How to Vote?
- Please use the zoom links below to participate in YUGSA Annual Election for the two positions of VP Finance and VP Internal (candidate profiles posted below).
- Please have your Student Card or proof of enrollment with you (student number and another ID will suffice). Only one member at a time can enter the zoom meeting while others wait in the waiting room.
- After your membership is approved by CRO or DRO, you will receive a link to vote that is specific to you and works only once.
Time: 11 AM TO 4 PM
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/
Meeting ID: 878 6651 4276
VICE PRESIDENT FINANCE
Candidates for VP Finance: Fardosa Warsame and Ali Gholami
Candidate Profile: Fardosa Warsame
Fardosa Warsame is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies program at York University. She also holds a BA Honors in Psychology and MA in Critical Disability Studies from York University.
I have also updated some info regarding the about me section. Here it is!
My name is Fardosa Warsame, and I am a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies Department. As an executive member of the York University Graduate Student Association (YUGSA) and a former executive member of CUPE Local 3903, I know first-hand the importance of union-organizing. Currently, as the President of the YUGSA, I am responsible for serving the York graduate community and act as a representative for every graduate student.
My experience includes:
- President for YUGSA from 2020-2021
- VP Equity for YUGSA from 2019-2020
- YUGSA Councillor from 2018-2019
- CUPE 3903 Communications Officer from 2018-2019
- Treasurer for Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies Graduate Student Association.
Between 2020-2021, I served as the President of YUGSA. As President, I had the opportunity to consult with the Senior Administration at York University to create an anti-racism policy framework. This encouraged the University to address complex issues of equity, diversity and human rights impacting Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities. In my capacity as President, I have also worked with other student-led groups at York to shed light on various issues surrounding racism. I along with the executive committee have also initiated talks with York to create proper support systems in place for international students as desperately needed during this global pandemic. Between 2019-2020, I served as VP Equity within YUGSA. As VP Equity, my main priority was to ensure graduate student’s and York community member’s voices were heard and advocate for equity-based and accessibility issues.
Between 2018-2019, I served as the Communications Officer within CUPE 3903 and in this position, I gained substantial experience while promoting equitable representation of graduate students and their rights as workers at York University. During my time with CUPE 3903 as the Communications Officer, I was responsible for the compilation and publication of the weekly newspaper. This ensured that members were aware of weekly topics and events happening in the local.
If elected, I would pursue to:
- Create and promote existing advocacy campaigns for graduate students.
- Raise awareness to equity-based issues affecting graduate students.
- Represent graduate students in a transparent and democratic manner.
- Shed light on the issues international students face within the institution.
Candidate Profile: Ali Gholami
My name is Ali, a third-year PhD student at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering. Since the beginning of my program, I have actively participated in volunteer activities for associates and unions. Participating at the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Students’ Associations (MEGSA) in 2019-2020, the International Graduate Students’ Committee (IGSC) in 2020-2021, Health, Safety & Employee Well-Being committee 2020-2021, and founding run or die running club in 2020 have given me the confidence to apply for the VP Finance position in York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA) and be an executive member. As an International student myself living on-campus, I am completely familiar with the international students’ issues. I have been teaching as a TA and researching as a RA for the last three years and know the ups and downs of the problems graduate students may face, both at their studying and life experience at York.
I am patinate about helping others and fighting on behalf of my fellow graduate students for their rights. I will do my best to create a supportive, inclusive, anti-racism, anti-sexism environment at YUGSA. If elected, I will tirelessly try to improve graduate students’ living condition staying at the York campus. The current situation is unacceptable. I will try to serve all of the graduate students’ diverse interests and incorporate their needs in the made decisions. The current pandemic has caused numerous financial issues for graduate students causing a significant mental burden. After being elected as VP of finance, one of my priorities is facilitating, clarifying, and properly advertising the process to apply for fund and scholarships and increase the available funds for them. Also, to facilitate communication and maintain mental health, I will help to organize more unique activities and social events for graduate students.
