Kana Ogawa running uncontested for Graduate Trustee

SGPS members will take to the polls starting Sept. 19

Image supplied by: Kana Ogawa
Former ASUS Council member running to be Graduate Trustee.

Kana Ogawa, MSc ’25, is running unopposed in the Graduate Trustee by-election.

The Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) is voting on Sept. 19 and 20 for their next Graduate Student Trustee. The Graduate Trustee sits on the Board of Trustees—one of the chief governing bodies at Queen’s—to represent graduate and professional students’ interests.

The Graduate Trustee position is unpaid and spans a two-year term, with the trustee attending four board meetings each year. The by-election is being held as former Graduate Trustee Tony Hu, Meds ’26, was elected SGPS Vice-President (Community) last winter.

For Ogawa, being the only candidate running for Graduate Trustee speaks to a wider lack of engagement with student government. Student engagement and transparency are pillars of Ogawa’s platform. Ogawa promised to be active on social media and report on meetings she attends with the Board of Trustees.

“Students feel like they don’t have the power, or they feel like their voices aren’t heard in a lot of situations, especially in big university decisions,” Ogawa said in an interview with The Journal.

While completing her undergraduate degree in Life Sciences at Queen’s, Ogawa served as the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society’s (ASUS) Service Commissioner, which ignited her passion for student governance.

If elected, Ogawa wants to make Queen’s a more inclusive and accessible place, she’s passionate about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion projects. With rising rents and stagnant wages, food insecurity is an important issue for graduate students, Ogawa explained.

“50 per cent of students who access the AMS Food Bank are actually graduate students and professional students,” Ogawa said.

Through volunteering at Good Times Diner, a free meal service run by ASUS, Ogawa knows work is being done to tackle the issue. However, Ogawa wants to bring concerns about food insecurity to the Board of Trustees and hopes to quantify food insecurity at Queen’s through data and resource collection.

“I am a student. I do experience the struggles students are going through from a student perspective,” Ogawa said.

Since she immigrated to Canada from Japan, Ogawa empathizes with international students at Queen’s, and promises to represent the interests of international students.  From language barriers to the emotional weight of living far from home, international graduate and professional students face barriers their peers don’t.

“I want to make sure everybody here feels supported at Queen’s, especially as so many people come from different backgrounds,” Ogawa said.

Ogawa is prepared to tackle many different issues if elected Graduate Trustee. Since the University is experiencing a financial deficit, Ogawa suspected finances will be a hot topic at upcoming meetings.

Though Ogawa has experience in student government, she knows there will be a learning curve if elected to the position.

“There’s a lot of learning I have to do going into this,” Ogawa said. “I’m very excited about the learning opportunity, and I’m sure it’s going to be a rewarding one.”


Board of Trustees, Election, graduate trustee, SGPS

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