Emergency General Assembly: Bill C-51

Due to concerns raised by members of the cohort, the Student Association for Graduates in English will hold an Emergency General Assembly on the issue of Bill C-51, how it affects the literary and academic communities in particular, and what courses of action the cohort would like to take to express our feelings on this controversial legislation.

The EGA will take place on Thursday, October 22 at 11 AM in LB-660. The EGA will be open to all SAGE members (all current graduate students in Concordia’s English Department). The agenda will be circulated via email as well as posted at the bottom of this post and on the Facebook event page.

If you feel strongly about Bill C-51, it is crucial that you attend. Votes on any courses of action will affect the cohort as a whole, whether they are present to vote or not. If you cannot be present for the EGA but would like your thoughts on Bill C-51 aired at the EGA, you can leave them in the comments on the Facebook event, or email them to sage@concordia.ca.

Quorum for the GA is 10 people.

Voting will be by secret ballot.

Please share this information with your friends in the department.

Agenda
Facebook event

SAGE Newsletter August 2016

Hello English Graduates!

This is SAGE’s first newsletter of the academic year. As such, there’s a fair bit of information to cover, but we’ll try to do it concisely so that you can digest it quickly and get back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Graduate Orientation!

All returning and incoming grads should have received the introductory email about Graduate/TA Orientation on Friday, September 4. This is a reminder that the session will start at 9:45am in LB-649 and will last through to the afternoon. There will be a wine and cheese event at 3pm following orientation which will be a good opportunity to meet both students and faculty.

Graduate Party!

On Saturday, September 5th, SAGE will be hosting a party for all English grads! This will be a more informal event than the orientation and reception from the day previous. The party will be held at 6065 Sherbrooke West, Apt. 5 and grads and partners are welcome from 8pm onwards!

(Note: There will be dogs present, so apologies for any people with allergies.)

Headlight Anthology!

Headlight Anthology, Concordia’s grad student-run literary and visual arts anthology, is offering a call for Editor-in-Chief positions for the 2015-2016 academic year. If you’re interested in getting involved, submit a CV and brief cover letter to headlightanthology@gmail.com by Sunday, September 6th, 2015.To view the position description, click here.

Colloquium Committee!

The English Graduate Colloquium Committee will be struck in early September. Interested students should email sage@concordia.ca by Friday, September 11, 2015. The committee is responsible for organizing the English Department’s graduate conference, to be held in March 2016, and is a great opportunity to develop event-planning skills and network with students and scholars nationwide!

Concordia Write Nights!

CWN is a new SAGE initiative which gathers students from Concordia and elsewhere, along with community members, to work on their creative and academic writing in focused write-ins, as well as improve their creative writing through workshops. All are welcome! Dates have yet to be set, but information about meeting times through the Fall and Winter semesters will be posted here!

SAGE Council!

SAGE will be holding elections in September for the following positions on Council:

  • VP Administration
  • Academic Representative
  • Creative Representative

Getting involved with Council allows students to have a direct say in their academic experience at Concordia and gives members the opportunity to engage with faculty and administration. A solid stepping-stone for grads interested in student politics and administrative skill-building!

For more information about the positions and current members, please check out the team!


There you have it! The first SAGE newsletter of the 2015/16 academic year! In an effort to ensure all English grads receive adequate notice about the goings-on of their department, please keep an eye out for upcoming newsletters. (We will not spam you, honest.) Also, if you have not already, please join the Concordia English Graduate Students (SAGE) group on Facebook – there will be more frequent updates regarding official SAGE and English Department events, but also unofficial events from McGill, UdeM, and other local groups that may not be included in our newsletters.

Thank you for reading! We look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones on Friday/Saturday! If you ever have any questions, concerns, or comments, please do not hesitate to email them to sage@concordia.ca – let us know what you need from your department. Good luck with your upcoming studies!

Best,
SAGE

Open letter to UQAM administration and François Blais

(French below)

April 23, 2015

To: the UQAM administration and François Blais

Re: Administrative response to student action against austerity

Concordia’s Student Association of Graduates in English (SAGE) condemns the UQAM administration’s recent decision to expel nine of their students. These expulsions came without warning or precedent, and caused animosity and conflict between students and administration.

These students’ actions, though controversial, were a reaction to the brutal austerity measures that have demolished our public sector and left us with an ailing education system. The UQAM administration’s response shows an unwillingness to engage in a dialogue to find solutions to an economic policy that adversely affects all members of universities: students, administration, faculty, and staff alike.

SAGE objects to the UQAM administration’s excessive use of security and police forces in an effort to silence the democratically elected strike mandate of UQAM students. These measures are an unacceptable response to student protest. Given the history of fatal police intervention in protests, and the growing problem of police brutality across North America, we are appalled that UQAM would risk the lives of its students to maintain the integrity of office furniture.

