The University of Waterloo Philosophy Graduate Student Association (PGSA) serves to represent Philosophy graduate students as well as provide an environment in which graduate students can make the most of their experience in Waterloo’s Philosophy department.
In addition to monthly meetings, the PGSA holds regular social events (such as movie nights, game nights, bonfires, and holiday parties); supports local charity initiatives (such as the Children’s Christmas Project) as well as providing a platform for students to organize their own social events/clubs within the department (in the past we’ve had a team for the Santa Pur-Suit, intramural sports teams, and a D&D group).
Our major event is the annual PGSA Conference held each March where we host philosophy graduate students from across North America, featuring papers on any topic in philosophy. In the past, the event has submissions from students at top universities around the world, including Oxford, Harvard, Cornell, Brown, and Toronto. Among the profession at large, the Waterloo PGSA Conference is well regarded as a graduate conference. Past keynote speakers have included Mazviita Chirimuuta, Helen Longino, Patricia Churchland, Lee Smolin, and many other accomplished philosophers. This continues in the department's tradition of hosting the highest profile special guest speakers for the purposes of teaching and interacting with the graduate students, which on one occasion included Gareth Evans and GEM Anscombe.
As a graduate student in the Philosophy department at Waterloo, you are automatically a general member of the PGSA. This means you will be invited to all PGSA social events and PGSA meetings (including the right to vote).
Each year, at our first meeting in September, a new group of executive members are voted in. Executive members hold special positions within the PGSA and are more involved with the running of the PGSA and its events than general members.
Holding an executive position allows you to be more actively involved in the department’s inner workings, looks great on your CV, and is a lot of fun! If you want to nominate yourself or someone else (after getting their permission) for an executive position, e-mail the current President your nomination the week before the first meeting in September. Nominations can also be made at the beginning of the first meeting in September.
2020-2021 PGSA Executive:
President: Cael Dobson
Administrator: Lynne Sargent
Treasurer: Leanne Woodward
PhD Representative: Alex Gruenewald
MA Representative: Armand Shivanand Naik
GSA (Graduate Student Association) Representative: Tasneem Alsayyed Ahmad