SGPS organizes orientation activities for graduate & professional students

Speed-friending event sees large turnout

The SGPS hosted an event at grad club on Sept. 7.

If you had a time machine and could take a one-way trip to any point in the future or in history, where would you go? 

This question was posed to a full house of graduate and professional students at the Sept. 7 “speed-friending” event organized at The Grad Club. The goal of this event was for new and returning SGPS members to network and get to know each other. 

This speed-friending event was one of the first of many events organized throughout the month of September meant to orient SGPS students to campus life and resources

SGPS plans on hosting other events, such as family-friendly movie screening at the Screening Room and a Sept. 16 welcome event for international students and their families. 

The graduate student government says they are committed to providing experiences for the QTBIPOC folks in collaboration with the Yellow House. 

For graduate students new to Queen’s campus, they say events like this are important in making the city a home and finding a diverse network of friends. 

Dylan Lewis, B. Ed ’23, is a new professional school student. He explained events like speed-friending are an opportunity to meet people whose different life and school experiences have made them a little more mature. 

“We're kind of close to where all the first years [undergraduates] are congregating [for orientation], so it's cool to see. And its speed-friending, so you get to network and meet people, which is more important as you get a little bit older,” Lewis said in an interview with The Journal

Lewis believes it’s important to treat these events as a chance to meet and learn from people.

Students like Sandra Malinouskaya, Law ’25, made the move to Kingston after completing their undergraduate degrees at other institutions. She described the move as being nerve-wrecking, while experiencing many kind interactions with folks in Kingston. 

“I feel like after undergrad you really have to network and talk to other people to build relationships. Because you never know down the line if you’re ever going to need someone or talk to someone,” Malinouskaya said in an interview with The Journal

Malinouskaya reminded undergraduate students to enjoy the process, even if they’re nervous. Lewis echoed this sentiment, telling undergraduate students to find any excuse to try new experiences. 

Speaking to the larger orientation events being run by the SGPS, Emilia Ganslandt, SGPS vice-president (community), told The Journal a challenge graduate and professional students face is the lack of a natural way to meet each other. 

“[Undergrads] have a natural way of orientation because they move into residence, but most of our members don’t live on-campus [...] We are trying to have people meet each other, because sometimes your department is small.”

Ganslandt said the event was the only inaccessible SGPS orientation event because of the age of the building. However, she said the SGPS has worked to ensure all other events are accessible. 

“We want all our students to feel welcome and part of our community. Our amazing equity and international commissioners are really important in driving EDII perspectives.”

Education-wise, Ganslandt said Queen’s has a strong community of graduate and professional students cross-collaborating across different fields and departments. 

She said graduate school and meeting other people during her time at Queen’s has been rewarding because of their different experiences, cultures, and backgrounds. 

Ganslandt and the SGPS executive want their member students to know their main goal is engagement while continuing to represent their voices. 

“We really are your student union. We are there for students, and that’s who we serve. We want to reach all groups of students, if there are events you would like to see you can always reach out to me.”

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