Welcome to the Elections page!
Here you will find information on the elections for next year's executive team! If you are interested in running or just want information about the GAPSS elections and executive positions, you're in the right place! Have any questions? Take a look at our Constitution on the home page or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
President of Undergraduate Studies
Hayley a BA Urban Planning student entering her fourth year of university. Over the past two years, she has been involved in GAPSS first as a committee member (2016-17), and then as VP events (2017-18). She is also the initiator and a director of Place 18, the inaugural national students planning conference (to be held in Oct. 2018), and sits co-chairs a committee for the Canadian Institute of Planners.
In the position of President of Undergraduate Studies, I will use my previous experience with GAPSS to build further the organization to better cater to the needs of all students in the following years. Part of my platform for VP Events in 2017-18 was to revive national planning conferences (which was delivered upon and will be happening in October 2018). In a year of being President of Undergraduate studies, I would aim to do the following:
- Collaborate and co-ordinate with the new position President of Graduate Studies to ensure events are serving both cohorts (graduate and undergraduate) and integrate the new population of graduate students into GAPSS.
- Work to provide stronger professional development programming for undergraduate students to improve the competitiveness of University of Alberta students in the Alberta job market. Identify areas of improvement, create a draft plan for improvement, and begin work on identified tasks.
- Increase GAPSS membership communication to involve more undergraduate general members in the organization and gain their feedback regarding what they would like to see GAPSS offer. Respond to these inquiries by providing programming that reflects this feedback.
President of Graduate Studies
Jared is a Masters student in the Urban and Regional Planning Program. He started his planning education at Dalhousie University in Halifax where he completed a Degree in Community Design. His interests in active transportation, sustainable development, and land use planning brought him to the University of Alberta to continue his education. At the U of A he is supervised by Dr. Van Assche, studying adaptive capacity and evolving governance in mountain communities.
As the current VP Graduate Studies and member of the events committee, I have had the very fortunate opportunity to work with a talented and inspiring group of human geography and planning students. I hope to continue working with this group in the future 2018-19 academic year. This upcoming year will present many new opportunities to connect students with one another, faculty, and industry. What I will be planning and advocating for, is to bring in academics and professionals to give lectures on relevant planning topics on a bi weekly basis. In addition, I want to work towards connecting the course based and thesis based master’s students within the GAPSS organization. During this past year I have noticed that an opportunity exists to bring in hiring managers from local planning organizations, as well as the University Career Center representatives, to prepare U of A planning students and give them a competitive advantage in seeking summer internships and post degree professional experience. I would also like to introduce the idea of a student led research group that would take on real world and local planning challenges, giving students the opportunity to work on relevant topics and gain firsthand experience.
An ambitious and passionate individual currently pursuing a double major in Urban Planning and Art & Design. Johnny is always looking to embark on a new adventure. He has served on GAPSS committees for the last two years.
If elected as VP Events, I would like to implement new ideas, as well as revive old ones. As VP Events, I would like to hold at least 5-6 events through my term.
If elected, I would like to pitch the idea of creating a conference committee for Urban Week. I’ve been involved with organizing the very first, as well as the second Urban Week, and I know how much work it is. I would be willing to chair this second committee.
I would also like to recognize the Human Geography program more, and potentially create either a Human Geography Day or implement a Human Geography theme in Urban Week.
I understand that making friends can be hard sometimes in university, so I would like to pitch the idea of holding informal meet-ups! This could be a collaboration with the VP Academic, but I would like to hold more small meet-ups whether it be socials or study groups maybe twice a month!
Lastly, if elected I understand the responsibilities I would be taking on. I would definitely handle all the administrative things myself, but if I were to get any help, I'd ensure proper training.
I’m punctual, ambitious, passionate, optimistic, an advocate of empowerment and community engagement, and I would love to have a larger role in the GAPSS community!
Eden is finishing her first year in the MSc Urban & Regional Planning program. Her undergraduate degree is a BA in Human Geography from the U of A, so she had the opportunity to be involved with GAPSS in various ways during that time too. Aside from nerding out about planning-related issues, in her spare time, Eden enjoys making pottery, playing guitar, and hanging out with her cat.
