GSA Executive Candidates 2022-2023

Referenda – Student Engagement Levy:

Do you support a $6.50 per term levy that would result in the creation of the Graduate Students’ Association Student Engagement Levy, a dedicated fund supporting graduate student events and programming, starting Fall 2022, as per the Memorandum of Understanding?

As a part of our commitment to leadership, community, and service we recognized the need for greater financial commitment to increase our focus on the kind of programming that graduate students have been asking for.  While we pride ourselves as an organization focused on improving the graduate student experience, the lack of funds focused directly on engagement puts the organization at a disadvantage in comparison to other graduate student associations across the province and the country.

The Engagement Levy will help the GSA achieve the goals that we, as a graduate community, voted in support at our 2021 AGM.  Specifically, enhancing our commitment to leadership, community, and service for graduate students.

By voting YES to this levy, you will be showing your support for:

  • expanding graduate programming throughout the full year (May – April)
  • increasing avenues for graduate student community-building, professional development, leadership and networking
  • increasing partnerships, including access to BUSU events and programming
  • increasing support for graduate student clubs, through partnership with BUSU
  • strengthening graduate student employment/volunteer opportunities within the GSA
  • increasing mental health and wellness initiatives

The GSA Strategic Plan acknowledges a plan for growth that recognizes that graduate students, deserve a Brock experience that includes the presence of meaningful and worth-while events, activities and engagements throughout the full year.  As the GSA grows as an organization, opportunities for the graduate community should grow with it.

Voting YES gives us a chance for more; a chance to feel more supported, engaged and empowered.

Voting YES Means Voting NO Means
• You support creating additional opportunities to strengthen community-building within the graduate student community
• Increasing programming opportunities for graduate students
• Supporting additional partnerships around events and clubs, with campus partners to enhance the graduate student experience
• Creating additional volunteer/employment opportunities for graduate students and recent graduates
• You are exercising your democratic right
• GSA programming and engagements such as events will remain around current levels
• No additional fee to pay each semester
• You are exercising your democratic right

Referenda – Aboriginal Student Services Levy:

Do you support a $2.75 per term fee to fund Aboriginal Student Services starting Fall 2022 as outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding?

Brock’s Aboriginal Student Services (AbSS) aims to support all Indigenous students make their transitions to university successful, while also working to enhance their academic success and cultural identity.  AbSS also holds their doors open and creates a safe space for non-Indigenous students to learn more about Indigenous cultures.

Currently, AbSS is one of few student-centered supports at Brock that receive no money from the University.  Instead, they are solely funded by grants from the Indigenous Education Branch of Ontario’s Ministry of Colleges and Universities.  The GSA wants to do better and know that AbSS deserves more.

In asking you to vote YES to this referendum, we ask you to support the:

  • creation of student employment opportunities
  • hiring of a full-time, culturally appropriate trauma-informed counsellor
  • facilitation of cultural connections through learning opportunities
  • increase of Elder supports
  • increase of programming for bridging gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students (i.e. social and co-learning events)

Building on the priorities of the GSA’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan, we continue to ask our membership to stand as allies to the original stewards of the land and to support, empower, and amplify the voices of Indigenous communities in their ongoing struggle against colonial systems of oppression.

We continue to encourage our membership to take daily action through learning and spreading awareness of contemporary moves towards decolonization.  We ask our membership today to vote YES in supporting the growth of Aboriginal Student Services and to stand alongside our Indigenous peers #SideBySide.

Voting YES Means Voting NO Means
• Showing greater support to our Indigenous peers
• Being a part of meaningful growth and develop within student support and service
• Increasing programming opportunities for graduate students to engage in
• Further actions towards decolonization
• You are exercising your democratic right
• Current supports and services from AbSS will remain at levels similar to current capacities
• Staff and personnel capacities will remain at similar levels within AbSS
• No additional fee to pay each semester
• You are exercising your democratic right

President

Haley Myatt

MA Child and Youth Studies

Throughout my three years of involvement with the GSA (2019-2022), I have witnessed the organization experience monumental growth. From the establishment of over twenty-five new legislative documents, to the introduction of its inaugural strategic plan; from multi-level organizational restructuring, to the most successful referendum (graduate student building) in organizational history; the recent advancements and capacities of the GSA are truly incomparable to its prior years.

