GSS Council Corner: July 10

Notes from the latest Graduate Student Society (GSS) meeting

Chris Ho/The Peak

By: Onosholema Ogoigbe, News Team Member

SFU gives a presentation about the gondola project during GSS meeting 

Joanne Curry, SFU’s vice-president external relations, and Navjot Sanghera, SFU’s external relations coordinator, gave a presentation to answer the  Graduate Student Society’s (GSS) previous questions about the Burnaby Mountain Urban Transit Gondola. The potential for having representatives from the university present to the GSS was discussed at the previous GSS meeting.

This presentation was prompted by questions asked at a previous GSS meeting, such as how a gondola would affect bus routes, specifically the 145 and 143, and the project’s environmental impact. Curry stated that upon the return of their main technical representative, questions that require answers from TransLink would be answered if required. Curry went on to ask the GSS to support the project.

“We would love to have the GSS, a very important part of our student body… support this project.”

Editor’s note: The Peak is working on a more comprehensive summary of the material presented, to be published in the future. 

New International Students Working Group (ISWG) introduces themselves to GSS 

The ISWG is a new GSS working group addressing issues concerning graduate international students. Such issues include working to aid graduate students with visa extensions and providing graduate students with MSP coverage during implied status.

A written statement in the agenda stated  the new working groups goals.

“Our intent is not to compete with or duplicate any of the resources already offered by the university [ . . .] but to help fill in any gaps that may exist, identify the barriers of international students, and raise awareness for them.”

The ISWG intends to establish a constructive relationship with the GSS that both groups could benefit fro.m

The group is made up of SFU students Rahil Adeli, Cameron Pearson, Mona Mehdiza, a mixture of domestic and international students in addition to SFU alumnus Zachary Strom. 

GSS discusses possible involvement in 2019 federal elections 

Matt McDonald, director of external relations, raised the possibility of GSS co-sponsoring an all-party debate for this fall’s federal election. McDonald believes the SFSS is already working on setting up a debate, citing SFSS president Giovanni HoSang’s Twitter activity. 

“He’s been tweeting at people and getting them to agree, so I think that the local MP, the liberal party, NDP Canada, and the Green Canada have already agreed in principle to a debate,” McDonald said.

While  many GSS members are neither permanent residents nor citizens of Canada, there are up to 3000 members who are. 

“In the coming weeks and months . . . I’d like to delve into the possibilities of public-spirited GSS involvement in the federal elections,” McDonald wrote in the agenda. 

Aside from the proposed debate co-sponsorship, McDonald suggested other initiatives like supporting graduate students who want to register as voters and get involved.

Following this discussion, McDonald told Council that he planned to bring a clearer proposal to the GSS in August.