Student Union

The WGSI GSU is an active course union enrolled in the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU). The UTGSU provides health and dental insurance, conference bursaries and other resources. Find more information on their homepage.

Students enrolled in a graduate program at the WGSI are welcome to join our course’s Graduate Student Union (GSU).

The GSU and UTGSU are different than CUPE 3902, which represents contract academic workers including Teaching Assistants and Course Instructors.

WGSI GSU Executive Team

Students are elected to act as representatives of the Graduate Student Union (GSU). GSU representatives work with the Graduate Administrator to plan academic events and act as a source of information and support for students.

The WGSI GSU’s 2019-2020 executive team can be contacted individually or through the course union’s email: utgsu.wgsgsu@gmail.com

Binta Bajaha: Chair

Hailing from smallest country in mainland Africa, The Gambia, I have had the privilege of forming my feminist identity based on diverse and rich global traditions. Currently pursuing a doctoral degree from WGSI with a focus on the gendered vulnerability and resilience associated with climate change in West Africa’s Sahel region, unpacking the convergence of climate financing and women’s economic empowerment. I hold a honours specialization BA in History and Global Studies from the University of Western Ontario as well as a MSc in Gender, Development and Globalization from the London School of Economics. I have spend the majority of my professional life with the United Nations in New York (USA) Rome (Italy), Bangkok, (Thailand), Nairobi (Kenya) and Cox’s Bazar (Bangladesh).  

As Chair, I alongside the WGSI GSU Executive team, pledge to bring forth  strategic actions to further inform the transformational, global feminist principles that underly our Institute in the promise of bettering our collective postgraduate journeys.  It is our intention and goal to foster an innovative, flexible and empowering environment that takes us through the good times and bad. This WGSI GSU team will be there to respond in constructive and effective ways to ensure all present and future WGSI cohorts can have the opportunity to build on the foundational work we will be doing. 

Email: b.bajaha@mail.utoronto.ca 

Lauren Duperron: Co-Chair

I am a current WGSI MA Student, with a collaborative specialization in Environment and Health, Environmental Studies. I am from Ottawa, Ontario and hold an honors degree from Carleton University in Women’s and Gender Studies with a minor in Psychology. 

As Co-Chair, I am committed to ensuring the space that the WGSI GSU  will share, and create, remains a feminist one; where we may exchange knowledge, stories and experiences in the spirit of convivial relations, with the clear intention of radical vulnerability that leads to radical change. Through my Federal Government experience in the Governance and Communications unit, as well as my extensive experience with NGO’s in Ottawa working as Secretariat, Events Coordinator and Communications Officer, I am prepared to take responsibility to facilitate and, when necessary, lead our Graduate Student Union with the Executive team members in order to achieve our short term and long term goals. I look forward to this wonderful opportunity to build meaningful relations, and to connect and learn with others in WGSI.

Email: lauren.duperron@mail.utoronto.ca

Erica Marrison: Communication Officer 

I am a current MA student at the Women & Gender Studies Institute. Originally from Nova Scotia, I hold a BAH in English with a second major in Women’s and Gender Studies from Acadia University.

As the GSU’s Communications Officer and a new student at U of T, I look forward to joining in the work of fostering community here. With my responsibilities largely regarding email communications, promotion of the GSU, and event organizing, I am hopeful that my past experiences in communications are able to serve as a valuable reference point in working to ensure that all graduate students feel heard, welcomed to contribute, and receive the information necessary to be successful members of the graduate community. Additionally, I will be working to document all strides made by the GSU, ensuring that the work done this year does not merely serve students of the 2019-2020 cohort, but can be built upon, remolded, and renewed by many students to come.

Email: erica.marrison@mail.utoronto.ca