2020-2021 GSA Executives

President:  HUMAIRA INAM
Vice-President Finance and Operations  HADI RAMIN
Vice-President Academic and Student Affairs:  CARMEN MARQUEZ MELLIDEZ
Vice-President External Affairs:  QASIM SHAHZAD GILL

Please visit HERE for the election results.

Candidates

Candidates for President: 

Candidates for VP Finance and Operations:

Candidates for VP Academic and Student Affairs:

Candidates for VP External Affairs:

 

Candidates for President

I would like to run for President of the GSA, so I am able to voice student concerns, opinions, and ideas to impower change on their behalf. As a graduate student myself, I have experienced the struggles that some, if not all, graduate students face, and my understanding of how these challenges can be exasperated for international students. My background in leadership comes from peer mentorship and serving as Vice President and co-founding a student organization at my alma mater. I am also currently serving as the Vice President of the School of Public Health Students’ Association, adding to the skillsets specific to the University of Saskatchewan. As Vice President I have acted as a lesion between students and faculty, along with other council members, bringing issues that students have experienced to the forefront and coming up with a solution. My acquired skills of negotiating, working with team members, and faculty has allowed me to help students where possible, which is what I aspire to do for other graduate students on a larger scale. I have also been a regularl attendee at the GSA council meetings and have voiced my concerns or provided suggestions where needed. As a growing organization I hope to see the GSA take students’ suggestions and constructive criticisms into consideration into improving factors for future and current students. A president cannot do anything alone, I along with other council members need the support from our graduate community and together we can make the impossible possible.

Currently I am finishing up the course based portion of my M.Ed. degree. I am well respected academically having previously obtained a B.Sc. and a B.Ed. As well I have presented at conferences and received numerous awards. Previously to this I was the president of an elected board for four years. During this time I increased our gross revenue by three hundred percent. Accepting leadership my entire life has lead me to manage large and small groups. My ability to communicate verbally and written is exceptional, including my interpersonal skills. I grasp the essentials of group dynamics and am able to effectively mediate differing opinions as well as resolve conflict. As a trained teacher I am well equipped to include varied cultural perspectives. I have a personal dedication to incorporate indigenous perspectives into my life. Most people feel instantly at ease with me allowing easy navigation of new or tense situations. This ability to understand situations allows me to be an effective leader. Knowing when to help and when not to help is an essential quality of any leader, as president it is your job to assist others and act as an intermediary, moving in and out of what they are doing seamlessly. When I began garnering support for my nomination paperwork my friends and colleagues were ecstatic that I was running in the election. I have the qualities and characteristics that would make me a great president of the Graduate Students Association at the University of Saskatchewan.

I’m Dr. Sukanya Pati, Interdisciplinary master’s student in the college of medicine and pharmacy at University of Saskatchewan. As a dynamic student leader with desire to take graduate student experience to the next level, I am currently actively involved in four distinct University of Saskatchewan associations: VP Academics for India Students’ Association, VP External affairs for International Students’ Association, Treasurer for Pharmacy and Nutrition General Student Council and a Member of Diversity Committee for GSA. From my experience with the above associations, I have honed two attributes that are critical to determine my success as the President: collaborative engagement and streamline execution. As a team player and a committee chair, my goal as a graduate student has been to positively touch the lives, hearts and minds of each student, such that no student feels left behind. I intend to establish this in three broad pathways: a) serving as a liaison and point of contact for students with diverse backgrounds and ethnicities; b) proactive outreach by being the ambassador voice for both internal and external multi-disciplinary stakeholder committees; c) commitment to responsibilities that the position of President entails. It will be my highest honour to receive an opportunity to serve as a torch bearer ushering University of Saskatchewan to even greater heights and delivering for students, professors and senior leadership at the highest level.

Candidates for Vice-President Finance and Operations

My name is Hadi Ramin, and I am a Ph.D. student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. I have put my name forward for the GSA VP Finance and Operations position because I am passionate about serving graduate students, and I believe the combination of my volunteer and professional positions and my personal qualities will allow me to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of this role successfully.  

