SGPS Executive Election Results 2018 - 2019

Voter Turnout: 1,577 out of 4,324 electors

  • 36%

SGPS President 2018-2019

  • Stephanie McKnight52%

  • Tyler Morrison47%

SGPS VP Community 2018-2019

  • Isabel Luce55%

  • Mac Fitzgerald44%

SGPS VP Graduate 2018-2019 (Acclamation of Leo Erlikhman)

  • Yes89%

  • No10%

SGPS VP Professional 2018-2019 (Acclamation of Lauren Peacock)

  • Yes93%

  • No6%

SGPS VP Finance & Services 2018-2019 (Acclamation of Abel Hazon)

  • Yes95%

  • No4%

SGPS Referendum Results 2018 - 2019

Ontario Public Interest Research Group – Kingston Student Fee

  • Yes61%

  • No38%

Fee did not pass 2/3 majority vote in referendum.

Bus-It Student Fee

  • Yes48%

  • No51%

Fee did not pass 2/3 majority vote in referendum.

Walkhome Student Fee

  • Yes43%

  • No56%

Fee did not pass 2/3 majority vote in referendum.

Candidates for President

Stéphanie (Stéfy) McKnight

My name is Stéfy McKnight and I am honoured to be running as your next Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) President. This role requires a candidate who has experience in student leadership, relationship building, and project management. With several years of experience in these fields, I am confident that I will successfully and creatively lead; and provide continuity for our society. If elected, my Presidency would build off of three pillars: stability, student wellness and experience; and University relationships and engagement. As President I would continue to work towards and promote several in progress projects such as the JDUC redevelopment, graduate student space on campus, the Student Advisor Program review, and experiential learning courses available to graduate and professional students. Further, I am dedicated to creating new student and wellness opportunities through more research and work opportunities, social events, and funding workshops. Finally, I aim to continue building relationships with the SGS, AMS, and Queen’s University clubs, services and departments, to increase SGPS awareness on campus. I hope to create a strategy to better share our initiatives, programs, and mandate through marketing and promotion materials.

I have been a graduate student at Queen’s University for four years. During this time, I have been your SGPS Vice-President; co-founded a student run art gallery for graduate students; served on several departmental and University committees (Cultural Studies Steering; Provost Advisory Committee to hire the Dean of SGS; GSEC), served as a Unit 1 bargaining member, and PSAC Local 901 Information Officer. I have also worked tirelessly in the community as past President of the Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre. I will work closely with the executive team and council, lend my support and expertise, and incorporate student engagement at all stages of planning and execution.  With this experience, I hope to serve you as your next SGPS President.

Tyler Morrison

My name is Tyler Morrison, I’m a second year Law student at Queen’s and am running to be the President of your SGPS. This year I served as the VP Community of the SGPS. Running for President is the logical progression to continue pursuing advocacy and service goals for students. I have worked closely with this year’s President and feel this experience has prepared me to continue the progress made. I have three main priorities for next year.

1. Stabilize the SGPS Health & Dental Plan
With recent increases in our Health and Dental rates it’s imperative that continuity and stability be priorities, to maintain financial sustainability. I’ve spent a lot of time this year becoming well versed in student insurance and believe the knowledge and experience I’ve accumulated makes me the right person to stabilize our plan.
2. Continue to Grow the SGPS Community
I want to continue to engage our members through subsidized social events, workshops, and the pursuit of graduate space. With the possible renovation of the JDUC, the next SGPS President will have the opportunity to advocate for Graduate space in the new building. Having been associated with this project, and working closely with the current President I believe I’m well situated to take on this important advocacy role.
3. Increase the SGPS’ Advocacy Presence
Engagement of our members is a vital part of having an effective advocacy presence but so is organization. I want to increase organizational efforts to help both the executive and students effectively advocate. These initiatives include, increase in minimum funding packages, non-academic career support, and strengthening diversity and inclusion on campus.

Candidates for Vice-President Graduate

Leo Erlikhman

My name is Leo Erlikhman and I am seeking the position of VP Graduate. I am a first year MA student in Sociology doing a program evaluation of the Queen’s Campus Observation Room. This is my second degree at Queen’s having completed my undergraduate degree in 2015 before taking two years off to work. My platform is centered around working with the school of graduate studies and graduate students to improve the overall quality of the graduate experience.

