SU executives plan for upcoming year

Ever wondered what the Student’s Union does? The SU executives have been in office for four months now, but what have they accomplished so far?

Every four months, the Students’ Union executives deliver a report to the 68th Student Legislative Council in order to keep the SU accountable to their strategic plan for the year. Their first-trimester report encompasses May to August.

During the summer months the SU executives attended an executive retreat and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations retreat where they networked and developed their roles with other student executives from across the country.

This trimester Webber become familiar with faculty and senior administration and attended the Board of Governors meeting. She, along with SU vice-president External Hardave Birk, have focused on SU’s role in the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, to correct insufficient policy or opportunities at both federal and provincial levels.

Webber’s focus for the rest of the semester will be working to rebrand and market the SU.

“I think a lot of people know the name SU, but when asked what we do a huge amount of the population of this campus had no idea what the SU did or how they make a difference,” Webber said. “I really want to improve those lines of communication and make sure that students and university committees know what the SU stands for and provides.”

SU VP operations and finance James Delaney met with various directors and managers to understand the budget.

“By the end of it, I still don’t know where every single stamp or crayon goes, but I do know why that department needs the stamps and crayons,” said Delaney.

Delaney and Webber have started discussion with university administration about the 2014 end date of the SU’s license of occupation, operation and management agreement.

“We know what we want, so we need to see what the university wants and align those priorities wherever possible,” Delaney said. “Getting some preliminary work done on this process is an important goal, especially in light of the MacEwan Master Plan.”

Delaney is a part of the MacEwan Master Plan committee, along with senior representatives from the university and the president of the Graduate Students’ Association. They aim to make the MacEwan Student Centre “bigger and better.”

“This committee is basically directing the future of this building,” said Delaney. “It has jurisdiction to plan the future of MSC with absolute free-reign and in the context of the soon-to-expire license and operating agreement I have to be hyper-sensitive to suggestions and developments.”

“There’s a strong student presence on the team and to be able to have our concerns heard is definitely a good thing.”

Delaney has also been working towards increasing the sustainability practices in Mac Hall with the U of C Eco Club and Citizens Advocating Use of Sustainable Energy to develop a speaking event.

For the next few months, Delaney plans on working towards developing self-sustaining programs.

“It’s been hard to get the committee going and I feel like sustainability is the part of the portfolio that’s been hit or miss every year,” he said. “I’m going to be meeting with the university about getting some metrics in place so we can judge our own progress with waste management and energy usage. I have some campaigns I want to do, like reducing coffee cup waste in Mac Hall.”

With the upcoming election vice president external Hardave Birk is voicing student issues to mayoral and alderman candidates.

“We’ve had the opportunity of meeting with the majority of mayoral candidates as well as Ward One candidates,” Birk said. “Through these meetings we’ve been able to help the candidates in formulating more student friendly platforms.”

He also hopes to promote student turnout at the election.

“This year we will be running a joint “iVOTE campaign with the Calgary Student Caucus,” Birk said. “It will be an exciting fall semester at the municipal level and we really hope that the voter turnout this election can be greatly increased.”

For the next few months Birk will be focusing on the iVOTE campaign as well as advocating for a mandatory, non-instructional fee regulation to be put in place.

“U of C has some of the highest non-instructional fees. They raise these fees when they have reached the tuition cap,” said Birk. “Having this mandatory regulation in place will help keep costs down for students.”

VP student life Jennifer Abbott is enhancing the student experience and engagement. Abbot sat on many committees throughout the summer to help boost orientation week participation.

“All of the planning and logistics for orientation week events occurred at these meetings,” said Abbott.

“I was also the executive lead on ensuring all of the faculty representatives got 15 minutes of time at their faculty orientation sessions.”

The representatives, along with Abbott, lobbied for these times, with success.

She’s also developed a more engaging clubs week and improved SU communication with clubs.

“There will be an open stage all week for clubs to perform on and an interactive scavenger hunt,” said Abbott.

“Our vision is to really put the clubs committee out there so that clubs know that this is the highest governing body for them and see it as being important.”

In future terms Abbott will focus on defining her new role in the SU, as well as continuing to engage students through the Dinos Campaign, Movies That Matter committee and the upcoming wellness month.

The next trimester report to Student Legislative Council will be at the end of December.

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