I have leadership experience as the co-founder and current president of the ASHRAE social club, a member of the GSA Sustainability and Award Selection committees, alternate Councilor for the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and treasurer of the SDH Toastmaster Club, to name a few.

I want to express my gratitude to the GSA Executive predecessors by carrying on the legacy of representing graduate students at the University of Saskatchewan. As the Vice-President of Finance and Operations, I will do my best to maintain the finances and operations of the GSA, and ensure transparency and successful implementation of the budget. I will follow in the footsteps of past leaders while simultaneously building off their successes. 

Candidates for Vice-President Academic and Student Affairs

I started at the University of Saskatchewan five years ago when I arrived as an undergraduate exchange student, which was further followed by a master’s in science. After completing both degrees, I am now pursuing a master’s in human physiology. I am nominating myself for the 2020-2021 VP Academic and Student Affairs position. My first experience with the VP Academic role happened three years ago when my husband needed help facing unfair treatment from his supervisor, which had resulted in severe mental health issues. The VP then provided a safe space where we could expose his problems and later helped us on how to proceed. From that moment, I wanted to help the student community, and I got involved with the Biology GSA, where I volunteered for three years as a GSA councillor, President, and Academic Representative, respectively. During this time, I have observed many mistreatments and problems that students are continuously facing, and, unfortunately, those are not fixed mainly due to fear and lack of support. My primary motivation if I become the VP Academic and Student Affairs is to provide guidance and assistance for students who are struggling in their academic and personal lives. Hopefully, I expect to be the solution and a facilitator in their search for an answer to their problems. This position as well involves organizing many social events and conferences on campus, which will be challenging. However, I consider myself an asset here, as I am a sociable, organized, and dynamic person.

My name is Khaled Zoroufchi Benis. I am a Ph.D. student in Chemical engineering and I am running for the GSA Vice-President Student Affairs. I have been actively involved in leadership positions and student-run organizations since my bachelor studies. For eg. I am the founding member and was the first president of Environmental Science Association. I also served as the head and leader for the mountaineering club, and acted as the president of Poetry Society and editor-in-chief of its monthly journal during those times. I am currently the president of the Engineering Graduate Community Council (EGCC), and I have also been a council member and the member of the Sustainability Committee of GSA at UofS. I have been actively involved in different activities and organizations (on and off campus) that brings a positive change in graduate student’s life and experiences. Being involved in such activities further motivated me to continue working for graduate students and I believe that being VP Student Affairs would provide me an opportunity to directly impact/improve graduate student’s life and experience on and off-campus. My vision as an executive member of GSA is to bring change for the betterment of USASK, enhance the sense of community among graduate students, and fight for equality for all the graduate students at the university and provincial level. Thank you for your time, and I would be deeply honored if you consider me for the position of Vice-President Student Affairs.

Candidates for Vice-President External Affairs

Hello, my name is Qasim. I am in the second year of my PhD program in Public Policy. I did my master’s degree in Political Science. I am currently contesting an election for VP (External Affairs) of the Graduate Student Association. I spent the last year as an international student director of the JSGS (Johnson-Sohyama Graduate School of Public Policy) Student Association, the main aim of which was to encourage and enhance the cultural diversity at JSGS.

I have had a wide range of experiences in the higher education system and understand university governance. The research topic of my PhD thesis is on politicization and university autonomy. My focus is on the question of how external interference can affect the operations of public universities, and I examine the challenges to university autonomy by adopting different theoretical approaches. As a GSA executive, in addition to the key responsibilities, as a priority for this year I would focus on the issues of graduate students, particularly on their representation on the board of governors. It has become a challenge to convey the voice of graduate students to authorities, and this is only possible when we can have representation on the board of governors. My efforts would make this task possible this year. To do so, I will adopt different strategies that involve a combination of lobbying and coordination with other associations and working with the municipal, provincial and federal governments on this issue with frequent meetings with MLAs and MPs to advocate on behalf of students. The solutions to all the problems facing graduate students are linked with their representation on the executive board, which is a board of governors. I am looking forward to advocating for students’ needs to the executive authority of the university during this coming year (My efforts will remain under the GSA constitution).

