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.

Jeremy Ambraska, President
Abel Hazon, VP Finance and Services
Leo Erlikhman, VP Graduate
Ryan Adlem, VP Professional

Each week we will be highlighting a particular service offered by the SGPS.

Check back for more information in the coming weeks.

SGPS Health and Dental Plan

As your Society of Graduate and Professional Students, we’d like to share some important and exciting information about changes to your SGPS Health & Dental Plan.

As of September 1, 2019 the SGPS will have a *NEW* Health & Dental Plan that will be administered by Studentcare, the leading provider of student health plans in CanadaWith this change, new features, improvements, and benefits will be introduced for the upcoming policy year (Sept. 1, 2019 – Aug. 31, 2020). This includes optimized and enhanced health, dental, vision and travel benefits available to eligible Queen’s Graduate students and their dependents*.

The SGPS and Studentcare are working to ensure that any related changes, such as a new policy number and claims submission process, are implemented as smoothly as possible. Visit www.studentcare.ca and sgps.ca in August 2019 for updates as details are confirmed.

*IMPORTANT NOTE: The Government of Ontario has introduced significant changes that have a material impact on the operation, structure, and services the SGPS provides, including the Health & Dental Plan. These changes include the reversal of the Ontario Pharmacare Program (OHIP+) and new tuition and ancillary policies under the Student Choice Initiative. As a result, we are working diligently with our new provider to ensure the long-term sustainability and success of the SGPS Health & Dental Plan program and with the University on a new fee structure. Students who remain an SGPS member will retain additional benefits and services including the option to enroll dependents into the Health & Dental Plan program, as-well-as greater cost savings.

Peer Academic Advisors Program

The SGPS Peer Academic Advisors is a free and confidential service which provides advice, strategies for self-advocacy and referrals to Graduate and Professional students at Queen’s University. Our Peer Academic Advisors are fellow Graduate and Professional students and they work to help you navigate many of the issues you may face while you are working towards your educational goals.

Our Advisors provide a safe, non-judgemental listening ear for you to share your concerns in a confidential, supportive environment. However, because we are a peer-based service we are unable to act as professional counselors or provide legal advice. If an issue extends beyond the Program’s competencies, Advisors will seek permission from you to refer you to a service which is better suited to meet your needs.

Advisors can help you with issues ranging from your relationship with your supervisor, how to navigate professional conflicts with your peers, how to appeal a grade, how to navigate the process for medical leave, and many more minor bumps in the road you might experience in your academic career.

To contact the SGPS Peer Academic Advisors, email advisors@sgps.ca. All correspondence with the Program is entirely confidential. We cannot share your information with anyone unless we receive written permission from you.

The classification of Student Fees into the categories of Mandatory and Optional is governed by the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities “Tuition Fee Framework and Ancillary Fee Guidelines for Publicly-Assisted Universities”.

SGPS Mandatory Student Fees 2019 - 2020

Group Fee Amount
Athletics and Recreation
Allows for the usage of athletics and recreation facilities by SGPS members and their participation in recreational clubs, intramurals, and health and wellness sessions.
Ban Righ Centre
The Ban Righ Centre provides various academic supports to mature students at Queen’s University who identify as female. Funds from this fee support student advising, faculty mentoring, and a writing studio program. The centre provides a strong peer community and space for students to complete individual and group academic work in a welcoming, inclusive environment.
Annual transit pass for students.
Campus Observation Room
A confidential, non-judgmental space for intoxicated students to reduce the risks of alcohol-related harms. A harm reduction program run by Student Wellness Services with KHSC (hospital). Staffing by hospital staff, and trained student volunteers. Staff assess, monitor and refer if warranted. Fees support operations- primarily hospital staff salaries, and student volunteer training.
Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre
Supports Indigenous graduate student’s academic success through our SAGE (Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement) Writing Retreat. Students are able to connect with a writing instructor and mentor throughout the week-long retreat to receive feedback on their writing.
JDUC Redevelopment
JDUC redevelopment means a 4000-square foot graduate-student wing that will be designed by and for graduate students. In addition, it will deliver 122,000 square feet of new high-quality space, 3,200 square feet of new club space, one floor dedicated to new event/conference space and 8,800 square feet of new study space.
SGPS Peer Academic Advisors (formerly known as the SGPS Student Advisors)
A free and confidential service which provides academic advice, strategies for self-advocacy and referrals regarding academic issues to Graduate and Professional students at Queen’s University.
SGPS Peer Academic Advisors Admin Fee
The administrative and overhead fees associated with the delivery of SGPS Peer Academic Advisor services.
Student ID Validation
The SGPS validation sticker on the back of every Graduate and Professional Students ID Card is the tool used to identify whether individuals are fee-paying students. This sticker allows them access to several essential services including but not limited to the ARC and Bus-It.
Student Life Centre
The Student Life Centre is comprised of the John Deutsch University Centre, 51 Bader Lane, MacGillivray-Brown Hall, MacCorry student street, and the Queen’s Centre. Collectively these buildings provide over 10,500 sq m. of assignable space and facilities for student community governance and operations. Additionally, these buildings collectively constitute the principal location for the essential student focused programs and services.
Student Life Centre Admin Fee
The administrative and overhead fees associated with the Student Life Centre.
Student Wellness Services
Supports the personal, academic, and social development of students at Queen’s University by providing a range of programs and services. Their mission is to provide a welcoming, confidential, and integrated service that is responsive to the needs of students.
Walkhome is a completely student-run, anonymous and confidential safety service that provide safe walks to students both on campus and within the Kingston community. The funds from this fee go towards the overall operating budget, contributing to help ensure the comfort of individuals as they go from destination to destination, after hours.

