By: Paige Riding, News Writer
Following the Graduate Student Society’s (GSS) election in the fall of 2019, the GSS welcomed four new members to their board of directors.
The Director of Student Life’s seat on the board was filled by Lulu Li with 241 total votes. The position had two other candidates. Li is an international master’s student in political science whose online introduction notes that she “strongly believe in giving back to the community and [is] an active volunteer in community organizations on and off campus.” Li hopes to hold events on campus to build “long-lasting and deeper connection within our diverse student society.” Li’s elected position involves making the grad student experience as good as it can possibly be, through planning events, overseeing community development, and working to engage graduate students through “non-academic resources.”
The Director of Finance position found itself in the hands of Farina Fassihi with 168 votes. Fassihi, who ran against three other candidates, is pursuing a master’s degree in Urban Studies. Fassihi’s profile notes that they have “been involved with several non-profit organizations and groups, working on a range of issues related to health and social services. These endeavours have helped [Fassihi] to hone [their] leadership and team building skills.” The Director of Finance oversees the creation of the GSS’ budget and annual audit, among other investment goals.
Finally, Rahil Adeli, running unopposed, was elected to the Director of Academic Relations position with 383 votes. A master’s student in Urban Studies, Adeli’s platform mentioned how they believe that “the university should play a more decisive and active role in professional development for all graduate students.” The Director of Academic Relations, previously called the Director of University Relations, is the arm that connects the GSS to other parts of SFU’s community including SFU administration and the SFSS.
Matt McDonald, Director of External Relations for the GSS, who spoke to The Peak via email, stated that a fourth director was appointed to their position for the Spring term. Mona Mehdizadeh became the Director of Graduate Services for January through the end of April. This position was appointed to a shortened term, rather than elected, because of the board “[moving] around the terms of two director positions,” wrote McDonald. The four new directors began their terms at the start of the new year.
McDonald noted that the amount of candidates running were “historically quite high,” as was the voter turnout of 565 voters. McDonald wrote that such a turnout “shows [how] the advocacy campaigns and events held by the GSS are becoming increasingly visible to students in the last year or so, leading more of us to realize we can have a positive impact on the university community and graduate student issues if we get involved.”
These three candidates will work their term until the final day of 2020. During the Spring semester, another three Directors will be elected for the Society: Director of External Relations, Director of Internal Relations, and Director of Graduate Services. Election information will become available as the term progresses on the GSS website later this month.
Full vote counts for all positions and opposing candidates can be found on the GSS website.