The McGill Tribune presents its endorsements for the Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) 2020/2021 executive team.
Internal Affairs Officer: Yes
Gustina Giordano is a masters student in Educational Psychology running for the position of Internal Affairs Officer. During her undergraduate years, also completed at McGill, she worked with several campus organizations, including Jam for Justice and the McGill Undergraduate Fine Arts Council. As Internal Affairs Officer, Giordano hopes to provide a variety of events that cater to PGSS’ diverse membership, including the introduction of Wellness-centric activities, such as mindfulness workshops. Giordano intends to prioritize sustainability and accessibility for all PGSS events. Giordano’s priorities reflect the values of the graduate community and The Tribune believes that she is qualified for the position of Internal Affairs Officer.
Academic Affairs Officer: Yes
Eric Wilkinson is the incumbent for the position of Academic Affairs Officer, his term beginning on Jan. 23. Before coming to McGill, Wilkinson worked with student advocacy at the University of Ottawa, the University of Toronto, and York University; he hopes to import this experience in order to fill all vacant PGSS appointments and by promoting institutional memory. Wilkinson also hopes to expand the PGSS’ ability to communicate in French, as well as ensuring that graduate students on Macdonald Campus are equally represented on McGill’s governing bodies. The Tribune holds that Wilkinson is fully capable of continuing this role for the 2020–21 year.
Financial Affairs Officer: Yes
Connie Shen is rerunning for the position of Financial Affairs Officer and looks forward to seeing the full implementation of the initiatives that the PGSS executives have taken on this year. As most graduate students are international, one of her main projects is to identify ways to improve the accessibility, affordability and cost of the International Health Insurance plan. Additionally, Shen hopes to raise funds for the PGSS’s needs-based bursary, the only bursary available to graduate students on the basis of financial need. Further, Shen would like to continue the travel awards grant program, a fund covering the travel fees for students attending conferences and competitions out of town.
Member Services Officer: Yes
Current PGSS Secretary-General Dakota Rogers is running for the Member Services Officer position with the hopes of engaging members with the services that PGSS offers such as healthcare, leisure classes, and family care. Rogers wants to establish a good communication framework for students by having accessible, in-person consultations. In addition to improving avenues for feedback, Rogers will be responsible for integrating the new referendum questions into the McGill community by educating members of PGSS and the university administration about their existence. With experience as Secretary-General, along with the McGill Board of Governors and Senate, Rogers is qualified to advocate for members’ student services and fulfill the position’s mandate.
In order to present the most informed endorsement decisions possible, our editors conducted in-person interviews with all of the candidates, and examined each platform in detail. The endorsements are the product of an Editorial Board meeting in which we addressed every position, debated, and voted. In order to earn the Tribune’s endorsement, a candidate had to receive a majority vote. Reservations could also be appended to any “Yes” endorsement with the approval of a majority of editors. Questions or concerns should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief at [email protected].