IGSA Welcome Month

IGSA Welcome Month

Dear International Community,

We would like to welcome you to the new academic year 2020/2021. This term will be like no others and we would like to assure you that IGSA is here to help. Please feel free to reach out to us if you need and we will do everything we can to help.

For the last couple months, we have been running a series of virtual events and we will continue to offer a broad program for the upcoming term. We will start off with a virtual Board Game “night” in collaboration with the School of Graduate Studies and a virtual Trivia Night later in October. In addition, we are hosting a monthly language cafe together with MODEL, the McMaster Office for the Development of English Language Learners. The first sessions will run on September 24 and you will have the opportunity to learn new languages from fellow Graduate students.

You may register for the board game night using the link below. We will share more details closer to the events.

Wishing you all the best for this fall semester

Register here for the Virtual Bordgame Night

Friday, September 18 at 1 pm on Zoom

Recruitment for GSA CRO position

Recruitment for GSA CRO position

The GSA is recruiting for CRO position, if you are interested to be part of the GSA please email macgsa@mcmaster.ca by October 1st. The CRO term will end on April, 30th, 2021.

The main role of the position is as follows;

  1. Be responsible for the conduct of election and referendum procedures; and
  2. Present a report to Council on the validity/invalidity of any election/referendum process; and
  3. Chair the AGM 

This role would be well suited for someone with a working knowledge of Roberts rules and an interest in Graduate student life! A small financial honorarium is provided to the CRO for performing their duties. 


From there Council shall elect from within the candidates nominated by the Board, a Chief Returning Officer (CRO) to preside over elections and referenda of the Association.

1. Eligibility Requirements

a. Any Graduate Member is eligible to be the CRO of the Association.

b. A CRO shall not serve as a Faculty Representative, a Member of a Faculty Association executive, or hold another Director, Officer or staff position within the Association at the time of taking up office.


2. Rights and Privileges

a. Act as the official representative of the Association in matters pertaining to elections/referenda; and

b. May delegate any of their powers, duties and functions as they see fit; and

c. Strike an election committee; and

d. Limit campaign expenditures; and

e. Receive nomination forms and publicize elections and/or referenda.


3. Responsibilities

a. Be responsible for the conduct of election and referendum procedures; and

b. Present a report to Council on the validity/invalidity of any election/referendum process; and

c. Perform such other functions as the Council may determine.


4. Decisions

a. Appeals of decisions of the CRO may be made in accordance with Article 4, Section 4.3, in the case of Referenda, and Article 3, Section 3.0 (1) in the case of General Elections.


5. Remunerating the Chief Returning Officer

a. The CRO shall receive an honorarium, the amount of which shall be set by the Board.

b. The CRO shall not receive any monetary or in kind benefits other than the honorarium referred to in Article 1, Section 1.5 (5a), without the consent of Council. This shall not affect the use of Association facilities and funds reasonably associated with the carrying out of their duties.

c. If the CRO does not fulfill the complete term of office, the honorarium shall be prorated for the time served, unless determined otherwise by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of Council.


6. Nominating the Chief Returning Officer

a. Candidate(s) for the position of CRO shall be nominated by the Board. In the event that the Board nominates a single candidate, this nomination must be ratified by a majority of voting Councilors at the next Council Meeting.

b. Where there is more than one candidate, an election by secret ballot shall be held.

c. In the event that the CRO’s position is not filled, the President shall nominate a new CRO prior to the next Council meeting.


7. Term

a. The CRO shall hold office until a successor is duly elected following the regulations in the Bylaw.

b. The term of office of the CRO shall be one (1) year: starting on the first (1st) of  May and ending on the (30th) of April the following year.



*NEW DATES & LINKS DIFFERENT FROM LAST WEEK! See daily updates on our twitter account.

Free Exercise Classes from the McMaster Pulse, schedule here

Meeting ID: 741 5842 9470
Password: thepulse 

Tuesday, September 15th at 2pm – Welcome Month Question & Answer Session with the GSA, register ahead with this link
Thursday, September 17th at 10-11am – McMaster GSA Welcome Week Tour with PhD Candidate Jennifer Williams. Link to join is here



Welcome to a new academic year, the Fall 2020 semester. For many of you this may consist of teaching, learning, or supporting others in their academic journey. We thank you for your efforts in getting to this point and we believe in you every step of the way. The GSA is here to support you! 

A note about HSR Bus Pass: We have confirmed that students assessed the HSR fee for 2019/2020 academic year will be credited $65 for the months that HSR was free due to the pandemic! You should see this reflected on your student accounts over the next two weeks. We are actively working with the city of Hamilton to continue to bring financial relief for our members.

