Welcome to the summary of GSS Council on May 20, 2021.
Congratulations to our new Councillor(s): Louise Harding and Sandeep Gill (School of Population and Public Health), Aaron Loewen (reseated, Cell & Developmental Biology), Teesha Luehr (reseated, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology).
Council this month was short and light, despite some big, historical motions:
- Notably, we heard a special presentation from the AMS VP External Affairs, Saad Shoaib and previous GSS VP External Relations, Alireza Kamyabi regarding the AMS/GSS Memorandum of Understanding on External Advocacy: this was a unanimously carried motion to sign a MOU that puts into writing the intention of the AMS and GSS to continue their fruitful relationship specifically for external advocacy efforts. We hope this signals a long, symbiotic relationship between the two societies to advocate for graduate student interests at a provincial and federal level!
- There were two policy revisions: one meta-revision to the Policy Revision Form itself (whoa), and an amendment to the GSS Events Fund Policy that expands the scope of the fund to include non-event projects – we hope our Affiliated Organizations enjoy and take advantage.
- The 2021-22 budget was approved unanimously with almost no discussion – a first for the GSS in some years as this is normally a hotly debated topic.
Finally, the President, Kimani Karangu introduced the key advocacy areas of the 2021-22 Executive team, including affordability, anti-racism, mental health and wellbeing, combatting sexualized violence, and continuing work on the awaited Graduate Life Centre. Council also regained some energy to have a discussion on the presentation by the Strategic Planning ad-hoc Committee about proposed changes to their themes structure for the upcoming 2022-2026 Strategic Plan. This motion to make the changes will be brought back in June Council for a more in-depth presentation on the proposed structure as more information was requested.
As always, minutes will be available once approved on the GSS website for more details. The next meeting will be on Thursday, June 17, 2021. All graduate students are welcome to attend!