To: To the Queen's University Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Associate Deans
#PivotTheGradClock: Funding Extension Guarantee for All Graduate Students in Queen's
The #PivotTheGradClock (PTGC) campaign asks for a guarantee for one year funding extensions for all graduate students who have been impacted by the pandemic. This provision should be available to all graduate students who require funding assistance without question or compromise.
The PTGC campaign asks the University to recognise the need for an equitable, universal approach which does not burden students with additional time lost in negotiating alone within their departments or accumulating ‘evidence’ to prove that their projects have been derailed. Guaranteed funding extensions are not to be mandatory program extensions - students who have completed work as described by the SGS may opt out of such an extension by defending and graduating within their current timelines.
Contrary to the case-by-case approach the SGS has implemented, which is inconsistently applied by different units and makes student access to the University’s financial resources inequitable, this step will show that the University trusts its students and graduate workers with decisions about their research and career, and chooses not to pit students against each other and students of other departments for availing the University's financial resources.
Further, PTGC asks the University to recognize that the impacts of a pandemic do not end with vaccinations, and ensuring currently enrolled graduate students are financially supported is essential to the future success of Queen’s University.
Why is this important?
In March 2020, over 2000 people called for the University to waive summer tuition in recognition of the immense impact COVID 19 was taking on SGPS members’ financial stability and wellbeing due to changes to educational delivery that affected us both as students and as labourers. This request was met with a stern “no.” Since then, graduate students have been working overtime to continue their studies and employment responsibilities at Queen’s. Many graduate students faced significant delays in receiving ethics approval and access to archives and had to adapt their research proposals due to restricted possibilities for in-person research. They also had to go above and beyond with their commitments to RA/TAships with the switch to online delivery. While the School of Graduate Studies is working to approve a policy about extensions for completion time, funding extensions should not be made on a case-by-case basis. Pressure needs to continue to be placed on the decision-makers at Queens to come up with a cross-department plan to ensure funding for all students who need additional time to completion.
We the undersigned endorse this campaign and demand a one year funding extension guarantee for all graduate students currently enrolled in Queen’s. This provision will come with the option to opt out upon completion of research. We call for faculty members, faculty associations, department stakeholders and all graduate students to sign this letter and show our strength behind this much required change. Important: Add your designation alongside your last name in the box below with no special characters. For example, Jane (first name) Doe Graduate Student (last name and designation).
How it will be delivered
Online via email. Please sign on your last name with designation! We will deliver this petition through an online event.