Home is Where the Hawk Is - Waterloo Campus


Come in to Veritas Cafe for a Tailgate Party!
10:30am - 12:30pm


Homecoming Tickets can be purchased here

The first 20 people to come to Veritas with their Homecoming Ticket will win a GSA Stadium Cushion

more details to come!

TA Tell All

Off the Record Advice


Our first TA Tell All will be held on September 17th from 6pm-8pm in Veritas Cafe. 

The session is intended to provide off the record advise to incoming TA's, regarding things such as marking, supporting their colleagues and students, and rights as a TA. 
It will be structured as an hour panel question and answer period (anonymous questions will be collected at the door if preferred) and then will be followed by an hour of intermingling amongst panelists and attendees.
Snacks will be provided - see you there!

Join Our Board of Directors!

Call for Nominations!

At their August Board of Directors meeting, the GSA Board of Directors called for nominations following the GSA Constitution and By-laws.

Nominations are now open for 6 Board members.

The candidates with the 5 highest vote totals will serve from September 2014 until August 2015.

In a by-election for a vacant seat, the candidate with the 6th highest votes will serve from September 2014 until April 2015.

Information about the Board of Directors can be found here.

Nominations close at 3pm on September 10th. Voting takes place prior to the Annual Meeting on September 24th.

For a nomination package, please email CRO Sarah Fraser at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

GPSS Keynote Blog

It is that time of year again. We see it in the many ads we’re bombarded with earlier and earlier each year. You know the ones. They feature dancing parents, children sadly hanging their heads, and a button (or is it a particular office supply chain?) that purports to make our lives “Easy.” It is time to go back to school.

For some of us, this time of year brings with it the back-to-school rituals practiced since we were children; buying school supplies, maybe some new school clothes. For me, these rituals hearken back to the kind of magical thinking my 6, 7, or 8 year-old self was convinced would transform my experience of a new grade, a new teacher, and new schoolmates. For others, the return of these familiar September rituals may have come after a break, long or short, and may be accompanied by the added task of remaking yourself and your life as you return to the classroom. No matter which camp you fall into, entering graduate studies can be daunting, not simply because there doesn’t seem to be an appropriate pencil case or new sweater that fits. Rather, there is something to be said about a shifting horizon of expectations that can mean that even the tried-and-true rituals, the forms of magical thinking associated with the surge in revenues as shopping malls and office supply stores, do not seem adequate to addressing the task at hand.

I’ll confess to feeling extremely nervous at the start of every new academic year, and not only (but also?) because I’ve been slated to give a talk in front of 250 or so incoming graduate students every year for the past many. I know I’m not alone because quite often the nervous tension around the university is palpable. Granted, every new year is exciting. It is filled with unknown possibilities, new people and experiences, and the prospect of learning something completely, wonderfully new about the world and, yes, about oneself. And yet, there is always more to the familiar back to school narrative than tends to get broadcast.

You may already be familiar with this “something more” I am talking about. You may have felt it start to creep into your consciousness some time ago when you were preparing your application to graduate school, or maybe later when the excitement of receiving your acceptance gave way to the realities of actually starting your new program, or you may have been introduced to it at your annual summer family get-together when you were explaining to distant relatives what you were planning to embark on this fall. Maybe it hasn't hit you yet, but, for most of you, it will, and soon. It is the open secret of the university, and no amount of magical thinking by way of back-to-school shopping seems to make it disappear.

Maybe it's the feeling that you won't be up to it, that you won't make the grade. Maybe it's the concern that somehow the admissions committee made a mistake and that they didn't really mean to grant you a place in grad school at all. Maybe it's the fear that once you are in classes that everyone will see you don't belong. Perhaps it is the fear that the undergraduates you have been assigned to teach as a TA will suss that you don't really know what you're talking about. Maybe it is the fear, regardless of whether you've been out of school for a few months or a few years, that you've forgotten everything you ever knew about writing papers, working in a lab, solving academic problems, or conducting research.

If you are experiencing this “something more,” rest assured you are not alone. I will explain how, and why, and what to do about and with it during #GPSS2014

Dr. Penelope Ironstone

GPSS Information!!

Join us September 2nd - 5th!

Navigate your success at Laurier by participating in GPSS and the professional development opportunities offered by the GPSS Steering Committee throughout the year. This event provides an invaluable orientation and professional development opportunities for new and returning graduate students as well as teaching and instructional assistants (TAs/IAs).

