Yes, these are the Fall 2021 statements!

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Trustee I Position (1 Candidate)

Maria Cristina Albuquerque

Hi everyone, 

My name is Maria Cristina and I am an international grad student about to finish my Master’s in Education. I am from Brazil, and as an international student I would love to keep representing international students on the Executive Committee.

For the last year, I have been the TSSU Trustee I and you have probably seen me presenting *very exciting* by-law changes (thanks for listening I know it is not that exciting). Since I am more familiar with the Trustees duties, I am running again for the position of Trustee I. As the Trustee I, I have worked on the Internal Relations Committee, Finances Committee, and by-laws language updates. The experience with the TSSU policies and procedures enriched my institutional knowledge and provided me with a solid foundation to continue the role of Trustee I.

Currently, we are working on the executive restructuring and it would be great to dedicate more hours to this process.It would be a pleasure to continue my work for the TSSU and its membership.

Thanks for your consideration and feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding my candidacy at mcalbuqu@sfu.ca.

Sincerely,

Maria  

Occupational Health and Safety Commissioner (1 Candidate)

Katie Gravestock

Hello TSSU!

My name is Katie Gravestock (she/her), and I am running for the position of OccupationalHealth and Safety Commissioner. For the last two years, I have been your Chief Steward I, where I have been working hard to ensure that the terms and conditions of the Collective Agreement are enforced. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the work of the TSSU Executive and all TSSU members. Health and Safety issues have become even more important. As a result, I have become a member of two local joint health and safety committees (AQ/Strand Hall and Surrey).I am also a member of the Central University Health and Safety Committee, where I am currently serving as the worker co-chair. As well, I am an active member of the TSSU Health andSafety Committee. Over the last two years, I have worked closely with the TSSU OccupationalHealth and Safety Commissioner to advocate for safe working conditions for TSSU members.

As Chief Steward, I have worked with other TSSU members, Student Groups, FacultyAssociations, and unions in B.C. to advocate for a safe return to campus in September. I helped draft an open letter to the provincial government calling for increased safety measures and participated in a number of media interviews. With this press coverage and the success of the open letter, we helped pressure the provincial government to implement a mask mandate and system for proof of vaccination. I would love the opportunity to serve as the TSSU Occupational Health and SafetyCommissioner where I will continue to promote and protect the health and safety rights ofTSSU members and the entire SFU community.

In solidarity,

Katie Gravestock

Coordinator Position (1 Candidate)

Rahil Adeli

My name is Rahil Adeli, an SFU Alumnus, graduated from Master of Urban studies in Summer 2020.

I have been engaged with various TSSU activities since 2019. When the RA Unionization Campaign started, I found it in alignment with my long-lasting concerns, and I got highly involved with the campaign from the initial stages till now. When I joined the GSS as the Director of Academic Relations in January 2020, I tried to increase the collaboration between GSS and TSSU on the RAs issues and other issues of mutual interest. As an example, with the help of TSSU folks, I initiated “SFU Internationals Coming Together” that focused on issues facing international students and workers due to the pandemic.  

Since December 2020, I have been serving as the TSSU Coordinator. In my role as the Coordinator, I have had the opportunity to play a more active role in contributing to fulfilling the Union’s goals. I used my coordinating and planning skills along with my general familiarity with TSSU work and culture to help with the operational and administration functioning of TSSU.  I also have been highly engaged with making some structural changes to improve the performance of the union through the Internal Relation Committee. In addition, my tendency toward organizing and advocacy motivated me to continue my work on raising awareness about international students’ numerous issues and organizing for their rights. 

I would like to continue my role as the TSSU Coordinator for another year. TSSU has always been a vibrant and influential institution, a place where you can fight for the just rights of all members of the community in a friendly and democratic environment where people care about human dignity and decency. I hope that as the Coordinator, I can contribute to some of the great causes TSSU pursues. 

Chair (1 Candidate)

Kayla Hilstob

My name is Kayla and I am a 3rd year PhD student in the School of Communication.

