SGPS presidential candidate hopes to improve mental health supports

Langdon sees lack of knowledge of SGPS services

SGPS presidential candidate aims to bridge disconnect between graduate students and the university.
Supplied by Beth Langdon

                  Beth Langdon, JD ’23, is the sole candidate vying for the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) President position. Langdon’s platform is based on three pillars: building community, revamping SGPS communications, and improving SGPS mental health resources.

“I think there has been a disconnect between students and their engagement at the university, because of the pandemic, and the implications coming out of that—it’s been a very hard time,” Langdon said in an interview with The Journal.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of connection between our faculty and other faculties and departments on the SGPS.”

If elected, Langdon plans to support more events open to all graduate faculties—including hosting keynote speakers and expanding SGPS orientation activities.

She also touched on the recent bargaining demands from PSAC 901, which represents graduate TAs and RAs.

“In terms of addressing [concerns surrounding mental health], I would first want to look at what I can physically assist within one year and what I can plan so that it can grow into a long-term goal in the future,” Langdon said.

This year, SGPS implemented a mental health bursary. Langdon is eager to focus on further improving mental health resources for graduate students.

“I really want to focus on looking at how we can grow that bursary because in terms of a short-term goal, I think that’s perhaps more feasible than promising that I’m going to be able to get 30 counselors in one year—although that would be wonderful,” she said.

Langdon concluded the interview by speaking to her plans for revamping communications within SGPS. 

“I think that there’s a gap in students’ knowledge of what we can actually give them,” she noted.

“Things like the Sexual Health Resources Center, I don’t know if all students know about that, or the bursaries we have.”

Langdon also proposed what she believes would be more effective communication methods suited to a remote learning environment.

“I know that not everyone reads every email that they get,” she said.

She hopes to consider methods like relying more on social media platforms to reach students.

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