VICE PRESIDENT INTERNAL
Candidates for VP Internal: Pablo Ramos and Mohammad Javad
Candidate Profile: Pablo Ramos
My name is Pablo Ramos, and I am an international student from Puerto Rico. I am currently in the fourth year of my Ph.D. in Social Work. Also, I am the current VP of Community Relations in YUGSA. This year, I am interested in running for VP Internal. From the very beginning of my degree, I have been active in numerous committees in CUPE and YUGSA before running for an executive position. So, I have plenty of experience participating in different decision-making spaces at York University for the last four years. I consider myself a very organized person and have professional experience in administrative positions. I also have experience in overseeing the daily operations of offices, coordinating meetings with different stakeholders, and performing clerical duties. I love teamwork, and I am a fierce defender of the importance of students’ participation in universities’ decision-making process.
Student activism work in York, before exec position:
- Member of the Equity Committee (YUGSA)
- President of the Social Work Association of Graduate Students
- Member of the Social Action/Social Change Working Group (School of Social Work)
- Graduate Student Representative in York University Community Safety Council
- Treasurer of the Social Work Association of Graduate Students
- Graduate Student Representative in School of Social Work Executive Committee
- Social Work Student Councillor in YUGSA
- Advocacy Officer of the Social Work Association of Graduate Students
- Member of the International Graduate Students Committee (CUPE 3903)
- Member of the Research Cost Fund Committee (CUPE 3903)
Work done as VP Community Relations (2020-2021):
- During this year, I have been the primary liaison between the residents of York Apartments and the York Housing administration. Together with FGS, we have followed up on graduate students’ complaints about how their housing conditions have drastically deteriorated since the beginning of the pandemic. We are expecting to start soon a Strategic Capital Plan with long-term structural changes. I have also helped coordinate a National Student Housing Situation Survey. We are hoping to receive the result soon.
- I represented grad students in the Parking & Transportation Advisory Committee. There we have advocated for free-of-charge parking during the pandemic.
- I have continued my work advocating for international graduate students. I have corresponded with numerous international graduate students who had issues around the
- health plan, tuition, TAship contract, funding, and uncertainty of their wellbeing during the pandemic.
If elected as VP Internal, my top priorities will be:
- Continue to ensure that YUGSA and the university, by extension, remain focused on addressing racism, sexism, islamophobia and other forms of discrimination faced by graduate students at York University.
- Strengthen the relationship between the Departmental Graduate Students’ Associations and the YUGSA exec team.
- Advocate for more graduate students’ spaces on campus and increased/meaningful grad student involvement in governance at York University.
- Continue advocating to get Chief Councillors ex-officious status at all faculty councils.
Candidate Profile: Mohammad Javad Farshchiheydari
Hi. I am Mohammad, an international student who lives on campus, Assiniboine buildings. I am a master’s student at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering, York University. I was a member of a research team for two and half years before starting my studies at York University.
I feel a social responsibility to contribute to the improvement of YorkU graduate students’ welfare and wellbeing. Since the beginning of my studies, I have worked closely with CUPE and the mechanical engineering graduate students’ association (MEGSA) to reflect students’ problems and demand reformation and resolution. Now, I have a crystal-clear understanding of domestic and international students’ problems and how we could attain their resolution. That’s why I felt the obligation to step forward and applied for the VP Internal position in York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA).
The graduate students, domestic and international, should be able to live and study in a safe and supportive environment. I have gone through the struggles that graduate students are facing and I have comprehensive plans to reform and evolve the graduate studies experience. Keeping my eyes perceptive and my ears receptive, I will work hard to unite different graduate departments and demand social justice and equity for every member at YUGSA. I believe that immediate actions are required to take to maintain the mental and physical health of graduate students in terms of housing and studies funding. The students are dealing with unprecedented problems as a result of the pandemic that is not known to the university authorities, deans, and professors. The students should have a voice to reflect, and their problems should be not only understood but resolved.
If elected, I will work toward:
• Reforming graduate housing and demanding construction of modern buildings with amenities for graduate students.
• Creating a supportive, inclusive, anti-sexism, and anti-racism environment for all graduate students.
• Increasing the influence of the graduate students in the made decisions.
• Promoting equity, social justice, respect, honesty, and fairness.
• Organizing activities and social events to facilitate communication between the graduate students and maintain mental health.
• Serving all graduate students by having a receptive ear.
Mohammad-Javad Farshchi-Heydari (he/him)