Presidential Candidate

Justine Aman

Candidate for SGPS President

Thank you for taking the time to participate in student democracy! My name is Justine Aman, I’ve been a member of the Queen’s community for six years, and I’m currently a MSc Candidate in Epidemiology. I also completed my BAH in Sociology at Queen’s with a certificate in Gender and Sexual Diversity, and I’m running to represent you as SGPS President.

As President, my priority will be acting as a fair and unbiased advocate for the 4000+ graduate and professional students who call Queen’s home. To effectively represent your needs, and cultivate a positive relationship between students and the SGPS, I will commit to holding consistent office hours.

I will also continue the work of this year’s executive in divesting the SGPS from fossil fuels, with a goal of 100% divestment by the end of my term.

Furthermore, the JDUC rebuild will be a major issue for the SGPS to navigate next year, and I commit to unwavering leadership throughout this transitional period. This means advocating for the needs of students on the JDUC Redevelopment Committee; as well as ensuring that SGPS services – including the GPSC (Graduate Peer Support Centre) and SHRC (Sexual Health Resource Centre) – have the support and infrastructure needed to continue to thrive throughout this process. I have already successfully worked with the JDUC Redevelopment Committee in my role as Director of the SHRC this past year; and I was able to secure space for the SHRC in the new JDUC by facilitating collaboration between the SGPS and AMS.

Finally, I will strive to improve the financial accessibility of extra-curricular activities for SGPS members. For example, by initiating grants to subsidize the cost of police checks required for volunteer applications.

Thank you for your support, I hope that you elect myself, Justine Aman, as SGPS President!

Vice-President Community Candidate

Anthony Lomax

Candidate for Vice-President Community

My name is Anthony and I’m a second year PhD Student in the Cultural Studies Program here at Queen’s. If elected, I will bring a lot of prior experience in student leadership to the role of VP Community. Some examples of prior positions include representing the Music Department at the York University Graduate Student Association during my MA studies and Co-Chairing the Cultural Studies Steering Committee this year. I am also currently serving as Social Commissioner for the SGPS, designing, promoting and leading events for graduate students.

As VP Community, my top priority will be improving the lines of communication between the SGPS and its members. This will include creating more open lines of communication between the executive and the SGPS. I will also work with the SGS and departments to coordinate orientation events, creating less confusion for students. Finally, I will continue to foster a collaborative atmosphere among the commissioners and executive.

Vice-President Finance and Services Candidate

Tamara Mitterer

Candidate for Vice-President Finance and Services

My name is Tamara Mitterer and I am hoping to represent Queen’s graduate students as the SGPS VP Finance and Services. This past year I have had the pleasure of being the Law Students Society’s SGPS representative. This role has given me experience with student governance at both a faculty level and with the SGPS. I hope to continue to grow the Queen’s community and to support all graduate and professional students.

I have a BSc from the University of British Columbia and a BScN from the University of Calgary. I have lived in cities, rural communities, and provinces Coast to Coast. Prior to attending Queen’s University, I was a Registered Nurse in intensive care. I developed a passion for the many legal and ethical issues that arose and decided to pursue a law degree. I also became very interested in how the healthcare system is managed, as well as, governance and business generally. The role of SGPS VP Finance blends my interest in business and health since the role includes management of the SGPS health and dental benefits plan.

In addition to healthcare experience, I will bring business knowledge and experience into the role. One of the positions I held as a Registered Nurse was as a Lead Research Coordinator. Among other duties in this role, I managed the research accounts, budgets and financing. I continue to develop my business and financial knowledge with a heavy focus on business and finance courses in my law degree.

My goals as SGPS VP Finance will be to continue to increase transparency with SGPS funds, maintain responsible investments, and to use SGPS funds to support and grow the Queen’s community.

Vice-President Graduate Candidates

Courtney Bannerman

Candidate for Vice-President Graduate

Hello everyone! My name is Courtney Bannerman and I’m hoping to be elected as your next VP Graduate. I am a current PhD candidate in the Department of Biomedical and molecular science. The VP Graduate plays an important role in representing graduate students to the university community and ensuring their concerns are being addressed.

