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
February 4, 2019

Statement on School of Graduate Studies Funding Packages

Click here for a PDF copy of this statement.
August 21, 2018

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March 5, 2018

Joint statement re: SGPS Presidential By-Election by Stéfy McKnight & Tyler Morrison

Today is the beginning of the campaign period for the Society of Graduate & Professional Students (SGPS) at Queen’s University Presidential election, with Tyler Morrison and Stéfy McKnight as candidates. Over the course of the last month, we (Stéfy McKnight and Tyler Morrison) have collectively received a number of questions about why there is a by-election for the position of SGPS President, and we hope that this statement will clarify those points and concerns. The original SGPS Presidential election in January was nullified. The SGPS Chief Returning Officer (CRO) received notice of a self-disclosed accidental infraction of election policy, brought to their attention as soon as it was discovered by the candidate, Stéfy McKnight. McKnight utilized more than the allotted campaign budget. The CRO placed a fine for the violation, which was then appealed by Tyler Morrison, who has since pardoned the infraction. This appeal activated the SGPS Judicial Committee who nullified the results of the election, triggering the upcoming by-election. Although the over spending infraction was small, both candidates accept the decision by the Judicial Committee to nullify the results, and are looking forward to engaging in the upcoming campaign period. We prepared this statement with the desire to put this violation and appeal behind us, and attempt to have the most neutral and fair by-election as possible. Moving forward, we have respectively agreed to not respond to further questions about this issue. We wish to focus the campaign period and election on SGPS issues, policies; our platforms and plans for the SGPS, and not on the infraction and appeal. We urge SGPS members to positively engage in the electoral process, focusing on graduate and professional student issues and policies in the upcoming campaign period, and not on the infraction. We are adamant that this is the most productive and logical way to move forward. Remember to cast your votes online through your email on March 12th and 13th. Submitted respectively, Stéfy McKnight & Tyler Morrison