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
August 8, 2017

Health and Dental Plan Changes

Dear Students, As you review your fees for the upcoming year on SOLUS, you will find that the SGPS health and dental rate has increased from last year. I want to take this opportunity to explain the increased rate, as well as the increased value that accompanies it. This 2017-18 single person health and dental rate is $567.58. Compared to last year’s rate of $500, this is an increase of $67.58. Part of this rate increase is attributable to drastic changes in plan usage. For example, the establishment of an on-campus dentist last year resulted in a sharp spike in dental claims. If you’re familiar with how insurance companies operate, you’ll know that such a spike leads to an unavoidable rate increase. Of course, this isn’t all negative: it means you are taking fuller advantage of your benefits. The second – and more deliberate – reason for the rate increase was to address changes you requested. Last year’s health and dental survey (which was emailed to all SGPS members) provided us with important data that revealed common concerns and aspirations pertaining to plan benefits. In response, the following benefits were added: Dental maximum increased from $750 to $1000 Scaling increased from 1 unit to 2 units Paramedical increased from $500 to $600 The addition of mental health coverage at $500 The addition of night guard coverage (predetermination required) In total, these changes equate to over $1000 in increased benefits for an added $67.58. I am confident that this year’s plan is a better reflection of the needs of SGPS members. Yet I also remain cognizant of the added financial barrier this change imposes. That is why we will be increasing the money allocated to the SGPS Bursary Program. In combination, the new plan benefits and increased bursary support will lead to improved wellness and access – a guiding principle of the Executive’s term. Adam Grotsky SGPS President