If you have any questions or concerns, you are more than welcome to contact me at qasim.gill@usask.ca.

Information

An election will be held for the following positions:

  • President
  • VP Finance and Operations
  • VP Academic and Student Affairs
  • VP External Affairs

GSA Executives can build professional experience and expand their network by assuming a position on the Executive Committee. GSA Executives also serve on important University committees.

Executives receive a monthly honorarium. Information can be found on the GSA Website (Bylaws and Budget).

Note: GSA Bylaw 2 outlines Executive duties and responsibilities (https://gsa.usask.ca/documents/important-Documents/GSABylaws.pdf

Nomination will be open on February 24, 2020 at 9:00 AM and will close on March 9, 2020 at 5:00 PM.

The nomination form is available HERE.

The Nomination Package must be submitted in a sealed envelope to the GSA Office Manager at the GSA Commons, attention GSA Chair and Chief Electoral Officer, no later than 5:00 PM on Monday, March 9, 2020.

  • Be a regular member of the GSA.
  • Be a registered student in the University of Saskatchewan College of Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies for the academic year 2020/21
  • Not be an election official
  • Not nominate another person for the same position that they are seeking
  • Additionally, nominees must be: i) over age of 18, ii) not have been found to lack capacity by a court, iii) must not have the status of bankrupt, iv) not to be charged by any misconduct in the University of Saskatchewan.

February 10 - 23, 2020

Election announcement, call for nomination and promotion

February 24, 2020 - 9:00 AM         

Nomination period opens

February 27, 2020 – 5:30 PM       

First orientation meeting

March 2, 2020 – 5:00 PM     

Second orientation meeting

March 5, 2020 – 1:00 PM     

Third orientation meeting

March 9, 2020 – 5:00 PM       

Nomination period closes

March 9, 2020                           

Election Committee meets to ratify the nominations

March 10, 2020 – 5:00 PM     

Mandatory procedures meeting for all nominees

March 11, 2020 – 9:00 AM       

Campaigning begins

March 16, 2020 – 5:00 PM       

All candidates forum

March 22, 2020 – 11:59 PM     

Campaigning ends. All campaign material must be removed by 11:59 p.m.

March 23, 2020 – 9:00 AM

Voting period begins

March 27, 2020 – 5:00 PM

Voting period ends.

April 3, 2020 – 12:00 PM           

Deadline for formal complaints must be emailed or delivered to the GSA Chair/CEO

April 3, 2020                 

Election Committee meets to ratify and announce the results

The GSA invites you to attend one of the orientation sessions to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of each of the GSA Executive positions. All sessions will be held in the GSA Commons.

Thursday, February 27 at 5:30 PM

Monday, March 2 at 5:00 PM

Thursday, March 5 at 1:00 PM

Please RSVP to one of the above sessions HERE

Please join us for the GSA Elections All-Candidates forum, where you will get a chance to hear from each of the individuals who are running for positions on the GSA Executive and ask questions.

This event will take place:

Day: Monday, March 16, 2020

Time: 5 PM

Location: GSA Commons.

Please RSVP HERE. Light refreshments will be provided.

Please feel free to direct any questions to the GSA Council Chair and Chief Electoral Officer at gsa.chair@usask.ca.

The Elections Committee is a committee of GSA Council which is responsible for overseeing and managing the Elections and Referenda as required by the GSA. 

The 2020 Election Committee members are:

  • Reggie Nyamkeye, Council Chair - Chief Electoral Officer (CEO)
  • Mostofa Kamal, Council member
  • Asanka Godakanda, Council member
  • Aisha Sajid, Council member
  • Natalia Zakharchuk, General member
  • Kaidan Xu, General member
  • Ka-Sheena Minott, General member

Questions regarding Elections can be directed to the GSA Chair and Chief Electoral Officer at gsa.chair@usask.ca

Formal complaints must be emailed to gsa.chair@usask.ca or delivered to the GSA Main Office in a sealed envelope to the GSA Office Manager at the GSA Commons, attention to the GSA Chair and Chief Electoral Officer, no later than 12:00 PM on Friday, April 3, 2020.