I have been very involved with the Conference Committee since the beginning of the term and I would love the opportunity to continue the great work GAPSS has been doing. For social events, I will organise smaller, casual events throughout the term, in addition to the larger events GAPSS currently puts on. With our program being fairly small, we have a great opportunity to create an improved sense of community within HGP. Like the movie nights organised throughout this term, these events will be fun, light-hearted activities to bring students together and give us a break from the stress of school.
For fundraising events, I will work closely with the VP Finance to host more social events that double as fundraisers, like the bar night GAPSS held in February.
For academic events, I want to establish a monthly speaker series, where someone from industry or academia will share their work or research. This could be a more formal presentation or something casual, like going to Dewey’s for a discussion. Another idea is to organise short workshops to learn how to use software like SketchUp or how to build an effective resume and cover letter.
Eunice is in the last year of her Political Science and Human Geography degree. She holds another degree in Sociology. She is a former Winnipeger turned Edmontonian as of 2011. She enjoys volunteering with various non-profits around the city and sits on a board for one of them. In her spare time she checks out all the local eats in Edmonton and loves to take her dog out on long walks.
As VP External, I would make sure that both Human Geography and Planning programs are advertised equally, and well. I want to make sure that people don’t just “stumble” on HGP or Planning in their last year before they have time to declare them as part of their program. I also want to make sure that GAPSS makes solid relationships with other student organizations and the greater Edmonton community in order to make us a well-connected student group.
Yashi is a first year student in the MSc Urban and Regional Planning Program. She completed a BA in Environmental Studies here at the University of Alberta. For the past two years she has been an Outreach Intern with the Office of Sustainability. Yashi volunteers at the Edmonton Humane Society because she loves hanging out with puppies and kittens. She also enjoys baking, playing tennis, painting and binge watching TV shows in her spare time.
This year’s GAPSS Executive Team has done a great job and I would love the opportunity to continue their work as the next 2018-2019 VP External. As VP External I would use the organization, outreach and engagement skills I have gained over the past four years working first with InfoLink and then the Office of Sustainability to effectively communicate information to Human Geography and Planning students, and on their behalf. I would be working very closely with the VP Events to maintain my knowledge of relevant current events and to establish partnerships with external organizations and individuals. In addition I would like to work closely with the VP Planning, Human Geography and Graduate Studies to in order to cater to the diverse needs all the different types of students within GAPSS by having more targeted communication to these groups in addition to GAPSS as a whole. This may take the form of new hashtags, themed posts, announcements and/or emails.
Thank you so much for your consideration! I am really looking forward to being the next GAPSS VP External!
Cellina completed her BSc in Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta and has returned for the MSc Urban and Regional Planning Program – she aspires to be an ecological planner. Cellina is also a member of the UofA Cheer Team, coaches a high school cheer team, and works at the Telus World of Science Edmonton training young scientists. In her spare time, Cellina enjoys playing trumpet, hiking, and obsessing over her dog.
Hey everyone! I am delighted to be running for the GAPSS VP Finance position for the 2018-19 school year. Some may say that finance is boring – those people have never budgeted before. There is something about budgeting that is both calming and exhilarating. As your VP Finance, I would ensure that GAPSS has the funds to complete all the amazing events and initiatives that each GAPSS VP is proposing. In doing so, I would work closely with VP events and every other GAPSS executive member. To meet our funding needs I would apply for grants, ensure we stay within our budgeting means, and host fundraisers. I have a lot of experience with fundraising; I have coached a competitive cheer team for four years where fundraising was crucial to cover travel costs. I will work directly alongside VP Events to bring both amusing and successful fundraising events to the planning and human geography students of UofA. Some of the events may include karaoke nights, speed dating mixers, bake sales, calendar raffles, and more! Vote for me at the GAPSS elections on April 6th, 2018! Thank you!
VP Graduate Studies
Derek is completing his first year in the MSc. Urban and Regional Planning program after previously graduating from engineering and gaining four years of practical experience in the private sector. His volunteer efforts include co-chairing the Oliver Community League Civics Committee and assisting GAPSS with organising PLACE 18: the first National Students Planning Conference since 2014. His favourite past times are backcountry hiking, skiing, and anything else involving Canada’s great outdoors!
