PGSS elections closed this Friday, and resulted in the appointment of a seasoned executive committee and the approval of all referendum questions. The strength of next year’s PGSS executive committee will likely come from their previous experience working for the Society.
Next year’s president Roland Nassim has been involved with PGSS for over seven years, and has already served as VP External and VP Academic.
Nassim talked about his many plans for next year, which include creating stronger ties between the PGSS and their members.
“We have a problem now where our members don’t feel associated with the PGSS, and that creates apathy and lower participation rates,” he said. “I want to start building this appreciation for the PGSS as a community for graduate students.”
Marieve Isabel, elected VP External, said she has high hopes for the executive committee next year.
“I think next year we’re going to have a quick start,” she said. “We’ll be able to build on everyone’s experience, so it should be a very short transition period.”
Daily columnist Adrian Kaats was re-elected for the position of VP Finance, with former PGSS President Daniel Simeone the new VP Internal and Lily Han the new VP Academic.
Both the Post Graduate Student Life Fund – a fund to repace fee levies that Graduate Student Associations are no longer allowed to apply – and the Mental Health referendum question, increasing the Mental Health service fee by $7.50 for full-time students, were approved. The Health Plan referendum question was renewed with the coverage changes recommended by the PGSS Health and Wellness Committee.
This year’s elections also saw an increase in voter turnout, according to PGSS elections commissioner Tarek Hamade.
“Last year we had nine per cent of the graduate population come out to vote, and this year that number went up to 13 per cent,” he said.
Hamade credited the increased numbers to a more aggressive advertising campaign launched this year, and hopes to see it continue to climb in years to come.