I believe the GSA is now approaching a period of consolidation; a time to plant its roots and exist in its growth before expanding into another forest. While consolidation will allow for internal structures to build confidence and activate on all foundational pieces built, this is not to say that the GSA won’t continue growing. I’m ready to keep this momentum moving forward.

From year-long conversations with graduate students, it is imminent that we mindfully emerge into post-pandemic spaces and operations. We cannot assume normalcy but rather acknowledge the impact of these past two years and adjust our actions accordingly. It’ll be a community effort to find comfort in and outside of this transitional time, but I am ready to collaborate, advocate and act in larger capacities for graduate students.

With a combined ten years of domestic and international experiences in post-secondary student governance – three of those extensively in Brock spaces – I am confident in my ability to deliver on the organization’s strategic commitments to service, community, and leadership. With passionate enthusiasm, I would be honoured to be your President.

Vice President, Student Engagement

Safa Khan

MSc Applied Health Sciences

As your current Vice President, Student Engagement for Brock’s Graduate Students Association, I have learned so much! I have truly enjoyed planning events for you guys whether it involved hosting nights filled with painting, watching epic flicks, quizzing you guys during trivia, or relaxing with the therapy dogs in Pond Inlet, and much more.

There is so much more I have planned for us, and I would love your support so that I may continue in this role and give you guys the best graduate student experience! You can count on me to make it work. The pandemic isolated many of us from each other and I plan on making sure that there are plenty of fun events happening so that you can meet one another in a fun, comfortable environment! I get the job done and I would truly appreciate it if you counted on me to continue as your next VP, Student Engagement.

I have been a Badger for 5 years now and in that time, I have served as Brock GSA’s VPSE, on BUSAC as the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Representative, been an executive member on 5 BUSU ratified clubs, published in the Brock Press, and been a member in over 10 clubs on campus, and much more. I have also completed the Campus-Wide Co-Curriculum (CWC) and will be incorporating that with future planned events.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration!

Vice President, Equity and Inclusion

Ash Grover

PhD Educational Studies

I have had the privilege of serving as the VP of Equity and Inclusion for the past academic year, and in this role I have worked to establish and enhance collaborative relationships between the GSA and other organizations, both on campus and in the community.

If given the opportunity to return to the role for another year, I plan to focus my efforts on growing these relationships and therefore increasing the supports and resources available to graduate students at Brock.

I will also work with groups on campus to establish a framework of training and workshops for the GSA membership in the areas of: Gender and Sexual Violence, Anti-Oppression, Anti-Ableism and Universal Design for TAs.

Finally, I will continue my work sitting on various university-wide committees as an advocate for the safety and quality of experience for graduate students returning to campus during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Vice President, External Affairs

Rakha Zabin

PhD Educational Studies

My dear Badgers! My name is Rakha Zabin (she/her), and I’m a second-year Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Education. With great pleasure, passion, and privilege, I submit my application to run for and serve on the Brock Graduate Students’ Association as the Vice-President, External Affairs.

During the past few years as a graduate student at Brock University, I was fortunate to receive opportunities to experience the Brock and the Niagara community by actively participating in various student groups and being a part of the Brock GSA as Associate Vice-President, International. The various positions I currently hold and my doctoral research involve event organizations, student services, and policy analysis, which I want to further develop through strategic planning and community connections. As an executive member of Brock GSA and an international graduate student in the Joint PhD Program, I could help foster relationships between organizations on campus and throughout the region and create meaningful opportunities for international and domestic graduate students at Brock University.

As the Vice-President, External Affairs, I hope to improve student experiences through robust external connections, prioritizing the needs of all the graduate students by hearing student grievances and representing the student body at different administrative levels to mitigate concerns regarding these student challenges. It would be an honor to represent the graduate students to the best of my abilities, advocate and ensure that students have an enriching experience during their graduate studies at Brock University.

I appreciate your consideration.