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!

    Monday, July 18, 2022

    June Meeting Minutes

     The minutes from the caucus meeting on June 16, 2022, can be found here.

    Highlights from this meeting include:

    • As a graduate student, you may be eligible for a $50 grocery card via the GSS Emergency Grocery Card program.
    • The BISC grad caucus will be hosting a summer event in either July or August - keep an eye on your inbox for a poll to help determine an event date!
    • Following an inconclusive faculty vote on how to best increase the graduate student minimum stipend, the caucus and DGSC representatives are looking for your input and support in endorsing one of the stipend increase options (see attached) leading up to the next faculty vote on July 4th.

    Thursday, May 26, 2022

    May Meeting Minutes

     The minutes from the May caucus meeting can be found here.

    Highlights include:

    -Ideas on how to spend an extra $13,000 from the department in the DGSC update

    -Nominations for TSSU stewards happening now.

    -Take the GSS affordability survey to help the GSS advocate for affordability for students.

    -Thoughts on the departmental review. Polls in response to some of the points in the review will be sent to grad students soon.

    Wednesday, April 27, 2022

    April Meeting Minutes

     Meeting minutes from the April BISC grad caucus meeting can be found here.

    Monday, March 28, 2022

    Sunday, February 27, 2022

    Friday, February 04, 2022