January 29, 2020

SGPS Divestment

On January 14, 2020, SGPS Council voted to sign onto Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change’s (“QBACC”) call for Queen’s University to divest from fossil fuels. At the same council meeting, the SGPS council also voted to begin the process to divest the SGPS’s investments from fossil fuels. Both votes were the culmination of months of debate and discussion. These decisions were not taken lightly by the SGPS. It was noted by council members that funding from fossil fuel companies in Canada directly supports students, research and the development of green technology. Nevertheless, the SGPS recognizes that immediate and bold action needs to be taken by all sectors of society to tackle climate change. We hope that by joining QBACC’s petition, Queen’s University will take the appropriate steps moving forward and commit to combating climate change. 2019 – 2020 SGPS Executive
October 11, 2019

SGPS statement on racist note

Principal’s Statement Concerning Racist Note Yesterday morning a racist, homophobic, and threatening poster was discovered attached to the door of a common room in one of Queen’s student residence buildings. The note was immediately removed after it was discovered, police were notified, and Queen’s staff moved quickly to mobilize supports to assist students in the residence impacted by this event. This cowardly act of violence had the sole purpose of attacking the dignity of Indigenous and Queer identified members of the Queen’s community by attempting to fan the flames of hatred. It is our responsibility as members of the Queen’s community to speak out against this disgusting act of bigotry and to support the members of our community who were targeted in this incident. The SGPS condemns this poster as an act of hate that is in contravention of the values of equity, inclusion, and respect held by our community. The SGPS fully supports the Indigenous and LGBTQ+ identified members of our community. Everyone, regardless of their race, ancestry, place of origin, ethnic origin, creed, sex, sexual orientation, disability, and gender identity has a place at Queen’s. We must all work together to not only create but foster an environment of diversity and inclusion so our fellow Queen’s community members can thrive. If you feel affected by this incident and require support, please do not hesitate to reach out to the support services available on campus, including our own Graduate Peer Support Centre and Peer Academic Advisors Program. Additionally, the SGPS Equity and Diversity Commissioner is always available to speak with students who have questions or concerns about Equity and Diversity within the SGPS and at Queen’s. Concerned students can also reach out to the Education on Queer Issues Project (EQuIP) or the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre here at Queen’s. Finally, resources after hours and over the weekend for students include Empower Me,  Good2Talk, and Hope for Wellness Helpline. Sincerely, Jeremy Ambraska, President Uchitta Vashist, Vice-President Community Abel Hazon, Vice-President Finance Leo Erlikhman, Vice-President Graduate Ryan Adlem, Vice-President Professional
June 27, 2019

A Message From Your SGPS Executive

On January 17, 2019, Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (“MTCU”) announced the “first ever province-wide tuition reduction.” Within that announcement, the MTCU also announced a new protocol known as the Student Choice Initiative (“SCI”). The purpose of the SCI is to “… ensure students have transparency and freedom of choice regarding the campus services and organizations which get access to their money.” The protocol states that only certain fees can be considered mandatory fees and unfortunately, several fees which were previously mandatory are now considered optional. This includes the SGPS society fee. This means that for the first time in the history of the organization, students who are assessed the SGPS society fee can opt out of it, effectively choosing whether or not they want to remain a member of the SGPS. The SGPS is proud to supply our members with a new and fantastic Health and Dental plan; event insurance for our faculty/departmental societies; a robust bursaries and grants program; social events; health and wellness initiatives; access to peer support services including the Peer Academic Advisor Program (formerly known as the Student Advisor Program); as well as representation and advocacy for our members across the University. The SCI has already made a serious impact on the SGPS as we prepare for the potential loss of funds used to run events, fund our grants and bursaries, and provide services. We have had to make some very hard decisions in order to ensure that the SGPS can survive these changes. While these decisions have been very difficult to make, our focus has always been and will remain on protecting our member-driven services and ensuring that we maintain our active advocacy and resources for SGPS members on campus. The SGPS has existed since 1963 when it was just a club under the AMS. Although we have grown and changed, our dedication to the personal and professional success of our members remains constant. We hope that you will continue to remain a member of the SGPS and we look forward to serving and advocating for you for many years to come. Sincerely, Jeremy Ambraska, President Abel Hazon, VP Finance and Services Leo Erlikhman, VP Graduate Ryan Adlem, VP Professional