SGPS Optional Student Fees 2019 - 2020

Group Fee Amount
Alma Mater Society Food Bank
The AMS Food Bank serves as a confidential and non-judgmental food service to members of the Queen’s community. The SGPS fee allows us to purchase supplies which provide food services for students and community members experiencing food insecurity or financial need.
Camp Outlook
Camp Outlook is a local, volunteer run, charitable camp for disadvantaged youth from in and around Kingston. We provide wilderness canoe trips in the summer, and day and overnight outdoors activities during the school year. All activities are free of charge for our campers and our volunteers. We use our opt-out fee to help cover the expense of training and certifying our volunteer trip leaders.
Canadian Federation of Students
A bilingual national union of over one-half million students across the country. The benefits of membership include national and provincial advocacy on issues impacting students; access to the International Student Identity Card free of charge; access to skill-building workshops and training; support for the Circle of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students, and more.
Centre for Teaching and Learning $1.40
CFRC 101.9 FM
CFRC, the world’s oldest campus radio station, is a non-profit, volunteer-powered media outlet offering diverse music & spoken word content. Student fees support operational costs including broadcast and podcast training, recording and pod/broadcast of student-focused content, maintenance and repair of equipment, and translatable job skills training for students in media, communications and more.
HIV and AIDS Regional Services
Fees collected go directly to providing comprehensive education, prevention, harm reduction and support services for people living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections. In addition, fees support HARS’s work in advocating for broader social change to reduce stigma and discrimination.
Kingston Coalition Against Poverty
An anti-poverty activist group that engages in both direct relief programs and advocacy campaigns in favour of better social policy to reduce poverty and alleviate its effects. Money collected through the fee is split between direct relief programs such as free meals and product drives, and advocacy work such as seminars and town hall meetings.
Kingston Youth Shelter Project
Strives to make a difference in the lives of homeless youth by offering a safe and supportive emergency shelter that encourages their growth and provides them with access to community resources. This fee funds meals for the sheltered youth.
Legal Aid
The oldest of the Queen’s clinic programs, Queen’s Legal Aid (QLA) has been a vital part of the Queen’s community for decades. The student fee enables QLA to extend eligibility for free legal services to all participating Queen’s students and to provide additional services to participating Queen’s students, including representation on legal matters and commissioning and notarizing documents.
Loving Spoonful
The fee to Loving Spoonful supports the pick up of surplus, fresh food from Queen’s campus restaurants. This reduces food waste and greenhouse gas emissions and provides the healthy food for 12,000 meals to 50 agencies in Kingston serving those who need good food. We support Soul Food during exams, reading weeks and breaks. It’s a huge benefit to the community and a cost-effective program.
Levana Gender Advocacy Centre
Levana Gender Advocacy Centre is an organization committed to creating and nurturing a radical community of Kingston students and residents through fighting gender oppression and advocating for gender empowerment while operating on anti-oppressive practices. Funding goes towards programming and workshops, as well as towards grants we provide students and local organizations for equity initiatives on or around campus.
Ontario Public Interest Research Group – Kingston
The Ontario Public Interest Research Group – Kingston at Queen’s University (OPIRG) is Queen’s campus-based centre ofcommunity-based research, education, and action supporting social and environmental justice.
Oxfam Queen’s
A campus branch of Oxfam International working towards ending global poverty. Holding fundraisers and events, Oxfam raises awareness and money for issues surrounding poverty, such as homelessness, hunger and education. Oxfam focuses on global and local issues to achieve social justice . Money raised is provided as donations to other charities and organizations that follow these values.
Queen’s Daycare
Provides high quality, affordable childcare that is responsive to the needs of families within the community of Queen’s University. The funds from this fee go towards enriching programming by purchasing more math and science manipulatives; outdoor play materials; and books for the children.
Queen’s International Affairs Association
Promotes debate and dialogue about international affairs, global politics, and foreign relations by proving our members practical outlets in which they can explore their interests in the international system.
Queen’s International Student Society Bursary Program
