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

January 2019 GSS Newsletter


Hey Grads,

Welcome to your January GSS Newsletter!

Welcome back! We hope you had a wonderful holiday break. 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. We hope to see you around!

Mental Health and Wellbeing:

Just a quick heads up, next month the GSS will be conducting a student services survey. We want to know from our membership if you feel the current GSS benefit plan is adequate or if there are other services/coverages that are missing. We also want to know whether graduate students are using the new My SSP app and whether or not they find it effective. We are also curious if you think your respective departments/faculty/supervisors could benefit from more mental health awareness training. Lastly, we’d like to know, from your point of view, what role universities play, or should play, when it comes to addressing your mental health needs. The data we collect will be very useful for our ongoing mental health and well-being advocacy, so keep an eye out for that!

Mindful yoga is back! Every Wednesday and Friday from 9:30am to 10:20am there are free yoga classes put on by Health and Counselling. All skill levels are welcome. Classes are located in the Fitness Studio, Burnaby Campus, beside the entrance to West Gym on the lower floor, room number 09. More drop-in yoga classes take place on other days at the Vancouver Wellness Studio and the Surrey Wellness Studio.


Announcements From the GSS:

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!


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.


Opportunities to Get Involved:

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:

Embark Sustainability

Embark Sustainability Society is currently recruiting volunteer Board members! Open positions include Governance Officer, Secretary, Fund Development Officer, Member Relations Officer, External Relations Officer, and Director at Large. Embark is a student-led nonprofit that works to empower the next generation of sustainability leaders through programming, grants, and advocacy both on and off campus. As a Board member you’ll represent SFU’s 5,000+ graduate students while determining the strategic direction of the organization, and gain valuable experience in partnership building, strategic planning, governance, and nonprofit operations.

 Applications are due February 10th, and Board Member orientations for interested applicants will be hosted on Burnaby campus January 28th (6:30-7:30pm) and January 30th (4:30-5:30pm), location TBA. Position descriptions are listed here on Embark’s opportunities page. New Board Members will be voted in at the Annual General Meeting, scheduled for Tuesday February 26th from 5:30-7:30pm. Any questions can be directed to Ali White, Embark’s Executive Director –


GSS Events:

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Graduate Student Society at Simon Fraser University will take place on February 5, 2019 at 4pm at SFU Burnaby, in Maggie Benston Centre, rooms 2290-96. A reception will follow, from 6-8pm at Club Ilia. Please RSVP here by February 4th, 2019.

All currently enrolled (not on leave) graduate students are welcome to attend and are entitled to vote at this meeting. 
In addition, Mark Leier, professor of History at SFU, will be making a presentation at the AGM entitled “Reimagining Supervision.” He is the recipient of the 2018 Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision from the Dean of Graduate Studies Office and will be discussing the power dynamics that exist between students and their supervisors, his own attempts to address such imbalances and possibilities for more democratic forms of graduate education.
All documents related to this meeting may be found on the following webpage: A few copies of these documents will be made available soon in the GSS Lounge (MBC 2212).

Please RSVP here by February 4th, 2019.


$Awards Centre$

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!

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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.


Sexual Violence Support

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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:


Announcements from the Community: