SU forms new off-campus advocacy committee

By Chris Adams

Students’ Union vice-president external Levi Nilson has drafted plans for a new external advocacy committee.

The Advocacy Issues Task Force (AITF) will lobby on student issues that the province’s main post-secondary lobby group — the Council for Alberta University Students — doesn’t touch at the provincial level.

Four members of Student Legislative Council will sit on the committee, which will hold meetings open to all students.

Nilson said that while the SU’s institutional memory helps them carry over policy from year-to-year, the committee will solidify policy on advocacy issues.

“The way that it stands now, as far as advocacy goes, we have a ton of positions, but we don’t have any actual policy,” Nilson said. “We do have our Policy Development and Review Committee, but it’s internal and external stuff and we get caught up on a lot of the internal stuff. So it’s not really a good space to talk about advocacy and the direction that we’re going.”

AITF will lobby city council on secondary-suite approval over the summer. The vote to ease zoning rules for secondary suites in wards 7, 8, 9 and 11 and within 600 metres of transit stations was delayed until September on councillor Druh Farrell’s request.

Nilson has reached out to councillors opposed to the motion, hoping to sway their opinion before September’s vote.

AITF will start its trial-run as an ad-hoc committee. Nilson hopes it will become a permanent fixture after it is reviewed at the end of the year.

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