Your $40 registration fee will include:

  • Three social events (speed-networking on a not-so-fast train, team based Waterloo Region Scavenger Hunt and the main event - our Annual Patio Party!)
  • Access to 13 different concurrent sessions designed to address your most pressing questions as you begin your graduate degree
  • A keynote and closing address from Dr. Penelope Ironstone - Laurier 2013 Teaching Award Winner
  • Laurier SWAG to welcome you to our community
  • Meals throughout the program (be sure to include your dietary restrictions upon registration)


GPSS Program GPSS Social
GPSS ScheduleLarge 2


GPSS Coordinating Committee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
519.884.0710 x3501 (GSA Office)
First Floor, Student Services Building
10am - 3pm, Tuesday-Thursday

Health & Dental Opt Out



Change-of-Coverage Period

The Change-of-Coverage Period is the period when you can opt out (with proof of comparable existing coverage), or enroll your spouse and/or dependents in the GSA Health & Dental Plan.

To opt out or enroll family members, please visit www.ihaveaplan.ca during the Change-of-Coverage Period:

Fall 2014 (opt-out or enrolments): August 14th to September 17th

 Prior to the Change-Of-Coverage Period, the website will have current year information.


Apply for the continuum plan to continue having excellent health & dental coverage at a low cost when your student plan ends! Apply within 30 days of the end of your GSA plan (ends August 31st) and you will not be asked to provide evidence of good health.

Permanent Opt Outs

Have you already completed a permanent opt-out in a previous year?

Please be patient as we upload all permanenet opt-outs into Loris. Permanent opt-outs will be assessed prior to the tuition deadline.

Do you need to complete a permanent opt-out? 

The opt-out period is August 14 - September 17 2014. If you complete a permanant opt-out and then wish to re-enroll, a $50 administration fee is required. Please also consider coordination of benefits.

Fall Office Hours

GSA Office Hours for Fall 2014

Waterloo Campus Office Hours Monday - Thursday 10am - 4pm

Kitchener Campus Office Hours - TBD (contact Sarah at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Brantford Campus Office Hours - TBD (contact Crystal at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Presidential News and Notes


Thursday August 31, 2014


## Back to school we go ##


Hello Laurier Graduate Students!

Summer is over and it is back to school we go – I would like to congratulate all of our new Graduate students who will be joining us at Laurier this year, as well welcome all of our returning Graduate students back to campus.  It is never easy to get back into the swing of things, but the GSA is here to help you! Don’t forget to join us at GPSS (register now at gpss.wlugsa.ca), or stop by our office during our open house on Thursday September 4th - we are ready to assist you with any challenges that you may face. 


Last week I had the pleasure of addressing the incoming MBA students to welcome them to Laurier, and I look forward to welcoming all of our new students at GPSS this week.  Given that we have so many new students who will be joining us this year, I thought that September may be a very appropriate time to review my Presidential Campaign from May– so you can all be informed on what the GSA is doing for you.

Following the strong administration of President Ashley Coleman, I acknowledged that it was time to take the GSA in a new direction in order to achieve the goals set forth in the Strategic Plan. The platform that I proposed in May consisted of three pillars: Communication, Collaboration, and Consistency.  Through the implementation of each pillar I set out to focus on improving the Graduate student’s accessibility to resources, the creation of a stronger governing body and the development of an improved Graduate student experience.

At this time, I have made some great strides towards these goals, but we are not there yet! Using these three pillars as the foundation for the next 8months, I will continue to enact new social, financial, and administrative policies to improve the student experience for the GSA membership.  So that by May of next year the next GSA President and CEO can begin the transition period between the end of this current Strategic Plan and the beginning of the next!

The full document can be found at:



For those of you who are returning to Laurier Waterloo, you will notice a few changes around campus! The Library entrance is under construction, as well as its main floor, where our Graduate research exhibit area is being erected.  You will also notice that Veritas Café has changed its layout to accommodate more customers for lunch and dinner rushes.  Finally, you will also notice that the GSA office has installed its first stage of branding material to help identify where you can go to get assistance on campus.

Waterloo isn’t the only campus with a few changes to it.  Returning Graduate students at Brantford campus will notice that the GSA, in collaboration with FGPS and student affairs, have change the lower level of the Odeon building into a ‘Graduate Commons’ space!  This is very exciting, as it offers all Graduate students another space to network with colleagues, complete an assignment, or just relax.


Homecoming! One of the most important events for the Laurier community occurs within the first month of your arrival and you do not want to miss it.  Join the GSA as we participate in Laurier Alumni’s Homecoming 2014.  We will be holding a GSA Tailgating Party at Veritas Café from 10:30am-12:30pm. Buy your tickets now (https://laurier.universitytickets.com/login/login.asp) AND do not forget that the first 20people to come to Veritas Café with their Homecoming ticket will receive a GSA Stadium Seat!

Full details for Homecoming can be found at: https://www.laurieralumni.ca/alumni/homecoming-2014

I hope to see you all at GPSS and Homecoming. Welcome back, and good luck in the month of September!


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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