SAGE asserts that no governing body (whether at a university or elsewhere) has the right to intimidate protestors, to refuse to tolerate acts of civil disobedience, to deny the right to strike, or to silence the right to free speech.

We believe that universities should be safe spaces for students to voice their concerns without fear of expulsion, physical threat, or arrest. We believe that in Quebec, the status of universities as places of vital knowledge production and political awareness is being endangered by the shortsighted neoliberal politics of the UQAM administration and Education Minister François Blais.

The UQAM administration should be ashamed of their recent actions. These drastic punitive measures must be reversed as soon as possible.

SAGE calls for an end to the violent interventions of police and security on campus at UQAM, as well as to threats of expulsion.

Sincerely,

SAGE


23 avril 2015,

À l’intention de la direction de l’UQÀM et de monsieur François Blais

En réponse des décisions de l’administration à l’égard des actions des étudiants contre l’austérité

L’Association des étudiants et étudiantes des cycles supérieurs en anglais de l’Université Concordia (SAGE) condamne la récente décision de la direction de l’UQÀM d’expulser neuf de leur étudiants. Ces expulsions se sont faites sans avertissement ni précédent, en plus d’instaurer un climat d’animosité et des conflictuel entre le corps étudiant et l’administration.

Les actions des étudiants, bien que controversées, sont en réaction aux mesures d’austérité brutales qui démantèlent nos institutions publiques et qui causent les difficultés que connaît notre système d’éducation. La réponse de la direction de l’UQÀM démontre un clair manque de volonté à engager un dialogue afin de trouver des solutions à une politique économique qui affecte négativement tous les membres de la communauté universitaires : les étudiants et les étudiantes, la direction, les facultés, ainsi que l’ensemble des employés.

La SAGE s’objecte à l’utilisation excessive des forces policières dans un effort de faire taire des mandats de grèves démocratiquement votés. Ces mesures représentent une réponse tout à fait inacceptable aux protestations. Considérant l’historique d’interventions policières fatales lors de mouvements de contestation, ainsi que et le problème grandissant de la brutalité policière en Amérique du Nord, nous sommes consternées de constater que la direction de l’UQÀM pourrait risquer la vie de ses étudiants afin de préserver l’intégrité de son mobilier.

La SAGE croit qu’aucune autorité (qu’elle soit universitaire ou autre) n’a le droit d’intimider les manifestants, de réprimer les gestes de désobéissance civile, de renier le droit de grève étudiant et de réduire au silence le droit à la liberté d’expression.

Nous croyons que l’université doit être un espace sécuritaire pour les étudiants et étudiantes qui souhaitent exprimer leurs inquiétudes et leurs convictions sans avoir peur d’être expulser, d’être menacé physiquement ou d’être arrêté. Nous croyons qu’au Québec, les universités sont des endroits privilégiés pour la production et de transmission des connaissances, mais également pour la conscientisation citoyenne et politique. Ce statut est toutefois menacé par les politiques néolibérales de courte vue défendue par la direction de l’UQÀM et par le ministre de l’éducation François Blais.

La direction de l’UQÀM devrait avoir honte de ses récentes actions. Les mesures punitives drastiques doivent être renversées aussi tôt que possible.

La SAGE exige l’arrêt des interventions policières violentes et le rétablissement d’un climat sécuritaire à l’UQÀM, ainsi que le retrait des menaces d’expulsion.

Cordialement,

L’Association des étudiants et étudiantes des cycles supérieurs en anglais de l’Université Concordia

April 14 Newsletter – Elections and End of Year Partay!

Hello Graduate Students,

It’s the end of the school year. Yay! Most of you will scatter and leave Montreal to visit loved ones or perhaps move to parts familiar or unknown. BUT before you head off, there’s one more shindig you must attend.

April 28 (Tuesday) is The End of the Year Party at Brutopia from 9 pm till they kick us out. We have a DJ and a trivia event planned. Please RSVP to SAGE (sage@concordia.ca) for your drink ticket. Friends, partners, and family are welcome!

This school year has been maddening, hectic, and exciting. We’ve been elated, depressed, sad, angry and through all those experiences your fellow graduate students were there. Let’s all celebrate the achievements we’ve accomplished. Please join us for our big hurrah to bid adieu to the year and our graduating friends!

Reminder: TAs and graduating cohort members please give back department key(s) to Bonnie before the end of the semester.

Calling all Graduate Students!

Elections are happening. Although positions are uncontested, SAGE still needs YOU to vote to make it official. Please send in your votes via email or by showing up to vote on April 17 at the Graduate Lounge. Polling Station is open from 10 am – 5 pm.

