As the outgoing President of the Graduate Students’ Association at the University of Calgary, I would like to welcome all incoming graduate students to the University and to the Graduate Students’ Association. As the University launches its new strategic plan, there will be a multitude of exciting opportunities for you to engage in it throughout your time on campus.
Graduate school is an opportunity to explore your passion and interests, follow your curiosity, and contribute in a meaningful way to your discipline and your communities. You have arrived at an institution committed to allowing you the fullest expression of that opportunity. Over the past few years, the Graduate Students’ Association, the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and the University have worked hard to improve the quality of graduate education at the University, the size and scope of the opportunities available to graduate students, and overall graduate student life, though programs, services and experiences.
On 28 April 2017, the University of Calgary launched its Energizing Eyes High strategy and closed out a yearlong celebration of its 50th Anniversary. With a renewed strategy and desire to be recognized as a top five institution in Canada, the University is committed to further improving its exceptional teaching and learning, research, and community engagement. Additionally, the University has committed to advancing the student experience for all students on campus and creating a more vibrant campus culture. The implementation of these lofty goals will certainly benefit our entire campus community, and especially our graduate students who are at the core of the University’s mission.
The GSA is a central component of the University’s renewed mission and will be continuing progress on its own strategic plan, Peer Beyond, in the coming years. The GSA’s commitment to be a recognized leader in graduate student representation in Canada has spurred the development and revitalization of a number of high-quality services and programs from sustainability to awards and grants, from social events to mentorship and graduate assistantship opportunities. Our leadership in provincial advocacy and federal cooperation truly speaks to the innovative and aspirational culture of our University and Calgary communities.
The University of Calgary is a young university; it is one open to change and to exploring new ideas and practices. It is a place where innovation and engagement are welcome and encouraged. It is a place for graduate students to learn, to participate, and to challenge ideas and norms. I encourage you to find a niche, to explore new ideas and activities, and to create for yourself not just a degree, but lasting memories and experiences.
Samantha (Sam) Hossack
GSA President 2016-17