Graduate Student Society election to take place this week

Graduate students will have three days to vote on three different Directors for the executive committee, as well as a referendum question.

With the undergraduate students of Simon Fraser University just recently wrapping up their byelection for their student society, the graduate students are preparing for their biannual election.

The Graduate Student Society (GSS) roles of Director of University Relations, Director of Finance, and Director of Graduate Services are all being voted on. While University Relations is running unopposed, there are some choices for the other two positions that grad students will have to make.

Director of University Relations

Chantal Turpin, a third year PhD student in criminology, is the lone candidate for University Relations. A council member for the GSS since 2015, she has also been “very involved in the currently ongoing sexual violence and misconduct policy consultation process as a strong voice for graduate student concerns,” according to her platform.

Director of Finance

There are four students who are running for the position of Director of Finance. Here are a snapshot of the candidates, based off the statements they submit for the election.

  • Heather Baroody, a PhD student in computational electrochemistry, focused her platform on financial transparency, honesty, and responsibility.  
  • Francisco Caniego, who touts serving as CIO for PUBLIESPAÑA (a media company in Spain) as his main platform point.  
  • Diana Leung, first-year student in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program, advertises that as a trained accountant, she is a designated CPA, CGA, and also holds an MBA degree.
  • Panjak Tiwari, an international student in his second year of a Masters program at the Beedie School of Business, wants to ensure all GSS students know their available resources.

Director of Graduate Services

For the position of Director of Graduate Services, there are only two candidates running: the incumbent Michelle Aslan and newcomer Dewi Tjin.

During Aslan’s term, arguably her biggest project was implementing the GSS mini school, which offers “one to two hour workshops to graduate students as a perfect energy booster for reducing anxiety, and finding much-needed relief from the general stress inherent to studying at a university,” according to its website. She is a Masters student in Education and Curriculum Planning, and wants to get re-elected to bring together all three campuses for inclusion and to make the lives of all graduate students better.

A student in the Management of Technology MBA program at SFU, Tjin promotes herself as a skilled communicator and someone who is passionate about software programming. According to her platform, she will “work diligently with the Committee to ensure the strategic direction of the Graduate Services benefit students, research and propose opportunities to improve our existing services, and liaison with as many students as possible” if elected.

Referendum Question

Finally, there is only one referendum question, and it comes from the same group who just got a referendum question approved in the SFSS election. Embark is seeking the same deal they just got from undergraduate students, as they want to up their levy to $3.50 per semester for full-time students, and $1.75 for part-time. They currently collect $2 and $1 from those groups respectively.

The vote for this question and all candidates will be open from 8 a.m. on November 29 to 11:30 p.m. on December 1. Announcements will be announced on December 2 at 5 p.m.