GSA Annual General Meeting on March 26th @ 10:00 AM

2021 GSA Annual General Meeting on March 26th @ 10:00 AM

The 2021 GSA Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on March 26th @ 10:00 AM!

Register here!

Please check the following AGM documents:

Don’t forget to mark the date on your calendar!



Calling all students! Applications for the Graduate Student Association (GSA) have been extended. Positions for GSA Executives (paid!), Board of Directors (volunteer!), and Faculty Representatives of the Council (volunteer!) are available. Nomination forms are available here. The nomination period will finally close on Monday, March 15th at 12:00 p.m.

We would like to report to you on the academic year April 2020 to April 2021. While many changes happened, we are so excited to connect with all of you at our GSA Annual General Meeting on March 26th, 2021 at 10 a.m. Save the date to attend and vote on proposed changes for the 2021-2022 year! 

Graduate student elections to the Senate. Voting for grad student representatives to McMaster’s Senate is open March 15 to 17. For more information, including a list of candidates, visit the Daily News.

Graduate Students’ Response to New Federal Isolation Requirements and 3-Day Mandatory Hotel Stay

Graduate Students' Response to New Federal Isolation Requirements and 3-Day Mandatory Hotel Stay

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Alireza Kamyabi

UBC Graduate Student Society
VP External Relations

Graduate students call on federal government to utilize university residence isolation plans
as an equitable alternative to mandatory hotel stay for arriving international students

Eight graduate student societies and associations, representing 91,000 graduate
students across Canada, are calling on the federal government to approve university-administered quarantine plans at university residences as an equitable alternative to 3-day mandatory hotel stay for arriving international students.

On February 21st, 2021, Canada introduced new restrictions on international travel requiring all travellers arriving in Canada to isolate in a federally-approved hotel for three days at their own expense. While restrictions on international travel to Canada are required to ensure safety and wellbeing of travellers and residents, we believe the unequitable barriers to entry to Canada must be mitigated for those that must enter the country for essential travel.

Graduate students are a group that must enter Canada to be able to partake in their studies, which is primarily research which takes place in research facilities on and around campuses.

As organizations advocating on behalf of graduate students, our priority is the health and safety of our respective student bodies and broader community. We believe university residences’ isolation programs are a safe, equitable and affordable alternative to mandatory 3-day hotel stay for international graduate students who must enter the country for their research and studies.

Quotes from GSS/GSA Student Leaders on the impact of this letter:

    “We believe there is an opportunity here to utilize university residence isolation programs as a safe and affordable alternative to mandatory hotel stay that will reduce costs for students and allow for greater utilization of hotel space for other arriving groups. Our university residences’ quarantine plans have proven to be safe and effective programs so far and we think approving them would be beneficial especially as we universities to re-open and more students arrive in Canada:
Alireza Kamyabi, Vice-President External Relations, Graduate Student Society of University of British Columbia Vancouver

    “International graduate students are key contributors to the academic mission of Canadian universities, and we need to reduce travel-related barriers so they can begin or continue their studies here. Our universities’ federally-approved isolation packages are the ideal compromise between affordability, safety, and accessibility for these students.”
Marc Waddingham, President, University of Alberta’s Graduate Student Association,

    “It’s already difficult for international students to adjust to a foreign country. In addition to that, incoming international students face high financial stress due to increased payments that are required to start a life in a new home country. Forcing students to also pay a minimum of $2,000 for a hotel room stay is creating more financial barriers for students, especially when universities are prepared to receive international students during the pandemic and have government approved quarantine plans in place.”
Humaira Inam, President, University of Saskatchewan’s Graduate Students’ Association



There is so much to celebrate this week! International Women and Girls in Science Day is a reminder to celebrate the many women who have led us to be the graduate students we are today, as well as the many women after us which we will commit to removing barriers and creating the spaces for women and girls to be free, thrive and lead.

Remember that Monday is Family Day, a holiday that is observed here in Ontario, therefore McMaster campus will be closed and no classes should be scheduled online. We hope you enjoy the long weekend.

McMaster University Student and Experience Survey launched! Sent to all students by email – please share your experiences to help us enhance student-facing programs and services. Contact Equity and Inclusion Office (linked to @EIOMcMaster) for questions. Link to the tweet from EIO page or on Facebook.



