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Graduate Studies Guide: Graduate Student Association

The Sociology & Anthropology Graduate Student Association (SAGSA) is a democratic collective composed of all sociology and anthropology (SA) grad students; meaning all SA graduate students are members of the association. SAGSA strives to promote social activities, professional development, resource sharing, and to represent the SA graduate voice throughout the SFU community (SA department, TSSU, GSS). To conduct these activities the SAGSA is supported by the GSS.

SAGSA meets approximately once a month to discuss and take action on issues that affect graduate students in our department. Students who participate in SAGSA gain professional development skills. SAGSA elects representatives to various departmental committees and extra-departmental organizations.

Within the department, graduate students participate in the monthly department meeting through an elected representative and also select representatives to participate in the Appointments and Graduate Program Committees. Elected student representatives communicate student concerns and share student perspectives to these decision-making bodies within the department. Student representatives are required to sign a confidentiality agreement meaning that they are not in a position to share details of departmental deliberations with SAGSA.

Positions in SAGSA

There are many exciting positions in SAGSA – get involved!

  • Chair: responsible for organizing and chairing monthly meetings, and acting as a liaison between the graduate student body and the SAGSA caucus. The Chair sends out doodle polls to check availability one or two weeks prior to meetings, and emails information about upcoming meeting and events to the graduate mail list (sa-grad@sfu.ca).
  • Secretary: responsible for taking minutes at SAGSA caucus meetings, sending out minutes to the student body and the GSS AIRO (airo@sfugradsociety.ca) ensure that SAGSA qualifies for GSS funding.
  • Treasurer: responsible for recording and reporting on SAGSA finances, filing financial motions at caucus meetings, processing SAGSA professional development grants, ensuring that paper work with the GSS is kept up to date (i.e. core funds must be transferred to the trust account at the end of the academic year).
  • Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) Stewards: responsible for serving as the TSSU representative within the SA department. Duties include: attending monthly Steward, General Membership and Caucus meetings; informing SA students about current updates from the union, in particular news on bargaining the collective agreement with the employer, job action and picket line information; serving as the initial go-to person for information about the collective agreement, benefits and services provided by your union; reporting to the Chief Steward of the TSSU any actions taken by the SA department, a professor, an instructor or staff member that violate the collective agreement; advertising and recruiting SA students for General Membership meetings, rallies, job actions and social events. During periods of job action, the Steward position requires at most about a 20 hour time commitment each month and pays a stipend up to $250 per term.
  • Graduate Student Society (GSS) Representative: responsible for attending monthly council meetings at the GSS, representing the interests of the SA students at the GSS, and reporting to the SAGSA caucus about issues impacting the GSS and issues of concern that arise at the GSS. This is also a stipended position, and may be held by a GSS rep and an alternate who can attend meetings instead of the primary position holder.
  • Department Representatives: responsible for attending monthly SA department meetings, reporting back to the SAGSA caucus, representing the interests of SA graduates in the department, bringing graduate student issues to the attention of the SA department, and liaising between the faculty and SA graduate students. To add items to the agenda the department should email the Secretary to the Chair (sachrsec@sfu.ca).
  • Graduate Program Committee (GPC) Representative: responsible for attending monthly Graduate Program Committee meetings, reviewing admissions and funding applications, representing graduate student interests providing feedback and input to the GPC, and reporting (non-confidential) information back to the SAGSA caucus.
  • Hiring Committee Representative: responsible for attending monthly meetings of the Departmental Hiring committee, representing graduate student interests, providing feedback on hiring processes, and reporting back to the SAGSA caucus.

 **The SAGSA recognizes that stipending positions fosters diversity and recognizes the usually unpaid labour of graduate students. All SAGSA positions have stipends either funded by SAGSA, GSS or TSSU.

Current Caucus Contacts

Chair:

Ermen DelliCarpini
Co-Chair: John Foerster
Secretary: Madelyn Prevost
Treasurer: Joshua Thompson
TSSU Representative: TBA 
GSS Representative: Kevin Park
Department Representative: Ermen DelliCarpini
GPC Representative: Madelyn Prevost
Hiring Committee Representative: Leo Ruhl
Special Hiring Committee Representative: no representative
Special Presidents Hiring Committee Representative: no representative

Committees of the SAGSA

Want to get involved in other ways? Sign up for the SAGSA Committees!

  •  Social Events Committee: responsible for organizing monthly social events.
  • Social Media Committee: responsible for maintaining SAGSA online presence (i.e., updating webpage, Facebook page, Twitter feed).
  • Professional Development Committee: responsible for keeping SA graduate informed about professional development opportunities at SFU and beyond.

Useful Websites