I am very excited to have the opportunity to run for the GAPSS VP Graduate Studies Executive position for the 2018-2019 school year and build upon the fantastic work that has been done to represent graduate students within GAPSS previously. As the VP Graduate Studies, I would apply the communication and teamwork skills gained from my previous engineering work experience to ensure that GAPSS is meeting both course and thesis based graduate student’s needs. I would work with the President Graduate Studies, VP Academic, and our faculty to routinely gather feedback from graduate students and ensure that our department is implementing this feedback to the best of their ability. Collaborating with the VP Events to create a monthly guest speaker series and more graduate specific programming would be another key focus of my term as VP Graduate Studies. This programming would include presentation skills sessions, design software tutorials, and academic, grant, and resume writing workshops. I would also work with the President Graduate Studies to better integrate Human Geography and Planning graduate student’s needs with what ATLAS currently provides. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to counting on your vote on April 6th!
VP Human Geography
Sam Kuchera is a second year Human Geography major. He decided to major in this field due to an innate love of how things are planned and organized; and ultimately understanding why it happens. Sam's interests include reading (particularly alternate history and political philosophy), bike riding, and painting.
My platform will revolve around support services and academic aid to students. The goals of my platform are:
- To provide and ensure that the academic support students receive is effective, and improves grades.
- To ensure that the academic support students receive is flexible and efficient, being able to properly coordinate with both students and support staff.
- To make sure that students are confident to go an seek out academic support.
- Finally, to ensure that students are kept up to date in regards to requirements, as well as ensuring that student websites are able to properly inform students about requirement.
Vada is finishing up her first year as student in the Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning Program and holds a BA from the U of A in Human Geography and Sociology. During her undergrad, Vada worked with GAPSS to help plan their first HGP Year End Celebration and is currently assisting with organizing PLACE 18: Canadian Planning Students Conference. Outside of school, Vada enjoys hosting friends for barbeques, volunteering, and baking.
I am excited for the chance to be a part of the GAPSS Executive Team by running for the role of VP Internal for the 2018-2019 academic year.
As VP internal, my goal will be to support and enhance the work of the GAPSS Executive team in order to help the GAPSS team do what they do best! To achieve this, I will oversee the preparation, management, and updating of key operational aspects, including the constitution, meeting documents and minutes, memberships, and election procedures. In addition to operational support, I will chair the Journal Committee and lead the promotion of journal submissions from fellow HGP students.
To help support fellow human geography and planning students, I will ensure that newsletters and the GAPSS calendar are updated regularly with relevant and important information. I will also work with the VP External to help communicate and promote relevant information such as membership, elections, events, and journal submissions.
On top of the operational and Journal work of the VP Internal role, I will help support other executive members in event planning, fundraising, communications, and the other awesome activities GAPSS is working on!
Libby Macphail is finishing her third year of the BA Planning program. With GAPSS, she held the VP Internal position in 2016-17. Her projects then included working to amend the constitution, helping start the Undergraduate Journal, and implementing the committee system in its inaugural year! She has sat on the Academic Committee this year, helping the current VPHG and VPP with their goals and projects of diversifying academic opportunities both inside and outside the classroom.
As the VP Planning, I hope to work towards three goals:
- Provide more co-op opportunities. One of the main weaknesses of the Planning program is that we can be non-competitive with other students from different programs when we graduate- and this can be linked to few job experience opportunities provided to us. Tangible skills sometimes cannot be taught- and as your VPP I would work with employers and the department to advocate for more summer, 8 month, and 12 month positions.
- Decrease the program's reliance on sessional professors. Human Geography and Planning combined are growing at a rapid pace- and our permanent faculty to student ratio is becoming less favourable. I would try to advocate to the department for less reliance upon sessional instructors by looking into hiring more permanent professors and by encouraging the department to cross-list more classes from different interdisciplinary areas.