My hope for the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year is to provide more visible and accessible services to graduate students at Queen’s. By offering a diverse range of programs throughout the year that meets the needs of our community. This includes but is not limited too:
– More diverse graduate programming; particularly offering more family friendly programs
– Increased communication for incoming graduate students
– A comprehensive review of the Student Advisor program
– Working with the Peer Support Center to create a Graduate student support service
– Increase volunteer and job opportunities on campus for Graduate students with the AMS and University
– More professional development opportunities focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship
– Creating inter-departmental committees to develop relationships and improve lobbying efforts for Graduate issues

I look forward to having the opportunity to meet you over the campaign period and encourage those looking for more information to check out my platform.

Candidates for Vice-President Professional

Lauren Peacock

Who am I and why do I want to be VP Professional?
I am currently a second-year law student, and as many of you may already know, I hold the position of VP Finance & Services on the current Executive. I enjoyed my time so much in this role that I’m looking to be part of the Executive again – this time as VPP for the coming year. Being VPFS has allowed me to learn more about the society as a whole and get in tune to students concerns – knowledge that I will be able to bring with me to my role as VPP if I am elected.

What do I want to accomplish as VP Professional?
Improvements to Careers Week: As professional students, the most obvious place to seek out career advice is the faculty careers office. But what about students exploring career paths outside of their degree’s traditional careers? Or students looking to gain universal skills?
As VPP I will explore what faculty career offices currently offer for career development programming, look for gaps that the SGPS may be able to fill – a few examples could include Basic & Intermediate Excel Workshops and LinkedIn Profile Workshops to name a few. My goal will be to offer programming that will be an asset to students in their job searches even if it isn’t specific to their degree – something they might not otherwise receive from their own faculty!
Increased Communication with Professional Faculties: Throughout my time as VPFS I’ve become increasingly aware as to the number of students – especially professional students – who are unaware of what the SGPS can do for them. As many Professional students have their own student governments – like the LSS and ESS – it may seem like the SGPS is just another mandatory fee with little benefit. It will be my job as VPP to not only identity these knowledge gaps and work to effectively communicate SGPS resources to Professional Students BUT also to work with both these existing faculty societies as well as establishing sub-committees with Professional students at-large to determine what resources are already available to them as Professional Students and identify areas where Professional students could be better served AND how the SGPS can step in to serve these unmet needs.

Candidates for Vice-President Finance and Services

Abel Hazon

Abel is a first-year graduate student in the combined Juris Doctor & Master of Public Administration program. As someone who has community building on the forefront of his mind, Abel has spent the last four years serving students at his undergraduate students’ association at Carleton University in Ottawa in both a volunteer and professional capacity. Hoping to combine his extensive leadership experience working with students, academic career in public administration, and passion for his Queen’s community, Abel wishes to deliver on tangible promises for the upcoming 2018-19 SGPS term.

During his time at Carleton, Abel directly managed a $155,000 budget and had substantial input on the $2.4 million operating budget of his Association. In his last year, the Carleton Students’ Association reported a $650,000 in surplus revenue. When elected, Abel’s experience will usher in a new year of fiscal responsibility, transparency and efficiency.

In addition to his experience overseeing monetary policies, Abel was the Health Plan Administrator for over 24,500 undergraduate students. This experience provided Abel with an in-depth knowledge of supplementary health insurance policy and negotiating with health plan providers. This has allowed Abel to collaboratively bring about one of the best student health plans in Canada to his undergraduate students’ association.

Abel believes that the current $567.68 SGPS health plan price is downright unacceptable and would like to take advantage of his experience to transfer cost savings to the students. Major health plan reform is a must in order to bring the SGPS up-to-date with other graduate plans across the country.

Abel is currently an SGPS representative for his Master of Public Administration constituency and is a Queen’s Faculty of Law Student Ambassador.

“I believe that the SGPS must work towards sustainable and positive change through the pillars of collaboration, community, and transparency.”

Candidates for Vice-President Community

Isabel Luce

While working over the last four years towards completing my PhD in Art History at Queen’s University, I have been an actively involved member of the graduate community. As the current Graduate Visual Culture Association Representative to the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS), I regularly attend monthly council meetings and represent my department’s needs to council. I am a co-organizer of the annual Art History Graduate Context & Meaning Conference; an event that brings together art history graduate students from across North America to share their research in a supportive environment. I also sit on the Faculty of Arts & Science Library Advisory Committee. These positions have allowed me to gain a better understanding of the needs of graduate students; whether it’s departmental/supervisory issues, support needed to run departmental events, or issues graduate students face accessing resources in their research.

