please contact Anointing, Director of Graduate Services at


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

Governance Committee
The GSS is currently looking to find at least one member-at-large — but preferably more! — to join our Governance Committee for at least the next Academic Year (2018-2019). Broadly speaking, Governance Committee is mandated to:

  • Review and propose changes to the governing documents of the GSS, including the Constitution, Bylaws, Policies and Regulations, and Terms of Reference;
  • Consider the functioning of the Society and determine whether new governance structures are required;
  • Draft new governance documents if are deemed necessary, for approval by Council.

This year, the committee will be reviewing the society’s Constitution and Bylaws, director terms of reference and many other key governing documents. This is an exciting opportunity to work on issues of great importance to the GSS! If you wish to join this committee or have any further questions, please contact Nancy Kwong, our Director of Internal Relations, as soon as possible at

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

1) Fall Surrey Social:

After council on October 9th come join us at SFU surrey for a drink and a quick bite. It’s on us! For more info, email Dylan at or to RSVP click here. Please RSVP by October 5th. The first 50 RSVPs get one free alcoholic beverage!

2) Get Involved Days!

Hey Grads, SFU’s Get Involved Days is right around the corner. September 26th and 27th the GSS will be out on Convocation Mall (SFU Burnaby) talking about how you can get involved and become an engaged member of the student body. Come say hello!


Announcements and Events from SFU

$$ Job Post! Part time childcare position (~5 hours/wk) $500/month

Escort school age children after school from Sperling Elementary to SFU Childcare

Job description:

We have a position opening in September 2018 for a highly responsible and reliable individual to escort ten school age children after school from Sperling Elementary School in Burnaby to SFU Childcare on public transit (#144 bus, ~ a 15 minute ride).  Potential applicants must be available to arrive at the school prior to the 3 pm dismissal. The most sought after candidates will be able to commit for the entire school year (Sept. 5th-June 27th; excluding holidays and professional development days).  However, we also strongly encourage candidates that can only commit for the fall term (Sept. 5th-Dec. 21st) to apply.  We will also consider a job share (i.e. available only Tues/Thurs or Mon/Wed/Friday).  Previous childcare experience is an asset.


$500/month. Please e-mail a cover letter, resume and the contact information for 3 references to Nancy Hawkins at by August 25th, though the position will remain open until filled.  We thank all applicants but only those short-listed will be contacted for an interview.


$$ More ways to get paid! The SFSS needs vote counters

The Simon Fraser Student Society is looking for graduate students to help count votes for their upcoming elections. They are hoping to get 4 grad students. Here are the details of the event:
Location: Diamond Family Auditorium
Date: Monday, September 24th
Time: 1:00 –  4:00 (3 hours)
Honorarium: $ 60.00 
The only thing: applicants cannot be a member of the Simon Fraser Student Society (as this will be a conflict of interest). if you are interested please email Karen at


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 October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019. Only three (approx 2hr) meetings are held every year, typically in October, January, and May, and usually on Tuesday afternoons. The first meeting has already been scheduled for Oct 4th from 10:30 – 12:30 — the successful volunteer must be available to attend.

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.

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