- Create a Supply Sharing Library. Many of our classes require mandatory supplies that can be costly to students and can be a significant barrier to learning. If you ever need some drafting paper, pens, pencils- or a textbook, GAPSS will have your back! If elected, I will start this program for the beginning of the fall semester.
March 16 | 8:00pm Release of Candidate Application Form
March 27 | 10:00pm Candidate Application Form closes
*March 29 | 9:00am Official start of Campaign; Release list of Candidates
**April 6 | 5:30pm - 7:00pm Winter AGM and Elections in Tory 3-57
*Candidates will be announced by 7:00pm on March 29th.
**Online Voting opens at 9:00am on April 6th and will close at 6:45pm. Online voting will be limited to one response per person, and will be limited to ualberta emails. Voting will be limited to any University of Alberta undergraduate student who has taken or is currently enrolled in one or more classes in Human Geography or Planning, denoted by the course code HGP/PLAN, shall be the base membership of GAPSS.
Information on Running:
- You can only run for one position.
- Candidates must have been a member of GAPSS for the winter semester (enrolled in at least one HGP/PLAN course within the last calendar year).
- Candidates running alone will run against None of the Above.
- Candidates will have a chance to give a short speech at the elections (maximum 3 min).
- If you are unable to attend the elections, you may send a short speech to Cooper to be read on your behalf, or have a video submission of your speech sent to email@example.com.
- Executive terms run until April 30th, 2019.
- Candidates will be allowed to attend an open GAPSS executive meeting on March 29th from 3:30pm to 5:00pm in ESB 1-42.
- A Candidate may not be allowed to announce they are running until 9:00am on March 29th.
- After the start of the campaign period, a candidate may advertise through posters, class talks, or social media.
More information coming soon.
Winter AGM and Elections:
More information coming soon.
Descriptions of Executive Positions:
There are 9 positions available:
- President of Undergraduate Studies
- President of Graduate Studies
- VP Events
- VP External
- VP Finance
- VP Graduate
- VP Human Geography
- VP Internal
- VP Planning
The VP Events, Finance, External, and Internal may be filled by any Undergraduate OR Graduate student who has taken an HGP/PLAN Class within the last calendar year.
The other positions have program requirements relevant to the positions.
- President of Graduate Studies must be a Masters or PhD student in Planning or Human Geography
- President of Undergraduate Studies must be an Undergraduate student in the BA Planning Program, BSc. Planning Program, or BA with a major in Human Geography
- VP Planning must be in Undergraduate Planning program, either BA or BSc
- VP Human Geography must be in BA major in Human Geography program
- VP Graduate Studies must be a Masters or PhD student in Planning or Human Geography
Below is a description of the eight current executive positions with commentary from each executive describing their role.
As President, it’s your responsibility to chair all functions of GAPSS and the Executive Board, and act as a representative on behalf of GAPSS at the direction of the Board and general membership. The President oversees the organization of events and fundraisers, supports VPs and Committees, chairs the Election Procedures, and ensures compliance of the GAPSS Constitution and Bylaws. As a representative of GAPSS, the President reports to various faculty and student organizations to advocate, receive, and deliver information. The President’s role is most crucial when it comes to facilitating goal and objective setting for the executive team and initiatives. A future GAPSS president must be able to accurately measure and assess the progress of the organization, ensure two-way feedback with the executive and committee members, and build relationships with other organizations. If you are a leader, team builder, and want to oversee all that GAPSS accomplishes throughout the next year, consider running for President!
The current President is Cooper Csorba (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The VP Planning is in charge of creating and managing initiatives that give students in the Urban Planning programs an opportunity to learn outside the classroom, as well as advocating on behalf of planning student’s interests. You have the opportunity to work alongside the VP Human Geography in managing the Academic Committee, who serve to help accomplish the various initiatives you set out on. The past year we have established an advocacy framework and several projects (such as YIMBY and the Photo Contest) that are designed to be easily picked up and managed by a new executive team. If you are a Planning student who loves team-leading and bringing concrete solutions to abstract issues, then the VP Planning position is the one for you!
