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GSS November 2019 Newsletter


Welcome to your November newsletter!

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

Vote Now in the GSS Director Elections

The Fall GSS Election period is underway for three Executive Committee positions: Student Life, Finance, and Academic Relations.

The polls for the GSS director elections are now open! Polls will be closing at 11:59 pm on November 22nd. Please follow the link below to the ballot.


More information about the election process, candidate profiles and terms of reference for the executive positions can be found on the GSS Website and if you have questions please direct them to

Open GSS Director Position: Director of Graduate Services

Graduate Council is looking to appoint a Director of Graduate Services (DGS) for a limited term in the Spring 2020 semester, from January 1 to April 30, 2020. This position receives a monthly stipend of $1150 per month. For more information and how to be considered for this position, please see this link.

Director of Graduate Services: Graduate Council appointment

The GSS is hiring an Administrative Assistant

Previous experience with office administration and minute taking is desired. Applicants must be current graduate students at SFU.

For the full job description and directions on how to apply, please see the GSS website.

Applications will be reviewed starting November 25 and the posting will close on December 4 at 4pm.

GSS Support for the Research is Work campaign to unionize RAs

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At their November 12 Graduate Council meeting, GSS Councillors unanimously voted to endorse the Research is Work campaign, which aims to unionize SFU research assistants (RAs).

For many years, RAs have faced inconsistent, late or missing paychecks, poor working conditions with unclear or absent rights and benefits, unstable employment and even vague or missing contracts. For that reason, hundreds have decided to support a unionization drive to work together and create change at the bargaining table.

The Research Is Work! campaign is holding a rally this Thursday, November 21 from 1-2 PM at the SFU Cornerstone building and we encourage those who are interested to attend.

At the GSS we will continue to advocate on behalf of our members, for example by calling for improvements to SFU’s R 50 policy which sets out rules for the employment of research assistants. However, many of the issues with graduate student RAs discussed above are long-standing, and SFU has been highly resistant to change. A successful unionization campaign will add another much-needed path to rectifying the endemic abuses of the RA system as it currently exists.

For more information and ways to get involved, the Research is Work! campaign website can be accessed here: In addition, TSSU’s social media accounts post regular updates on the campaign, and can be found here:,, and

GSS Letter on Budget Discussions

The Graduate Student Society has written a letter to the SFU administration regarding budget discussions so far this year, our disappointment in the process and hope for future improvements, and how we can together bolster student confidence in the process (and results). You can find this letter here.


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


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

SFU Student Community Engagement Competition 

This year, the competition makes $30,000 available to fund student-community partnerships with innovative ideas to engage community and ignite change. In previous years the competition had student finalists from a number of faculties and programs including Applied Sciences, Education, Criminology, International Studies, Business, Urban Studies, Continuing Studies, FCAT, Environment, Health Sciences and more! For details on the competition from last year, see:

Deadline for registration and idea submission: November 29, 2019

To apply:


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. 

National Gathering for Indigenous Education – Nov 21-22, 2019 | Toronto, ON – More details

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.

Call for Indigenous Graduate Student Symposium (IGSS) Co-Chairs & Volunteers. This is an invitation on behalf of the UBC SAGE Indigenous Graduate Student Mentor, Hannah Coderre who is coordinating the 2020 IGSS Planning Committee Meetings between UBC and SFU.  The Planning Committee is seeking involvement from current Indigenous graduate students and/or non-Indigenous students working within Indigenous research and methodologies between UBC and SFU. 

Please also save the date for Saturday, March 14th, 2020.  In Spring 2020, the 18th Annual Indigenous Graduate Student Symposium will be held in UBC at the First Nations Longhouse.

Please see the attached poster for more information about the IGSS Planning Committee.  To RSVP email Hannah directly at

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

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