March 23, 2021

Tanille Shandro elected Graduate Students' Association president for second term

New officials elected for Graduate Students’ Association Board of Directors and Labour Relations Committee

The Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) welcomes newly elected officials for the 2020-2021 academic year after their 2021 General Election held on March 8 and 9. The voter turnout was seven per cent, with 508 current UCalgary graduate students voting at this election out of a total of 7,156 eligible voters. This year, the election was hosted mainly virtually due to the pandemic’s restrictions.

The GSA would like to congratulate the elected officials for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year:

  • President: Tanille Shandro, PhD student in chemistry
  • Vice-president academic: Alex Paquette, PhD student in geoscience
  • Vice-president student life: Kabita Baral, PhD student in veterinary medicine
  • Vice-president finance and services: Mary Zhang, PhD student in geoscience
  • Vice-president external: [currently vacant, to be filled in a by-election]
  • Associate vice-president labour: Keira Gunn, PhD student in pure mathematics

The associate vice-president (AVP) labour position was acclaimed by Keira Gunn prior to the campaign period as per GSA Bylaws. This will be Gunn’s second term in this position since she was first elected in this position in the AVP labour by-election in October 2020.

Tanille Shandro and Alex Paquette were re-elected for a second term in their respective positions as the president and vice-president (VP) academic. Shandro is honoured to get re-elected for the president position and looks forward to overcoming the challenges that students continue to face during the pandemic and working within the GSA to make equity, diversity and inclusion a main priority to serve and represent our graduate student population. Paquette is also looking to build upon past achievements and work hard to accomplish his future goals in his role as the VP academic. During their second term in office, Shandro and Paquette will continue their doctoral study in chemistry and geoscience respectively.

Mary Zhang was the sole candidate for the vice-president finance and services position and was elected by the membership for this position. Zhang is excited to bring financial support educational sessions for all graduate students in the upcoming year to help graduate students manage their finances so they can focus on their graduate research. She says, “I will also ensure budget transparency and timely updates on Health and Dental Plan changes.” Zhang is currently in her fourth year of her doctoral program in geoscience.

The vice-president student life position was contested with three candidates. Kabita Baral, a PhD student in veterinary medicine, successfully captured the position. As the GSA’s vice-president finance and services for the 2020-21 academic year, she looks forward to the serving as the GSA vice-president student life for the upcoming year. Baral aims to reach out to graduate students and do her best to let them know that it’s okay to have fun and often detach from schoolwork in graduate school. She says, “I want to ensure when they [graduate students] look back to grad life, they look fondly at skills learnt as well as memories made.” The GSA would like to thank Masume Akbari and Jay Gohil for participating in the election for this position.

There were no candidates for the vice-president external. Therefore, the GSA will host a by-election in April 2021. More details will be announced to all graduate students.

The newly elected officials will be sworn into office at the GSA Graduate Representative Council meeting in May 2021 to start their new term. The GSA would like to thank all graduate students who voted at this election and the outgoing vice-president external, Christine Cao, for her dedication to graduate student community during their term.