You can email your ballots at sage.elections@outlook.com – Voting closes at 5 pm on April 17. See below for e-ballot instructions.

CRO: Mona’a Malik

Polling Clerk: Megan Fitz-James

Here are the candidates’ bios and how they can contribute to your graduate experience.

President: COLIN YOUNG

The 2014/15 SAGE Council spent their year encouraging collaboration, communication, and community within the graduate cohort. As Vice-President of that Council, I was fortunate enough to work alongside some truly passionate students. I want to take my experience from the past year and make a commitment to further the academic, creative, and professional development of our cohort; to express our collective voice to faculty and administration; to facilitate transparency, inclusivity, and co-operation – for ourselves, and to those students who will inherit this space once we leave.

Please vote for me as President of your 2015/16 SAGE Council. Thank you!

VP Internal: CAITLYN SPENCER

In the 2014-2015 school year I have done my utmost to help the English Department and Concordia, serving as Creative Rep and de facto webmaster for SAGE, a member of the Colloquium Committee, and a member of the GSA Bylaws Committee. Sara Press and I co-founded Concordia Write Nights, a writing and workshop group that completed its first run earlier this month, which we hope to expand next school year. As your VP Internal, I would bring the same dedication I’ve displayed this year to ensuring all members of SAGE are fairly treated within this department and school, meeting the challenges that face us in the 2015-2016 school year as they arise. I like colour-coding, am a competent baker, and am still available for nail-painting parties and similar forms of catharsis.

In the interest of some spirit of competition, I have included blurbs for two opponents for the position of VP Internal, though I’d like it stated for the record that I believe neither of my opponents can bring the same level of dedication to the job that I can.

Albus Dumbledore
Apoptosis. Periapt. Frondeur. Spaghettification. If elected VP Internal I definitely won’t recruit your children for any wars I happen to be fighting at the time, or withhold valuable information from them or anyone else helping me, or hire anyone pedagogically irresponsible and prone to intense psychological abuse of children because those people happen to be politically useful to me, because I have definitely never done any of these things, and anyway, look how cool my phoenix is! If it cries on you it will fix your problems. Cool, right? Lemon drop?

Macrocystis pyrifera
1. The largest of all algae. 2. Can grow 50 metres long or more. 3. When was the last time you grew 50 metres long, let alone more? 4. One of the fastest-growing organisms on Earth, growing at a rate of 0.9 metres a day. 5. Bet puberty doesn’t seem so hard now, does it? 6. Found across the Americas, in Africa and Oceania – understands concerns of international students. 7. Form “kelp forests” that provide invaluable habitation for many marine species — you might be good at forest metaphors, but when was the last time you were a forest, huh? 8. Giant kelp is tired of your overreliance on similes to illustrate your points. 9. A valuable source of food, fertilizer, and potential biofuel. 10. Also used in toothpaste and ice cream. 11. “The sequoia of the sea.” 12. None of us will ever be as cool as M.pyrifera, and that’s okay.

VP Social: SARA PRESS

When I first started at Concordia I had no clue what SAGE was. Carrie sent out a list of positions available for the fall election, and when I emailed her asking what being treasurer would entail, she responded asking for my bio. So I became treasurer. Due to a number of issues with our bank and previous signatories, we didn’t have access to our account until February. Because of this, my capabilities as treasurer were limited and I found myself drawn to organizing social activities instead. Having initiated Halloween specials study breaks, Concordia Write Nights, and having been consistent in harassing all of you for social contact during finals, I feel confident that moving forward I will be well suited to the role of VP Social. I’m in the process of planning our final grad party for the semester, and though you’ll have to vote before the party, you can rest assured that if you don’t vote for me, you won’t get free drinks tickets. Just kidding, SAGE does not endorse blackmail, and neither do I.

Treasurer: RACHEL BURLOCK

Rachel Burlock is a lover of serendipitous rhymes, and debuted her first full-length rap at the Colloquium Open Mic this past February. She is your punctual and reliable minute-taker, and served on the 2014-15 Colloquium Committee organizing the budget, grant applications, and end-of-project reports, demonstrating an aptitude for keeping track of receipts and e-mails. She hopes to bring these skills to the position of Treasurer on next year’s SAGE roster.

Again, sage.elections@outlook.com to send in your electronic ballots.

Please add your Name and Student ID number as this is how we are tracking who votes.

Please Vote either Yes or No beside the candidate’s name.

President:

VP Internal:

VP Social:

Treasurer:

Questions, suggestions, or concerns? Let us know! Visit our SAGE office (LB 671.03) or email sage@concordia.ca.

Best,

SAGE COUNCIL

Call for SAGE Executive Council nominations

Hello Graduate Students,

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS for SAGE EXECUTIVES.

