2016-17 SGPS executive elected

OPIRG fee and Senator candidate disqualified

Clockwise from top left: Saba Farbodkia
Clockwise from top left: Saba Farbodkia

The Society for Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) has announced the results of the 2016 SGPS election and referendum.

Saba Farbodkia was elected for President; Anastasiya Boika for VP Campaigns & Community Affairs; Stuart Clark for VP Finance & Services; Sebastian Gorlewski for VP Graduate; and Kishan Lakhani for VP Professional.

VP Campaigns and Community Affairs was the only contested position. Total voter turnout was approximately 27.5 per cent.


According to the SGPS’s website, the Chief Returning Officer disqualified Alexandru Sonoc, candidate for Graduate Student Senator, and the referendum question to renew the fee for the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) during the voting period.

“The questions both remained on the ballot during voting so as to not change the ballot, however the results have been invalidated,” the website stated.

Emily Wong, OPIRG’s programming and outreach coordinator, said they received an email earlier today with the news. 

“[They said] that a post on our website was “unauthorized campaign material” and that was grounds for complete disqualification,” Wong told The Journal via Facebook Messenger. 

Wong added that OPIRG will appeal the decision to disqualify their fee.

Referendum results

All fees in the referendum passed, which included fees for:

  • CFRC
  • The Queen’s Journal
  • Queen’s Work Bursary
  • Athletics and Recreation
  • The International Affairs Association
  • The Grad Club
  • Queen’s Food Centre
  • Kingston Coalition Against Poverty
  • Loving Spoonful
  • The QISS Bursary Program
  • Student Refugee Support
  • The Positive Space Program
  • The Kingston Youth Shelter
  • The Sexual Health and Resource Centre

2016-17 SGPS executive-elects:

To learn more about the elected candidates, visit: SGPS Elections

Saba Farbodkia, President-elect

Farbodkia, a fifth-Year PhD in neuroscience, said her main goals are strengthening the culture of the society, promoting physical and mental health, expanding current platforms for professional development and advocating to improve student-supervisor relationships. 

Anastasiya Boika, VP Campaigns & Community Affairs-elect

Boika, a second-year PhD candidate, was elected by a margin of 15 votes. She said she’ll focus on providing opportunities for professional development, fostering an inter-department graduate student community and expanding resources for international students.

Stuart Clark, VP Finance & Services-elect

Clark’s platform focused on empowering students, clubs and other parts of the SGPS by giving them the resources necessary to achieve their goals. The second-year law student said he would do this by improving convenience, introducing wider consultation and implementing better communication methods so students are aware of the services and resources available.  

Sebastian Gorlewski, VP Graduate-elect

Sebastian Gorlewski, a first-year MSc in Neuroscience, had a range of initiatives in his platform, including better connecting students with alumni and professionals, simplifying the system for applying for emergency funding, combating social isolation, streamlining academic accommodations and reducing the ratio of graduate students to embedded counsellors. 

Kishan Lakhani, VP Professional-elect

Lakhani, a first-year law student, said he plans to create a stronger and more cohesive sense of community within SGPS, establish an assistance program to provide support and information for students who are encountering academic and non-academic issues, and overall improve and develop SGPS social spaces.

Anastasiya Boika is the current Features Editor at The Journal. She had no involvement in writing or editing this article.


SGPS, SGPS elections

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

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