If you’re interested in being part of the GSA between February to April 2021 for a small financial honorarium, consider the following… Ahead of GSA Elections, we need a Chief Returning Officer (CRO). In this position, your role would include the following: 1) to be responsible for the conduct of GSA elections, 2) to present on the election process, and 3) to chair the Annual General Meeting. More details on this GSA Website post.

All graduate students are welcome to join the GSA Council Monthly Council Meeting on January 28 at 12 p.m. Register to join us on Zoom using this linkonly McMaster emails will be eligible to register



Hello from the African Caribbean Graduate Student Association (ACGSA)! 
We are a club under the Graduate Student Association (GSA) that is tailored for students from Africa, the Caribbean and/or for those that self-identify as being of African, Caribbean or African American Ancestry. All McMaster graduate students who are interested in things pertaining to the people of Africa (all races and colours), the Caribbean, African Americans and their socio-cultural interests are welcome! 

Our services and events aim to:

  • Create a space for our students to know and interact with each other to give the students a sense of community.
  • Advocate for opportunities for our members in McMaster University, Hamilton and Canada.
  • Welcome new African and Caribbean graduate students.
  • Provide guidance and the information necessary for African and Caribbean students to integrate into McMaster University, Hamilton and Canada.
  • Organize informative, educational and social events for African and Caribbean graduate students.

Contact us via email to join ( or find us on Facebook

Thank you ACGSA for your introduction! If you want to learn about other GSA Clubs check out this list of over 20 clubs on our website

GSA Denounces the Ford Government’s Adoption of the Anti-Palestinian IHRA-WDA

GSA Denounces the Ford Government’s Adoption of the Anti-Palestinian IHRA-WDA

The McMaster Graduate Students Association (GSA) denounces the Ford government’s recent adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism (IHRA-WDA) due to its anti-Palestinianism, anti-democratic nature, and the serious threat it poses to academic freedom at McMaster University, and more broadly, in the province.

The IHRA-WDA conflates
antisemitism with criticism of Israel, which is a settler-colonial and apartheid state.
Israel has a well-documented history of violating the rights of the indigenous
Palestinians, as by illegally denying the right of Palestinian refugees to
return to their homes and lands, detaining and torturing Palestinian children,
arresting Palestinians without charge or trial, and illegally occupying
Palestinian territories. To label the critique of Israel antisemitic is absurd,
and as highlighted by Corey Balsam of Independent
Jewish Voices Canada
(IJV), is dangerously “‘undermining the
battle against genuine antisemitism.’” Rather, the IHRA-WDA appropriates
resistance against antisemitism to perpetuate oppression against the
Palestinians without challenge.

GSA notes that the IHRA-WDA
was adopted by the Ford government unilaterally, via an Order
in Council, after it circumvented a scheduled third hearing and public debate
on the associated Bill 168, evident of its anti-democratic nature. Indeed, according
to a recent survey, 80%
of Canadians reject the conflation of antisemitism and critique of Israel.
Further, as noted by a recent article, this new definition not only poses a threat to scholarship and activism
that is critical of Israel, but could ban “teaching influential Jewish scholars
such as Hannah Arendt and Judith Butler, the post-colonial legend Edward Said,
Black liberation scholar Angela Davis and a long list of other scholars because
of their critical work on Israel.” This definition is particularly concerning
for the McMaster community, as it prides itself for its diversity and
critically-oriented scholarship. Many McMaster graduate students, especially those
who are racialized, now face the threat of censorship, dismissal, unemployment,
and more, sheerly due to their principled advocacy for Palestinian rights.

GSA joins a wide array of progressive organizations, such as CUPE 3906, the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, IJV, and Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, in viewing the Ford government’s adoption of IHRA-WDA as an attack on free speech, particularly academic freedom. It also reaffirms the right to critique all foreign states, including Israel. GSA urges the Ontario government to retract its adoption of the IHRA-WDA. In addition, we call on the McMaster University Board of Governors (BOG) to protect free speech on campus and the rights of Palestinians by unequivocally rejecting this flawed definition. Instead, we propose that the BOG adopt IJV’s progressive Working Definition of Antisemitism that links antisemitism to other forms of oppression, including white supremacy and Islamophobia, ruling out criticism of Israel as antisemitic.

This letter was put forward by a majority vote of the Student Issues Actions Committee (SIAC) with those present at the SIAC meeting on Wednesday, November 25th, 2020. This letter was then approved by a majority vote of the GSA Council with those present at the monthly Council meeting on Thursday, November 26th, 2020.

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.   

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.