This past year the GSA worked tirelessly to tackle unprecedented external pressures while striving to improve the graduate student experience. Through the coordinated efforts of our Board, Council and the Executive team, we not only sustained our operations but improved overall service delivery and support for graduate students. Here are highlights of our efforts:
- GSA core services: new GRT UPass agreement with once-a-year refund option; expansion of the health plan to include the EmpowerMe service at no cost; new legal service program; renovations of all spaces in the Graduate House and the addition of a ground patio.
- Community building: pint of politics events; faculty nights; social events at Grad House including events focused on integrating satellite campuses and international themed events.
- Advocacy: access to resources during COVID-19; term extensions; funding support; signature commitments from uWaterloo; equity strategy; faculty-level advocacy; and endorsing unionization of graduate workers.
- Funding contribution: $75,000 for thesis completion awards and international student support; over $20,000 to support social and academic graduate student initiatives; $2000 to support equity groups; $1000 to support research on sexual violence.
- Internal governance: permanent hires (Executive Manager and Hospitality Manager), revamping of GSA website and social media channels; risk management framework, directors handbook, 4 short-term research contracts; amalgamation of political positions from 16 to four; and 3-year Strategic Plan.