SGPS holding second presidential election Mar. 12 & 13

New election comes after decision to nullify original election results

SGPS offices.

A second campaigning period for the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) presidential candidates is in full swing following a Feb. 8 decision to nullify the original election results.

In the first voting period, the results that elected Stephanie McKnight as president-elect over runner-up Tyler Morrison, were dissolved by the SGPS Judicial Committee after an investigation into a self-disclosed infraction by McKnight. According to a Mar. 5 statement released by the SGPS, McKnight utilized more than the allotted campaign budget, so the SGPS Judicial Committee ruled to nullify the election.

At the Feb. 13 SGPS Council meeting, the society decided to host another election period to decide the winning candidate. Morrison and McKnight will be campaigning until Mar. 11, with voting taking place on Mar. 12 and 13.

In the Mar. 5 statement, McKnight and Morrison wrote that they want to put the infraction behind them and focus on the new campaign.

“Moving forward, we have respectively agreed to not respond to further questions about this issue,” the two wrote. “We wish to focus the campaign period and election on SGPS issues, policies; our platforms and plans for the SGPS, and not on the infraction and appeal.”

In light of the new campaign, McKnight and Morrison have worked on expanding their platforms.

In a message to The Journal, McKnight wrote her vision “seeks to create a framework of reciprocal care.” 

“If President, I will include diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of the society – i.e. hiring, programming, Executive, and Council activities,” McKnight wrote. “I will hire a Human Resources position to support the society in these plans, but to also hold the Executive accountable to their action plans and priorities.” 

In addition to the human resources position, McKnight plans to hire a marketing and promotions coordinator tasked with strengthening SGPS advocacy and presence on campus. Moreover, McKnight will continue to work on projects such as funding for scholarships, supervisor and supervisee agreements for thesis projects. She also wants more graduate student space on campus. 

“If the University is striving to prioritize graduate student experience on campus, then I believe I am the best person for this position,” McKnight added. “I am the leader the society needs right now, and I promise with my experience and dedication, the society will only flourish.”

Morrison also outlined some projects he hopes to act on if elected, including capitalizing on the strong support for the JDUC referendum, creating a Graduate Peer Support Centre and hiring a Deputy Commissioner of Indigenous Affairs.

“Key to my vision of the SGPS has always been student consultation,” Morrison wrote in a message to The Journal. “The first campaign gave me an amazing opportunity to engage with students. My expanded platform is a result of these consultations.

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