Wednesday, March 22, 2023

March Meeting Minutes

Full BISC Caucus Minutes of Meeting for March, 2023 can be found here.

TL;DR Highlights

  • TSSU
  • Strike vote is happening now on in until march 28th, vote yes. We want to construct a unified front
  • Voting dates:
  • Burnaby: March: 22, 23, 24, 27, 28
  • Surrey: March 23, 27
  • Vancouver: March: 22, 28
  • Email Sherry Young if there were areas you were concerned about for health and safety reasons during the snow storms (areas that were not cleared). We also want to know if there are labs that are too hot or too cold.
  • GSS
  • Another donation to the grocery fund, now means there are more grocery cards available. You can apply each semester for the emergency grocery card program.
  • DGSC
  • Talk of having 2000$ increment to the stipend (from BASS funds) distributed via TARA awards, therefore if you will need a TARA award in the fall apply early.
  • Faculty Meeting
  • In fall $28,000 to all eligible students with the method of Tara awards, coming from BASS funding
  • MPM admissions have been paused until future notice due to retirement of professors.
  • DGS: Talk about a better alert system to show that students aren’t meeting their annual progress report.
  • DUCC: Biology Day! On thursday march 23 from 4:30 to 6pm.
  • Lab tours from 3:30 to 4:30

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

February Meeting Minutes

The meeting minutes for the February 9, 2023 caucus meeting can be found here.


  • The general elections were held for the 2023-2024 BISC grad caucus executive. Check out the minutes to see all the new (and returning) execs!
  • The new BISC Slack server is now live and can be accessed with a temporary join link (so long as you have an SFU email address). Feel free to reach out to our new webmaster Ramis at if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.
  • All BISC grads should have received an email from Kathryn regarding a one-time payment of $300(likely to be disbursed on Feb 24) to each eligible student. Please see the minutes if you're uncertain about eligibility.

Thursday, February 02, 2023

January Meeting Minutes

 The meeting minutes from the BISC caucus January 19th meeting can be found here.

Some highlights include:

  • The BISC EDI committee is looking for graduate representatives! If you’re interested in one of these positions, please reach out to Kevin Lam at or Isabelle Côté at
  • Spring General Elections will be held at this month's upcoming meeting!!! Nominations are currently open and all are invited to self-nominate on the sign-up sheet
  • Dig into the minutes if you want to learn more about (i) a prospective department-wide BioRender account, (ii) plans to host a BISC Graduate Symposium, or (iii) the treasurer's super dope account updates.

Friday, December 16, 2022

December Meeting Minutes

The minutes from the December 8th BISC grad caucus meeting can be found here.

Highlights include:

  • The Cost of Living survey is still open! Please consider adding in your input so that the community can get a better understanding of graduate student living costs and situations across SFU departments.
  • The wage subsidy's full amount has now come in. Students who are active (not on leave or graduated) in the Spring 2023 semester should expect to receive ~$300!
  • The BISC Outreach & Engagement Committee and BISC EDI Committee are looking for graduate students to fill Student Representative positions. Please see the meeting minutes for further details and who to contact if interested.
  • An anonymous donation to the GSS Emergency Grocery Card program adds support to provide up to 400 graduate students in need with two $70 gift cards. GSS Professional Development Grants ($500) are also now back! 
  • Monday, November 21, 2022

    November Meeting Minutes

     The minutes from the November 10 BISC grad caucus can be found here.

    Highlights include:

    • Megan Barker dropped in to discuss her idea for a new graduate course on undergraduate teaching and learning in the science. Feel free to reach out to her at if you have any thoughts or suggestions!
    • Ramis would like to revive the BISC slack channel – an easier digital means of communication which could be helpful for the grad community.
      Anyone interested in helping out or joining the channel can reach Ramis at
    • The graduate student caucus from the Physics Department have put together a Cost of Living survey in attempts to get a better understanding of graduate student living costs across all SFU departments in the Sciences. You can take the survey now at!

    Monday, October 17, 2022

    October Meeting Minutes

    The minutes from the caucus meeting on October 13 can be found here.

    Highlights include:

    • Disbursement of the departmental wage subsidy to graduate students will be discussed soon. It should amount to approx. $100 per student.
    • RA's are now part of the TSSU. SFU has until November 14 to bargain with the TSSU on new RA compensation and benefits. By Jan 1st, SFU must implement the transition to recognize and include RAs as employees.
    • SFU has launched its 2022 Tuition Conversation Survey, where they are asking for student feedback on tuition costs, structure, and implementation for research grads.
    • There will be a graduate student pumpkin carving contest – tentatively planning for the event to be held sometime in late October (24th – 28th).
    • Sherry Young will be capturing action shots at the next caucus meeting for a promotional video for the BIPOC scholarship. Reach out to Sherry ( if you have any ideas for the video!

    Thursday, September 22, 2022

    September Meeting Minutes

     The minutes from the September 15th caucus meeting can be found here.

    Some highlights include:
    • The one-time TA wage subsidy totaling $13,000 will be divvied up equally to all current biology graduate students.
    • The next caucus meeting will be held on October 13th in B9242 and will be joined by Mike Hart and members of the faculty for a discussion on graduate completion times and thesis lengths. Food and beverages will be provided!
    • The minimum stipend amount has increased this term to $26,000. Criteria regarding MSc/MPM and PhD student eligibility for the subsidization of tuition costs starting this time next year is currently being discussed (see Faculty Mole update for more details).
    • The BISC Grad Caucus welcome party will be held tomorrow from 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm in the SSB 7000-level courtyard area!

    Saturday, August 27, 2022

    August Meeting Minutes

     The meeting minutes from the BISC grad caucus meeting on August 18, 2022, can be found here.

    Highlights include:

    • This year's Pacific Ecology and Evolution Conference (PEEC) will be organized by SFU, please email Em Lim ( if you're interested in helping out!
    • The graduate stipend amount is increasing by $2000 ($24,000 → $26,000) starting this upcoming September along with a tuition waiver pilot program ( NOTE: Tuition waiver only disbursed to eligible students, i.e., those in the first two years of MSc/MPM/MET or first four years of PhD). See Action Plan in email sent out with meeting minutes for more information.
    • Dr. Noah Ashley was selected as our Fall grad hosted speaker. Please email Brett Hodinka ( if you have any nominations for the remaining seminar slots.
    • The caucus is planning to host a welcome BBQ event on September 23rd, stay tuned!