To the Board of the Student Association of Durham College/UOIT:

On behalf of the Graduate Students’ Association at Carleton University, I would like to provide insight into the benefits we have received as members of the Canadian Federation of Students and encourage your Association to take out trial membership.

The GSA is a long-standing member of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario and represents a diverse mix of graduate students at Carleton.

The support we receive through our CFS membership is invaluable in ensuring that we have the research and resources to serve our members, whether it be students concerned about increasing tuition fees or privatization on campus or being able to communicate the most up to date information about Ontario Graduate Scholarships.

The GSA is also proud to work with graduate students across Ontario and Canada through the Ontario and National graduate caucuses. These bodies provide important space for graduate students to discuss issues on their campus, troubleshoot the challenges we face in educating and mobilizing graduate students who might be busy, overworked and spending a lot of time off campus, and establish strategies to advance the needs of graduate students.

By being connected both to other students’ unions and to important provincial and national stakeholders through the Federation, we have been able to bring national and provincial attention to local issues. Recently the Federation was able to connect our issues with childcare access for graduate students in Ottawa with similar issues in Toronto and around the province. By working with other students and community partners we were able to win an important childcare victory for students.

Our membership in the Canadian Federation of Students, has allowed the GSA to provide cost-saving services to our members including extended health care benefits and the free International Student Identity Card. These student-owned and operated services ensure that students, whether studying at the college, undergraduate or graduate level, in an urban centre or a more rural area, domestic or international, full- or part-time, can shape them to be the best for our members.

Our membership in the Canadian Federation of Students has benefited our members, and we welcome the opportunity to work with our peers at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College.

Sincerely,

Kelly Black
President, GSA Carleton Inc.