The current VP Planning is Jordan Riemer (email@example.com)
VP Human Geography
The VP Human Geography advocates for the academic interests of Human Geography students. This role links faculty directly to students by representing their invaluable perspectives. In this position, you will regularly consult both faculty and students to gain a holistic understanding of academic matters. As Co-Chair of the Academic Committee, the VP Human Geography is supported in their tasks by the committee members. This year’s projects included an Academic Satisfaction Survey for students to understand and verify the areas in which students require advocacy. This task exemplifies the essence of the role of the VP Human Geography: to actively determine academic concerns and work to remedy them. To be successful in this role, you will require the ability to excel in group environments, communicate clearly, delegate tasks, and maintain overlapping commitments and responsibilities. If you are a Human Geography student who is passionate about student advocacy, run for VP Human Geography!
The current VP Human Geography is Fatme Elkadry (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The VP External role mainly involves external communication for GAPSS, including handling external emails, social media advertising and management, and management of the website. For this role, organization and attention to detail are important qualities. The VP External will often write up emails and responses for the public or external organizations, so writing and communication skills can be beneficial. As well, organization in managing different social media accounts, email, and the website can help with juggling multiple platforms. Attentiveness is also essential. The VP External will need to make sure they are on top of what is going on as they communicate with different people about their different topics. The VP External also Co-Chairs the Journal Committee with the VP Internal. If you’re all about communication, media, and making connections, run to be VP External!
The current VP External is Hamza Farooqui (email@example.com)
The VP Internal is key to keeping things running smoothly within GAPSS. This includes making pre-meeting reports and taking minutes for executive meetings, organizing membership and documentation, and keeping the GAPSS Calendar up to date. As VP Internal, you would also deal with constitutional amendments, election procedures, and produces monthly update newsletters. All of these tasks require high attention to detail, communication ability, multitasking, and outstanding organizational skills. The VP Internal also serves as the Co-Chair of the Journal Committee with the VP External! If you love organization, communication, and supporting a team from behind the scenes, VP Internal is for you!
The current VP Internal is Kaelin Koufogiannakis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The responsibilities of the Vice President of Finance include maintaining the GAPSS budget, keeping track of expenditures, applying for grants, ensuring floats are counted before and after events, and preparing the annual budget for the AGM. The VP Finance must also plan and run fundraisers, with the help of the Fundraising Committee, and ensure that there is enough money in the account to run all other events and initiatives. Weekly time commitments are around 3-5 hours depending on the number of events happening at that time. To be a successful VP Finance you’ll need basic financial skills, attention to detail, and an interest in running fundraisers. The VP Finance role is crucial to making sure all GAPSS initiatives are funded. If you like money and fundraising, run for VP Finance!
The current VP Finance is Jacqueline Johnston (email@example.com)
As VP Events, you will oversee the planning and execution of educational, professional, and social events for students. GAPSS brings many events to HGP students each year, from open mic nights, to cover letter and resume writing workshops, to the annual Urban Week. You will be responsible for running the Events committee, and ensuring everyone is playing an active role in the programming that the Geography and Planning Students' Society brings to the University of Alberta. In addition, the VP Events must work closely with all other executive members, especially VP Finance (who will jointly ensure effective financial planning and fundraising through events), and the President (who provides guidance on event planning). This is a very exciting and demanding role that requires the candidate to be motivated, organized, and effective in working with others.
The current VP Events is Hayley Wasylycia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
VP Graduate Studies
As VP Graduate studies, you are responsible for acting as a liaison between the graduate students and GAPSS Executive. Additionally, you transmit communications between the graduate student body, GAPSS, and ATLAS which allow the organizations to extend their reach when seeking volunteers and promoting events. On the GAPSS Executive you would act as the voice for Graduate Students in the Planning and Human Geography programs ensuring our perspective is considered in the decision making process. Furthermore, the VP Graduate Studies assists with GAPSS Committees, such as the Events, Journal, Academic, and Fundraising, as needed. A great candidate for VP Graduate studies will have excellent organizational and communication skills, can work well in a dynamic team environment, and can manage several responsibilities and projects at once. If you are a Graduate Student in Planning or Human Geography, consider representing your program with GAPSS!
The current VP Graduate Studies is Jared Candlish (email@example.com)