UMGSA selects former UMSU president as new VPA

The UMGSA council has ratified the selection of Tanjit Nagra —  a former UMSU president and Liberal candidate for Fort Richmond in September’s provincial election — as the organization’s new vice-president academic (VPA).

Previous VPA Roxie Koohgoli announced to the council she was stepping down due to family issues in September. In accordance with UMGSA policy, the organization sent out an email to the graduate student body inviting anybody interested to apply for the role of VPA.

The organization’s executive committee then made a selection from the pool of applicants to present to the UMGSA council, who then ratified the decision.

The interview process went on longer than expected, and so rather than presenting its choice at the Oct. 24 UMGSA meeting, the executive committee presented Nagra as its choice over email on Oct. 31. The council voted to ratify the selection the same day, and Nagra began the role on Nov. 1.

Speaking after her ratification as VPA, Nagra said she is planning to focus primarily on continuing Koohgoli’s work until she becomes more familiar with the role.

“For now, it’s ensuring that I pick up where Roxie has left off, and then seeing, once I have a better idea as to what resources I have available to me, then based on that I’ll see what else we’ll be able to do for graduate students,” she said.

She specifically mentioned furthering access to graduate student research stipends and mental health initiatives as focuses for herself.

Koohgoli said she remained involved with Nagra’s selection as VPA, and spoke about how much she enjoyed her time in the position.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time with the UMGSA,” she said. “I’ve really liked how much it exposed me to understanding how the university functions.”

“I have a better understanding of what we can do as a student and what we can’t, and finding sort of loopholes and seeing where we fit in.”

When asked about why she put her name forward for the position, Nagra pointed to her past experience.

“I thought it might be a good fit given my past experiences,” she said, “especially if they’re looking for someone to pick up midway through the year.”

“I thought that my skill set, my experience as UMSU president would make me well-equipped for the role, and I believe that the UMGSA executive and the council also believe that as well.”

Nagra will serve the remainder of the position’s term, until April 2020, and said it is too early to say whether she will run for the position in the upcoming UMGSA general election.