Graduate Students meet in Saskatoon

From February 19 -21, 2016, the National Graduate Caucus gathered at the University of Saskatchewan for its annual general meeting. The meeting was hosted by Local 101, the University of Saskatchewan Graduate Student Association, and took place at their Graduate Commons on campus.

The meeting focused on working together to challenge the corporatization of universities including the development of a new anti-corporatization campaign to be launched this spring. Access to mental health services on campuses also continued to be a focus, as plans for a campaign addressing challenges faced by graduate students across the country were developed. Grads also shared best practices surrounding the management and development of graduate student space.

Participants heard from speakers including Ryerson University professor Alan Sears and President of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, Larry Hubich.

Alan Sears inspired participants by sharing his vision for the transformation of the university under pressure from neoliberalism. He called for the need to work together to defend public education, by building solid coalitions on campuses based on student-worker solidarity.

Larry Hubich, who provided greetings on behalf of the labour movement in the province and spoke about the SFL’s Supreme Court Case against the provincial government for passing legislation that violated the rights of Saskatchewan workers. Although Hubich emphasized the need for a diverse approach to representing members, including the need for on the ground organizing and one on one outreach, the case highlighted the importance of solidarity in the face of difficult working conditions.

The Caucus also elected its executive for the 2016-2017 term:

  • Carissa Taylor, a member of Local 102-Brock University Graduate Student Association is elected Chairperson.
  • Rebecca Stuckey, a member of Local 100-The Graduate Student Association of Memorial University of Newfoundland, is elected Deputy Chairperson.
  • Valerie Campbell, a member of Local 70-University of Prince Edward Island Graduate Student Association, is elected Secretary-Treasurer.

The executive will start their positions on June 4, 2016 following the Federation’s national general meeting.

For more information, and to get involved in the National Caucus Chairperson, contact Caucus Chairperson Christina Muehlberger.

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