McMaster GSA Declares its Support for Black Lives Matter and its Anti-Oppression Policy

McMaster GSA Declares its Support for Black Lives Matter and its Anti-Oppression Policy

Following the horrific murder of George Floyd, on May 25, 2020, the McMaster University Graduate Student Association (GSA) decided to abolish its neutrality policy, which has been effective since 2005 and prevented the GSA from aligning itself with any political movements, including Black Lives Matter (BLM). As renown anti-apartheid activist Desmond Tutu noted “[i]f you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” We have chosen to be on the right side of history by standing with those made most marginalized in our community, rather than remaining “neutral,” starting with the Black community.

We are proud to announce that, after months of internal conversations, we passed a comprehensive anti-oppression policy, on November 12, 2020, in place of the neutrality policy, mandating the GSA to work towards social justice, in solidarity with other progressive organizations. Based on this policy, the GSA’s Student Issues Action (SIA) Committee will also conduct annual internal surveys to track graduate student experiences with oppression, assess the efficiency of existing anti-oppressive actions, identify deficiencies, and suggest remedies, and will lead audits every four years, coinciding with the development of the Strategic Plan.

            In support of BLM, we have also endorsed the preliminary 5-point plan against anti-Blackness, which was drafted by members of the McMaster community.  It calls on McMaster University to openly endorse the BLM movement, denounce all forms of white supremacy, including when it is disguised as free speech, financially support BIPOC students, expand access to anti-racist pedagogical training for all student teaching assistants and faculty, fire the current Director of Parking and Security Services, Glenn De Caire, due to his documented racism, and sever ties with police. Encouraged by the letter McMaster University issued on June 1, condemning anti-Blackness, we ask the University to follow in our footsteps and not simply engage in anti-racist discourse, but rather, act on it, heeding the demands of oppressed communities and imagining and implementing a more just world.   

ACGSA Trivia Night

ACGSA Trivia Night

Hello fellow students, we hope you are doing well in such an unprecedented period. We know that this is a stressful time, and we are planning something special to help with this. The ACGSA will be hosting a Trivia Night that will test broad knowledge in Science, Geography, History, Entertainment, Sports, and a Mystery category. See you all there!!

 

When and where?

  • The event will be hosted online via zoom on Friday, November 20, 2020, at 7 PM sharp
  • Please RSVP to receive the zoom link and details

Who should attend?

The ACGSA hosts this event, but we invite all graduate students to join in on the fun.

Why should you attend?

  • Win fun prizes: we will be giving amazing prizes to top placers
  • Blow off some steam, make new friends and bring together groups of friends for a shared experience
  • Show your competitiveness or show up to have some fun and good vibes
  • Networking opportunity
Please RSVP here: https://fb.me/e/35eIUdqXr
See the attached file for the event poster
 
Best wishes,
The ACGSA executive team

Mental Health Empower Me Workshop by Dr. Elizabeth Cawley

Mental Health Empower Me Workshop by Dr. Elizabeth Cawley

Hello everyone!

As previously mentioned, our National Director of Mental Health Strategy (DrElizabeth Cawley) hosted a mental health Empower Me workshop followed by a Q&A session a couple weeks ago and I’m sending along the video from our Empower Me Zoom workshop.

Below you’ll find the link to the recording from the webinar along with a few slides of questions/answers that were brought up during the session. Feel free to post on your social media, or share it with your community to promote the Empower Me program! Please do download the video at your earliest convenience as the link will expire in 7 days.

https://we.tl/t-f5sZ5mxoCE

UPDATES FROM THE GSA 2020-11-06

UPDATES FROM THE GSA 2020-11-06

We are so thankful McMaster Librarians are making the time and space for graduate students to work using reliable internet and a quiet space on campus. Have you thought about signing up for a time to use the Library space? It’s easy! Learn more here

We meet with McMaster administration to share your feedback on student services and we need to hear your thoughts! How is Graduate Student Space on Campus? Please fill out this short 2 minute survey if you have used or are interested in using this space. Survey closes this week!

The GSA created a calendar to keep graduate student clubs and events that may be interesting to you. Maybe your department is hosting a virtual event that is open to all… Send it to us and we can add it in! Check it out here: Graduate Student Calendar by the GSA.

GSA INTRODUCTION SERIES: FRC of SOCIAL SCIENCES

GSA INTRODUCTION SERIES: FRC of SOCIAL SCIENCES

Hi everyone! My name is Rida Mohsin and I am one of the new GSA Social Science Faculty Representatives. I communicate faculty updates within the GSA and act as a liaison between the association and the faculty. I am currently an MA student here at Mac within the Political Science department. Feel free to contact me with any relevant concerns or questions about anything within the Faculty of Social Sciences, or anything you wish to communicate to the GSA. You can contact me at my Mac email at mohsir1@mcmaster.ca. Thank you!

Thank you, Rida, for being our tenth feature on this Introduction Series. We have a number of amazing GSA Clubs and Faculty Representatives of the Council that you can connect with! Check the full list on our website.