This past year I have also had the privilege of working at the front desk of the SGPS office answering queries related to graduate life, how to submit insurance claims and listening to general grievances. Interacting with students in this supportive role on a near daily basis has given me valuable insight into issues graduate students face, the intricacies of our health insurance plan, and how the SGPS functions. I intend to use what I learned in this position and the others mentioned above to better represent and communicate the needs of our graduate students in the role of Vice President Campaigns and Community Affairs.

Mac Fitzgerald

My name is Mac Fitzgerald and I am running for the position of Vice President Community. I am currently studying Urban & Regional Planning after completing my undergrad here at Queen’s. My academic interests are in health and social planning, community engagement, and community design. As a result, I’m passionate about advocating for community interests and creating a dialogue around shared concerns. If elected, I hope to use these skills to build a stronger relationship between the SGPS and our community partners, with a special focus on developing rapport with the City of Kingston.

During the past three years developing community was my job, both for my students and staff in my role as a residence don/res adviser. With my experience in planning inclusive events, I will be a resource for the incoming commissioners. Helping incoming graduate and professional students feel welcome at Queen’s begins before Orientation Week; from the time new students receive their offers of admission, the SGPS can support them in finding reliable housing and help them feel at home in the greater Kingston community.

I am approachable and interested in not only representing students, but also involving them in the decisions facing the society, the university, and the city. As students, we have a lot to offer the greater community outside of our labs or our programs. I hope that together we will continue to adapt and further the mandate of the SGPS to improve the student experience for graduate, law, and consecutive education students.


The AMS and Kingston Transit have renegotiated a new fee for the “Bus-It” program. With a new fee of $90 per student, our universal student transit plan is the CHEAPEST in the entire province!

In addition to providing the most affordable transit plan to our students, we are delivering some amazing new services, such as creating new North-South bus stops in the University District and adding 15-minute service to our Q17 bus until 2:00 A.M.

If you wish to provide feedback, or are simply looking for more information, visit our new Bus-It website at

Ontario Public Interest Research Group – Kingston

The Ontario Public Interest Research Group – Kingston at Queen’s University (OPIRG) is a centre for community-based research, education, and action supporting social and environmental justice. We believe we cannot address societal problems in isolation, but that issues must be examined and challenged through an intersectional approach. OPIRG is unique in that we unite research, education, and action into one organization. Not only do we inspire and support critical research, we use this research to develop educational materials and campaigns that create lasting change. OPIRG is student-driven and directed: our Board of Directors, research projects, and educational campaigns are all student-led. The optional student fee that we are requesting will fund guest lecturers, events, campaign materials, and volunteer committees, and will help eliminate financial barriers for students who would like to participate.

We are seeking a 4.66 optional student fee. This will allow us to enhance the support and resources we make available to Queen’s University students who participate in our educational campaigns and our research projects. During our 23 years at Queen’s University, our research and educational campaigns have made an undeniable mark on our campus, and all our work has been made possible with the dedication of Queen’s University students.


Walkhome is a student-run safety service in Kingston, Ontario. We provide safe walks to students both on the Queen’s University Campus and within the Kingston community. We are a completely anonymous and confidential service, so our staff members do not wear any clothes identifying them as a Walkhome team. We are inclusive to all students on campus, no matter your year or faculty.

When you request a walk, teams of one male and one female student will accompany you to a destination of your choosing. Currently, Walkhome has had to pare down the hours were are open and the amount of teams we can have on-shift to try and remain financially sustainable. With the SGPS fee, we will be able to expand Walkhome by hiring a larger number of staff members, including SGPS students who would be eligible to apply with the student fee in place.

With having a larger number of staff members, we are able to better meet the demands of our service, providing more teams at our peak hours, and exploring the possibility of extending our hours upon demand. Additionally, the student fees would go towards up keeping the equipment we currently use at Walkhome, primarily our radios. Radios at Walkhome are how staff members keep communication with the Manger on Duty, and with the SGPS student fee put in place, Walkhome would be able to explore upgrading our radios to a stronger quality.

Our goal with Walkhome is to provide a safe and confidential service for students to use. With the SGPS student fee we would be able to offer more opportunities to students who are looking to work on campus, as well as ensuring our service is always running at the best quality that we can provide for students.