Please send your nomination for these positions (be it yourself or another cohort member) to sage@concordia.ca by Monday, April 13:

  • PRESIDENT
  • VP INTERNAL
  • VP SOCIAL
  • TREASURER

Call for nominations from April 7-13. Campaigning will be from April 14-16.

SAGE will vote on April 17. Details on voting procedures will be forthcoming.

If you have questions, please email (sage@concordia.ca) or approach any SAGE Council member.

Below is the list of positions available and their definitions, taken from the SAGE General By-laws, specifically articles 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, and 6.6. The General By-laws are posted on the SAGE website.

6.2 The President shall:
i. Act as Chairperson at the first regular fall Council meeting until the Council votes upon a Chairperson. Once voted upon, that person will act as Chairperson at all regular Council meetings and at the SAGE General Assemblies;
ii. Arrange for the Annual General Assembly in April;
iii. Oversee the day-to-day management of SAGE, and ensure all other Council members are performing their duties as defined below;
iv. Direct the implementation of Council resolutions;
v. Act as the liaison between SAGE and the GSA, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and all external organizations;
vi. Be the official spokesperson of SAGE;
vii. Publish an annual report summarizing SAGE’s achievements and activities during the President’s term;
viii. Have authority to create committees and delegate unto them the powers and tasks they choose;
ix. Represent SAGE at Department of English faculty meetings;
x. Carry out any other duty the Council deems relevant to the President portfolio.

6.3 The VP Internal shall:
i. Assume responsibility over the academic and departmental direction of SAGE;
ii. Represent SAGE at Department of English faculty meetings;
iii. Serve as SAGE liaison with the faculty, staff, and undergraduate student associations within the Department of English for anything associated with the academic and creative streams;
iv. Assume the responsibility of the President in the absence of the President;
v. Support and aid the President in the course of their duties;
vi. Appoint SAGE members as student representatives to committees within the department.
vii. Carry out any other duty the Council deems relevant to the VP Internal portfolio.

6.4 The VP Social shall:
i. Assume responsibility over the social events put on by SAGE;
ii. Organize events that connect SAGE members to students in other universities as well as events with the Concordia Association of Students in English (CASE);
iii. Support and aid the President in the course of their duties;
iv. Mobilize the SAGE membership’s participation in GSA, Teaching and Research Assistants at Concordia (TRAC), and other pertinent social and political causes;
v. Manage the Graduate Lounge;
vi. Carry out any other duty the Council deems relevant to the VP Social portfolio.

6.6 The Treasurer shall:
i. Chair the Budget Committee meetings;
ii. Be responsible for the custody of all records, ledgers, receipts, or documents dealing with the financial affairs of SAGE.;
iii. Be responsible for the SAGE accounting process and for all receipts and disbursements;
iv. Be responsible for the administration of funds according to SAGE and for the preparation of all financial statements;
v. Carry out any other duty the Council deems relevant to the Treasurer portfolio.

EGA result: SAGE’s decision on the topic of striking and other measures

Dear Graduate Students,

The SAGE Emergency General Assembly called by a member of the cohort convened at 4 pm on Tuesday, March 31. Thirty members of the cohort attended the meeting in LB 659 in order to discuss anti-austerity measures and to determine SAGE’s position at this time.

Six motions, with one divided into two sections, were voted upon after a measured discussion. The results are as follows:

  1. SAGE voted in favour of a social media intervention, with a limited task force.
  2. SAGE voted in favour of creating a broadly mandated strike committee to assess the larger academic, economic, and political climate.
  3. SAGE voted in favour of standing in solidarity with UQaM students threatened with expulsion following student demonstrations. This is a condemnation of administrative actions, but not an endorsement of specific student disruptions.
  4. SAGE voted in favour of a motion denouncing austerity measures at Concordia, and committing SAGE to draft an open letter to that effect; to work with members of CASE, faculty, and other members of the English Department; and to have representation at the anti-austerity demonstration scheduled for April 2 in solidarity with currently striking student groups.
  5. However, parts of the preamble which denounced strike actions were separated from the original motion and voted down.
  6. SAGE voted in favour of a one-day strike on April 2 in solidarity with other  striking student groups. Additionally, SAGE will have another assembly to decide on future striking options (this motion will be discussed on our Spring GA; see below).
  7. However, SAGE voted against a one-week, renewable strike.

SAGE has made their voices heard and is committed to those motions voted for on March 31st.

These issues and more will be further discussed at SAGE’s Spring General Assembly to be held on Tuesday, April 7 at 12 pm in LB 659.

The English Department has announced the cancellation of all classes Thursday, April 2. Please read the message from the Provost.

Best,

SAGE Council

Agenda SAGE AGA 2015

March 31 SAGE Emergency GA Minutes