I am currently serving as the graduate student senator for the SGPS. As the senator I sit on not only on the Queen’s senate but also Graduate Executive Council, Queen’s University Board- Senate Advisory Committee, and the Cyclical Program Review committee. I also sit on a working group looking at graduate student funding and ways to improve financial stability for both domestic and international students.

Should I be elected to this position I hope to ensure proper communication and transparency between the SPGS and the graduate students. In my time as the graduate student senator I heard from many students about their concerns including making connections with graduate students from other departments, financial stability, and career choices after graduation. If I am elected, I would like to increase the number of events and spaces for graduate students to meet each other in a relaxed setting as well as more career workshops and networking events. I plan to continue to advocate for financial stability of students and increased transparency about how internal grants are allocated.

I hope I can continue to serve the graduate students of Queen’s! Thank you for considering me!

Rohit Shukla

Candidate for Vice-President Graduate

Rohit is a passionate, determined and proactive student, currently pursuing PhD in the department of Civil Engineering here at Queen’s University. Rohit has been actively involved in the community and plays vital role on several student governing bodies. Most notably, Rohit represents the graduate students of his department in the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) council, Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC Local 901), where he developed experience in graduate student advocacy. While working with International student working group, he participated in the creation of a campus wide campaign for reduction of international tuition fee. You may also have come across him at Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC), where he works with student from all over the world, helping them smoothly transition in a new environment. Rohit is actively engaged in numerous student’s clubs on campus such as Alma Mater Society (AMS) and many more. Rohit is working with School of graduate Studies (SGS) PhD Community Initiative which focuses on to assist local community organizations. His enthusiasm and work ethics made his time in such roles a great success, and now, he sets his radar on making meaningful changes within the Graduate student community through the role of “VP Graduate”.

Building on his past initiatives representing student voices and experiences lobbying for graduate student’s interest, his primary aim is now to lobby for issues such as allocation of more graduate space on campus, removing structural barriers on completing thesis on time, quick implementation of equal tuition fee for domestic and International graduate student, providing mental health support for graduate student and advocate for more equitable academic policies. Given this position, Rohit hopes to continue representing graduate student interests on campus and ensure their voices are heard with utmost diligence and at the highest administrative levels.

Vice-President Professional Candidate

John Jeyaratnam

Candidate for Vice-President Professional

I am currently a 2nd year JD student in the Faculty of Law. Prior to attending law school I employed in the financial services industry, and in an accounting role for the City of Toronto. Having left my undergraduate studies and subsequently working, I have gained significant insights working in organizations that are bogged down with red tape which tend to move slower than the immediate needs of the people they serve. Within these roles I was able to use my unorthodox problem solving methods to circumvent the bureaucratic hindrances and implement solutions expeditiously. I was be able to do this by building consensus amongst the members of my team. By listening to their needs and finding mutually beneficial solutions, I was able to develop fast acting solutions. In my role In the SGPS, I will be bringing my real world experience, and abilities, to create a more flourishing graduate student experience. We are currently facing funding cuts and a lack of consensus amongst the various graduate faculties. I ask that you vote for me because I have a can-do attitude and do not get frustrated by setbacks. What I am able to bring to my position within the SGPS is to remain flexible. While this does not mean I will change the set objectives, I will be able to find alternate routes to achieving them.

Graduate Student Trustee Candidate

Ali Saghari

Candidate for Graduate Student Trustee

During my undergraduate degree I spend 2 years in student government. In my first year of involvement I was the vp of finance of the Arts Undergraduate Program (AUS). AUS was the governing body of the faculty of arts under the students union. It managed $135,000 in student funds with autonomy for the betterment of the faculty.

As VP of finance I saw how money was spend and the effect it had. My job was specifically to approve of specific purchases by AUS and affiliate groups. I decided to run for president after my term as VP. I won and had the autonomy to distribute funding as I saw fit. I implemented significant changes in the organization and provided support for students built into the organization. We brought organizations together and spent a lot of time thinking how best to utilize our student funds.

