SGPS presidential election sees two hopefuls

The Journal sits down with candidates Jeremy Ambraska and Jaspar Wong

Jeremy Ambraska (right) and Jaspar Wong (left).
Credit: 
Supplied by Jeremy Ambraska and Jaspar Wong
This year, the only contested SGPS election is for its presidency.
 
Jeremy Ambraska, Law ’20, will face off against Jaspar Wong, Ed ’19, in the SGPS presidential election on Jan. 28 to 29.  
 
With four uncontested vice-presidential elections, graduate and professional students will likely be focused on Wong and Ambraskaahead of the vote next week.
 
Both candidates are committed to further integration among faculties, identifying a divide between graduate, law, and education students. They said the gaps between disciplines make representation a greater challenge. 
 
To address disconnect, both candidates plan to implement inter-faculty intramurals they hope will provide opportunities for graduate student 
community-building. 
 
Aside from his plans for fostering inter-faculty relations, Wong’s platform focuses on financial transparency, including informing members of voluntary opt-out fees and allowing students greater freedom over their finances. 
 
“There are $50 in optional fees, and just keeping our populace aware of what fees are optional shouldn’t hurt them. If they know where their money is going—which are fantastic programs and services—it might incentivize them to play a more active role in these programs,” Wong said in an interview with The Journal. 
 
Wong added his experience as an education student will be an asset to the SGPS. While there are many law and graduate students who participate in the SGPS, he believes that education students are underrepresented in the society. 
 
“I think my experience as an education student will help bring a diversity of experience to the SGPS—one that is currently, I believe, lacking,” Wong said. 
 
Ambraska’s platform is geared towards making the SGPS executives and programs more accessible to students. His plan focuses on three main pillars: strengthening the SGPS community, promoting holistic health and wellness, and increasing academic and career support for graduate students.
 
“It shouldn’t be hard to find SGPS events and the SGPS itself. If elected, I would hold open-air office hours, I would make an effort to go to West Campus, to Mac-Corry, have a dorky ‘meet the President’ sign,” Ambraska told The Journal in an interview. 
 
Despite having a platform in place, Ambraska said recent changes in provincial policy significantly altered the potential budget of the SGPS, and the financial reality for many graduate and professional students. 
 
“[OSAP] is a real issue. It’s a pocketbook thing. As much as I will continue with the platform as is, I think the SGPS needs to take a strong voice and work with other groups on campus, the administration, look into emergency grants and funding. That’s a hot-button issue. That’s maybe outside the scope of the SGPS, but you need someone who takes that seriously,”  Ambraska said. 
 
The SGPS election will take place on Jan. 28 to 29 online. Eligible voters will receive a ballot in their inboxes once voting opens.
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Corrections

January 25, 2019

This article incorrectly gave Wong's year as class of 2021. He is class of 2019.

The Journal regrets the error.

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