Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Petition to Parliament re: SSHRC grants restricted to business-related degrees

Many of you may be interested in signing this petition about SSHRC funding.

Clea Moray
GSS President


Paul Couillard <>
Date: February 24, 2009 6:35:40 AM PST

Dear Canadian friends, colleagues and associates:

I am forwarding a petition in support of SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) currently being circulated by Niki Ashton (NDP MP).

I hope you can all find a minute to sign this petition as this federal conservative directive has the potential to reduce significantly the support for university students and faculty engaged in scholarship in the social sciences and humanities, education, environmental studies, fine arts and other areas not directly pertinent to business. The text of the petition is included below: to add your name, just follow the link at the bottom.

Please circulate widely.

To the House of Commons in Parliament Assembled

We, the undersigned residents of Canada, wish to bring to your attention the following:

For more than thirty years, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) has been promoting and supporting university-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. SSHRC funding has been used to complete ground breaking research in countless areas in Canada and around the world.

The Federal Budget presented on January 27th contains a sentence that has the potential to halt this kind of research: "Scholarships granted by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council will be focused on business-related degrees".

These measures are backward and insulting to the thousands of Canadians that are students and researchers in the social sciences and humanities.

THEREFORE, we petitioners are calling upon the government to remove this sentence from the 2009 Budget and ensure that SSHRC funding not be allocated to one specific discipline but to the range of studies in the social sciences and humanities.


to sign:

Clea Moray
President, The Graduate Student Society at Simon Fraser University (tel: 778-782-3899;
M.Sc. Candidate, Biology Department
Simon Fraser University


Friday, February 20, 2009

Caucus meeting next Wed (Feb 25) 3:30-4:30pm

Hello everyone,

We will be having our February caucus meeting next Wednesday (Feb. 25th) from 3:30-4:30pm in the 7000 level grad lounge in order to accommodate the GSS AGM next Friday.

On the agenda (attached): updates regarding our spring events (Grad Symposium and ANZA B.S. social), and discussion regarding a "How to Write a Thesis" course.



Notice of Referendum

Please take notice that the Graduate Student Society at Simon Fraser
University has put the following question to referendum:

"Do you agree that the Society should increase the amount of the special
levy collected from all graduate students for the purpose of providing an
extended health and dental benefit plan for graduate students from at most
$340 per year to at most $399 per year in order to maintain the level of
health and dental benefits provided under the plan?

If this question fails, the current levy rate of at most $340 per year for
graduate students will remain in effect, and both of the following
reductions in benefits are projected:
 - a cap of $20 on the maximum reimbursement per paramedical (e.g., massage
therapy, chiropractor, physiotherapy) visit, and
 - reduction in dental coverage from 80% to 70%."

Campaigning on the question will be permitted from Tuesday, March 10 to
Monday, March 23.

Polling shall occur on March 24, 25, and 26 (concurrent with the GSS Officer
elections) and shall be done online using the SFU WebSurvey system. More
information on how to vote and the hours of voting will be sent out by email
to all graduate students via their SFU email accounts.

For more information on the referendum, please visit the Society's website: or contact the GSS Electoral Committee:


Lindsay Zibrik
Chair, Electoral Committee
The Graduate Student Society at SFU

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Graduate Student Society -- Notice of Annual General Meeting

Hi everyone.

The Graduate Student Society at Simon Fraser University is pleased to
announce that its Annual General Meeting will take place as follows:

Friday, February 27, 2009
The Highland Pub, SFU, Burnaby Mountain Campus
4:00 PM (doors open for registration at 3:30 PM)

All current SFU graduate students are eligible to attend and vote -- no
voting by proxy is allowed.

Ample refreshments will be provided, and there will be a full grad social
after the event. The first 150 grads who arrive at the meeting by 4:00 PM
will receive free food and drink tickets for the social!

The full notice of the meeting, including the agenda, is in the attached
PDF, but the most important thing to note is that there will be two major
by-law changes considered. One is to increase the maximum monthly stipend
paid to GSS officers. The other is to allow the GSS to make further
amendments to its by-laws by referendum vote.

If you have any questions about the AGM, please contact us at, or call us at (778) 782-3899, or come by and see us
in MBC 2205.

We look forward to seeing you in the pub on February 27!

  - Mike Letourneau

Michael Letourneau, Executive Director
The Graduate Student Society at Simon Fraser University

MBC 2211, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6
(778) 782-8710  --