Have you wanted to learn more about what the GSA does? Do you want to be the connection between the GSA and your Faculty? We would like to announce the vacant positions for Faculty Representatives of the Council (FRC), view the nomination form here. Their role consists of attending Council meetings, representing your faculty, organizing faculty specific events and communication, and voting at Council meetings! Please note the due date is September 21st. Current vacancies:

  • 2 FRC of Social Science 
  • 2 FRC of Humanities
  • 1 FRC of International graduate students (current member of IGSA)

Please send your cover letter and nomination form to Mona at macgsa@mcmaster.ca

SciGSA virtual scavenger hunt

SciGSA virtual scavenger hunt

Running from August 28th – September 28th, sign-up for the SciGSA virtual scavenger hunt! Team up with a group of graduate students and complete the scavenger hunt to win points. The team with the most points wins the scavenger hunt, and contributes to their department winning the Pythagoras Cup!

Complete the scavenger hunt using the following google form: https://forms.gle/Snmjev4sNMyhMr8d6

If you have any questions or concerns with accessing the scavenger hunt, please let us know. **NOTE: the scavenger hunt does not need to be completed in a single as it may take a few hours to complete depending on the individuals familiarity to Hamilton. If you are to complete the hunt over a few days, simply save your answers in a separate document or Notes app on your phone and ONLY fill in and submit this Google form with your final answers when you have completed the hunt.**



Check out the Graduate Writing Support Centre for writing services, the thesis writing toolkit, and the writing support bootcamp dates.

International Students: Click on this link to take this anonymous research survey about your experience during COVID-19. 

Are you a returning International TA? The MacPherson Institute is looking for returning International teaching assistants to participate in a 1-hour panel, “Teaching in a Canadian Classroom” on September 10, 12:30-1:30 pm. If you are interested in sharing your TA or sessional experience as an international student/teacher (what did/did not work, what you learned from your role) please fill out this form and we will reach out to you with more information. Panelists will receive a $30 gift card to Amazon, Indigo, or Starbucks for their time.

Seeking to hire a graduate research assistant to start around mid-September, 2020. The project explores blues and hip-hop geographies and their influences on cultures of resistance, both globally and among Asian(workers). All of the work can be done online. Candidate should be highly organized, independent, and responsible. Ideally, the theme is somewhat aligned with your own research interests so that the work may contribute to your own project. Pay is commensurate with your experience in conducting research but will be in the range of $25-$30/hr. Estimated total hours is 30 with potential for more. More details for the responsibilities of this job can be available upon request. 

Please send resume/CV with a 1-page cover letter to Dr. Tommy Wu (wu21@mcmaster.ca) asap and preferably before September 1st, 2020.

PARTICIPANTS NEEDED For Graduate Education Study
I am doctoral candidate looking for current graduate students to complete a survey on their psychosocial and learning experiences. As a participant in this survey, you will be asked to think about and answer questions about your experience as a graduate student.

The survey will take approximately 25 minutes for you to complete and can be completed online. In appreciation of your time, you will be entered in a random draw to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

If you consent, you may also be asked to participate in an individual interview with the researcher to have a more in-depth discussion of your experiences.

If interested in participating, please follow the link to Graduate Education Survey.

If you have any questions, please contact Newsha Ziaian-Ghafari.



Black Student Mentorship Program (BSMP) is an exciting new initiative from and for the Black students and faculty of McMaster. In this program, you can mentor an upper year undergraduate student who shares your interests and/or goals. At the same time, you can be mentored by a Black faculty member. Interested in being a part of BSMP?! Check out our application. This program will give you the opportunity to connect with other Black students, faculty, and alumni. You don’t want to miss out on being a part of this supportive community! Learn more on our FacebookInstagramTwitter or email



Thank you for your responses on GSA Political Involvement. At the GSA Student Issues Action Committee meeting on Monday, August 24th, we discussed replacing the Policy and Political Neutrality and Anti-Discrimination with a new Policy on Anti-Oppression. We are very thankful for the graduate students who have given their time over the past two months. As this work continues, we are committed to updating this document to reflect the current needs of graduate students. If at any time you want to elicit feedback or join the Student Issues Action Committee, please email Sydney Valentino, GSA VP External. The GSA Academic Workshops survey is still open – the deadline is next week on Friday! We would love to hear from you, please see more details later in this email.

A note about Student Events: Since we opened up the Student Groups Events Management portal in May, please be aware we are only allowed to have virtual student group events – no in person or on campus events will be approved. Please email us if you have any questions.



The calm before the storm. We are ramping up to have a number of awesome events over the month of September. Please join us in welcoming new graduate students and congratulating returning students at Welcome Month 2020. Please see our website calendar for more details.