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PGSS Internal Affairs Officer resigns

On Nov. 11, Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) Council announced the resignation of the internal affairs officer (IAO) Sahil Kumar. Kumar cited personal reasons for submitting his resignation.

“My trajectory through graduate studies has taken a new turn, and now requires a greater time commitment,” Kumar said. “I did not want to see the portfolio suffer and have decided that this would be the best option to move forward. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with [all] of the PGSS executives and commissioners over these last seven months.”

Kumar’s term as IAO will end on Dec. 3. PGSS Secretary-General Danielle Toccalino said that the position will not be left vacant while a new IAO is elected.

“[Kumar] will be in the position until [Dec. 3,] and the new IAO by-election will finish shortly thereafter so the position will not be empty for more than a few days,” Toccalino said.

Kumar will remain on a leave of absence until Dec. 3.

“During my leave of absence, I have […] been overseeing the PGSS Newswire, trivia night, and other vital duties of the IAO to avoid these responsibilities being placed on other executives or staff members during the byelection period,” Kumar said. “Once the new IAO has been elected, this will allow a seamless transition from my term to the next IAO’s term.”

At the Council, meeting dates for the upcoming byelection were approved. There will be a two-week nomination period ending on Nov. 26, followed by one week of campaigning, and one week of voting.

Colby Briggs, PGSS chief returning officer, said that the nomination period is the most difficult part of the process, however, two people have already expressed interest in the IAO position.

“I’ve got two inquiries already, we hopefully will do an information session next week,” Briggs said. “But we’re kind of going through a bit of a restructuring with the [membership and special projects fee increase] not passing [last week….] We’re trying to cut down on expenses as much as possible.”

Kumar said that he would remain available as a resource after the appointment of a new IAO.

“The new IAO will be left in a good position with the majority of the structures and logistics in place,” Kumar said. “The interim IAO will also receive a thorough exit report, and I will make myself available as a resource.”

Despite his resignation from the PGSS executive, Kumar expressed that he hopes the new IAO will be able to pick up where he left off.

“The position has a lot of potential for new ideas and room for improvements to the existing structure,” Kumar said. “I’ve done my best to advance some of these structures during my time in office and I hope the interim [IAO] can continue to institutionalize these changes for the position. I hope to see an interim [IAO] that can also work well with the rest of the executive team and ensure the remainder of the year is a success.”

According to Briggs, it was important for the new executive to learn from the outgoing IAO, and that teamwork is one of the biggest assets to the position.

“All the executives have always been super dedicated, so it’s just a matter [of whether] somebody can come and work as a part of a team, because [the executives] really are a team,”  Briggs said.

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