International Student Services (ISS) will be convening a student advisory-working group known as International Student Advisory Council (ISAC) to provide input into programs and services for international students.
Currently, International Student Services offers a wide range of services for international students, including: orientation programs, peer programs, individual advising, administrative assistance and support, the International Student Work Study Program, and emergency loans and bursaries. We would like to specially increase communication among student groups through on-going discussions so that we can more effectively implement new programs and activities for international students. Furthermore, members of this student advisory council would be periodically called upon as representatives of the international student body to attend events, conferences, and provide representative to various committees
As reported in the press, a doctoral student in political science at the University of Toronto, Alexander Sodiqov, was detained by the government of Tajikistan while conducting research in that country. Sodiqov was in Tajikistan working on an Economic and Social Research Council (UK) funded project. He was employed by the University of Exeter as a researcher on this project, the focus of which was to study the management and resolution of conflicts in Central Asia and the research in Tajikistan involved collecting public statements by government and civil society organizations as well as conducting interviews with public officials.
Sodiqov was arrested shortly after conducting his first interview on June 16, 2014. It remains unclear what prompted his arrest and, according to Amnesty International Canada, by this time, as mandated by Tajikistani law, Sodiqov should either be charged or released.
The arrest and detention of academic researchers, and attendant threat to academic freedom posed by such actions, is of great concern to the GSA. We urge graduate students and other members of the University community, and beyond, to familiarize themselves with the details of this case.
To learn more, view other public statements concerning the case, and consider signing a petition calling for the government of Tajikistan to treat Sodiqov in accordance with its laws, please visit http://freealexsodiqov.org/wp/?page_id=41.
Dear Fellow Graduate Students,
The GSA President’s Task Force on GSA Elections Bylaw and Policy has been formed to hear from any graduate student who has suggestions for improving GSA Elections Bylaw and Policy.
The Task Force will be holding three sessions during which graduate students with suggestions for improving GSA Elections are invited to present their suggestions in person.
Dear Fellow Graduate Students,
The University of Alberta has taken many steps to provide a safe, secure environment on campus for all students, faculty, and staff. The GSA applauds this. As a part of its ongoing commitment to safety, the University has released a video that provides instruction on what to do in the life-threatening situation where a shooter is on campus. The video is very powerful and the University has noted that some people may find the video disturbing. I would like to echo the University’s suggestion that you may find it helpful to view the video with others, so that you can talk about it after you have watched it.
The GSA was very saddened to hear of the tragic news of the loss of five young lives in Calgary earlier today. On behalf of the graduate student community at the University of Alberta we extend support and condolences to the family and friends of the victims. We also offer our support to all students, staff, faculty, and community members at the University of Calgary who are affected by this event.
Anyone at the U of A needing assistance or counselling during this time is encouraged to contact the University Wellness Service’s Mental Health Centre. The Mental Health Centre can be reached at 780-492-5205.
GSA President, 2013-2014