I would like to run for the Chair of the TSSU because I have union values of solidarity and unity that I want to contribute to the continued work of our strong collective. As a worker, I have benefited greatly from the hard work done by TSSU stewards, committees, and executive, and I would like do my part. I believe a Chair needs to ensure the meetings are welcoming and all voices are heard, while respecting everyone’s time by being efficient. I plan to continue to uphold our values of non-hierarchy, direct democracy and feminism.

My experience has helped me learn the structure of the Union, and the rules of order to successfully facilitate meetings. I am currently a TSSU Vancouver and District Labour Council Representative, where I participate in discussions on labour issues in Vancouver, and bring TSSU issues to the wider labour movement. I also am a member of the SSJC and the hiring committee to find a second staff person for the Union. 

I have also demonstrated commitment to the labour movement through my doctoral research. I examine the impact of automation on labour to plan for a better future. A huge part of my life is dedicated to questions of labour rights, inequality and mobilizing for justice, and I hope to contribute my skills and passions to the TSSU in this way!

Thank you.

Chief Steward I (1 candidate)

Amal Vincent

Hello TSSU!  

Dear TSSU members,  

I am Amal Vincent, one of the candidates for the Chief Steward I position.   

I am currently a Sessional Instructor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology. My involvement with TSSU began in 2017, during my first month at SFU, when I was elected as one the TSSU stewards for my department. I have been proactive in taking up union work and presently serve on multiple TSSU committees including the Grievance Committee (2017 – present) Contract Committee (2018 – present). In the past I have also served on the TSSU Executive as one of the Trustees (2019 – 2021).   

I am thankful to past and present TSSU members, executives and staff in constantly mentoring and training me to serve the union better. If elected, it will be an opportunity to repay the faith put into me. I believe that the skills I have developed and things I have learnt through my union activism would help fulfil the role of Chief Steward I.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions on amal_vincent@sfu.ca.  

In Solidarity,

Amal Vincent  

Organiser II (2 candidates)

Lea Hogan

Hello lovely folks,

My name is Lea Hogan, your Organizer II for the last 1.5 years. With your support, I would love to continue another term. I’ve been a TA in the School for Communication and Contemporary Arts. Over the last few years, I’ve been involved in many committees, roles, and campaigns; including co-facilitating the Membership Mobilization Committee, facilitating Anti-Harassment Committee, a TSSU-CSEU Delegate, and a member of the Contract, Finance, IR, and Solidarity and Social Justice Committees.

I joined TSSU as one of many organizers for the Research is Work campaign where our collective voices won Research Assistants their union. I continue to fight for RAs, helping the membership fight against SFU’s attempt to delay RA Bargaining such as receiving contact information to talk to our new members, pressuring SFU to get to the bargaining table, while fighting for the rights Research Assistants prioritized for their first Collective Agreement.

As your organizer, I help support our department stewards, develop resources for the Log Your Hours campaign, and support our member’s initiatives such as the SFU Migrant Student United chapter, SFU C19 Coalition, and WELCM initiative through SSJC. At the core of my principles is community and the our collective power. We have the power to make a change not at SFU, but in the community at large.

My experiences before and during my time as your Organizer II give me the tools to help members find a place for them in TSSU and empower them in their initiatives, and the members’ desire for better working conditions. I’m grateful for the journey I’ve shared with you all at TSSU. I will continue to fight for your rights and help members grow together.

Forever in solidarity,

Lea Hogan

Zhiyun Peng (Richard)

Hello everyone!

My name is Zhiyun Peng (Richard) and I am running for the position of Organizer II. I am a TA, RA, PhD student in computing science. I have been a TSSU member since 2021.9, and have recently gotten involved in the TSSU finance committee. I am a steward in school of computing science. I have experience as the current treasurer for the Computer Science Graduate Student Association.

With the current campaigning state of TSSU, my aims in this position are to:

1- increase cooperation within TSSU by recruiting more members to our committees.

2- making strong and active connections with other groups both on and off campus, to help better the situation of students and workers (eg, let more members know they already can be free from the $75 MSP, log the work time to make money, avoid revenge from course students)

3- develop our existing campaigns, esp. the RA contract: to win $75/month MPS and family subsidy back for RAs.

Thank you for reaching up to this line!

Wish you have a beautiful day 😀

Zhiyun Peng (Richard)