As student trustee I’d like to learn the thought process of funding distribution at an even higher degree. I hope to use my experience from my undergraduate degree and insight I will gain from board meeting to represent graduate student interests.

Ban Righ Centre

$3.00 - Mandatory

Campus Observation Room

$0.50 - Mandatory

SGPS Graduate Peer Support Centre

$3.00 - Mandatory

Student Wellness Services

$63.35 - Mandatory

Camp Outlook

$1.00 - Optional

Centre for Teaching and Learning

$1.40 - Optional*

*Note: the status of the student fee may be optional or mandatory to be compliant with the results of the government appeal in the Student Choice Initiative. If you agree to this fee, the fee will continue to apply notwithstanding the results of the appeal.

Referendum Package

HIV and AIDS Regional Services

$1.00 - Optional

Queen's Daycare

$1.00 - Optional

Queen's Legal Aid

$5.00 - Optional*

*Note: the status of the student fee may be optional or mandatory to be compliant with the results of the government appeal in the Student Choice Initiative. If you agree to this fee, the fee will continue to apply notwithstanding the results of the appeal.

Referendum Package

Reelout Arts Project

$1.80 - Optional

Sexual Assault Centre Kingston

$1.25 - Optional

Telephone Aid Line Kingston

$0.75 - Optional

Union Gallery

$3.00 - Optional

Nomination Period Opens Tuesday January 7, 2020 @ 9:00am
Nomination Period Closes Tuesday January 14, 2020 @ 4:00pm
SGPS Council Tuesday January 14, 2020 @ 5:30pm
McLaughlin Room, 2nd floor JDUC
Extended Nomination Period Closes Friday January 17, 2020 @ 4:00pm
All Candidates Meeting Friday January 17, 2020 @ 5:00pm
McLaughlin Room, 2nd floor JDUC
Campaign Period Opens Saturday January 18, 2020 @ 12:01am
All Candidates Debate Sunday January 26, 2020 @ 7:00pm (Tentative)
Campaign Period Closes Monday January 27, 2020 @ 11:59pm
Voting Opens Tuesday January 28, 2020 @ 12:01am
Voting Closes Wednesday January 29, 2020 @ 8:00pm
Expenses Due TBA

Matt Ierino

Chief Returning Officer

Laura Culleton

Council Speaker


Jeremy Ambraska, Current SGPS President

Advocate for the interests of the 4,000 graduate and professional students to the university administration and governing bodies (Senate and Board of Trustees). Oversee the Society’s short and long-term strategic planning. A key project next year will be the $60M redevelopment of the John Deutsch University Centre.

Salary: $15,500

VP Community

Uchitta Vashist, Current SGPS VP Community

Oversee the four Commissioners, who support the student body through event planning and committee-level advocacy. The VP Community, along with the President, represents the SGPS to the Canadian Federation of Students.

Salary: $12,000

VP Finance and Services

Abel Hazon, Current SGPS VP Finance and Services

It is up to the VP Finance to keep the SGPS out of the red. Annual budgeting, investment oversight, and bursary/grant distribution are the key responsibilities.

Salary: $12,000

VP Graduate

Leo Erlikhman, Current SGPS VP Graduate

Work collaboratively with the School of Graduate Studies to address issues affecting graduate students. The VP Graduate serves on a range of committees and oversees the SGPS Student Advisor Program. Only graduate students are eligible for this role.

Salary: $12,000

VP Professional

Ryan Adlem, Current SGPS VP Professional

Work collaboratively with the Law Students’ Society, Education Student Society and other stakeholders to address issues affecting professional students. The VP Professional sits on committees and facilitates SGPS Careers Week. Only professional students are eligible for this role.

Salary: $12,000

Graduate Student Trustee

Leena Yahia, Current Graduate Student Trustee

The Graduate Student Trustee represents the interest and concerns of graduate students to Queen’s Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees is one of three governing bodies of the university, along with the Senate and the University Council, all of which are administered by the University Secretariat. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall operations of the University, including overseeing financial matters; property; the appointment of Vice-Principals; and, in conjunction with the Senate, the appointment of the Principal.