Contributes towards the overall financial assistance the University is able to direct towards the support of international students who experience financial difficulty.
Reelout Arts Project
The funds go towards fees associated with travel, presentation or artist/screening fees for artists/curators/guest lecturers that engage with the Queen’s and larger community during the annual Reelout Queer Film Festival. Invited guest presenters focus on issues of sexuality and gender and the intersections existing within, particularly race, culture, age, health and ability.
Sexual Assualt Crisis Centre
The funds from this fee go towards our counselling services and support our public education campaigns. The Centre counsels survivors of all genders of sexual violence, both historic and recent. All of our services are free of charge, confidential, and survivor-centred. More information can be found at sackingston.com
Sexual Health Resource Centre
The SHRC is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the highest standards of sexual health for everyone at Queen’s University. We provide confidential information services and referrals, wholesale-cost products such as $3 pregnancy tests, educational programs, and accompaniments. The fees collected fund operational costs such as paying for HST and buying educational and outreach materials.
SGPS Society Fee
The SGPS represents and advocates for students at all levels of University and lobbies the federal, provincial and municipal governments on issues crucial to the well being and success of graduate and professional students. Elected representatives participate in the governance of the University Senate, the Board of Trustees, the University Council and over 40 University Committees. The SGPS also facilitates numerous services and programs including Health & Dental Insurance, Peer Academic Advisors and Bus-It. Members of the SGPS will receive access to all SGPS events and programming, a reduced Health & Dental rate, access to the SGPS International Student Bursary, the SGPS Dental Bursary, the SGPS Student Activity Bursary, the SGPS Emergency Bursary, and the SGPS Student Initiative Grant.
SGPS Athletics & Wellness Commission
This fee is in support of the SGPS Athletics & Wellness Commission which runs athletic and wellness events and initiatives throughout the year to promote wellness and balance in the lives of SGPS members.
SGPS Equity & Diversity Commission
This fee is in support of the SGPS Equity & Diversity Commission which provides events and initiatives that foster awareness of issues related to equity and diversity to make both Queen’s and the SGPS a more welcoming and supportive environment for everyone.
SGPS Social Commission
This fee is in support of the SGPS Social Commission which holds social events throughout the year, including Orientation Week, to build and maintain a spirit of community between SGPS members as they reach their academic goals.
SGPS International Affairs Commission
This fee is in support of the SGPS International Affairs Commission whose mandate is to foster an increased awareness of issues facing international students on campus and endeavour towards finding and implementing means to address these issues with campus and community partners.
Telephone Aid Line Kingston
Provides a confidential, anonymous, and non-judgmental listening and crisis support phone line for all members of the Queen’s and Kingston community. The service is entirely volunteer run and provides distress, crisis, befriending and information support. The funds from this fee go towards the overall operating budget.
The Grad Club
The Grad Club provides a safe, inclusive, environmentally friendly, and dedicated multi-purpose space on campus for graduate and professional students at Queen’s. The funds from this fee ensure club operations including a variety of year-round member benefits such as pub food discounts, free rental of accessible event space, and both indoor and outdoor space for studying and socializing on campus.
The Queen’s Journal
The Queen’s Journal is the main and only editorially autonomous newspaper at Queen’s, covering campus, student, and Kingston issues. The paper was founded in 1873 and is the oldest continuously-publishing student newspaper in Canada.
Union Gallery
The Union Gallery presents visual and interdisciplinary contemporary art and related programming. It is a platform for creative interpretation and development through its function as a resource for experiential learning, professional development, and research opportunities for university students. The funds from this fee go towards the overall operating budget to support these opportunities.
Work Study Program
Provides students with demonstrated financial need with the opportunity to receive priority for certain part-time jobs during their studies.
World University Services Canada Queen’s
Aims to build a supportive environment for refugee students who come to Queen’s though a scholarship package for refugees sponsored by the Student Refugee Support Program, while also raising awareness for various other global development issues through on campus initiatives.