By: Morin Mawhinney
On the night of October 26th, the 2016 Annual General Student Union Meeting was held at in Wave. This event could have easily been drier than the Sahara, but the Student Council had obviously thought ahead and planned well. The SU Council generously provided free food, as well as the opportunity to win a free course and free tickets to the Halloween Pub. The presentation itself was done efficiently, professionally, and quickly enough to keep most attendees interested. To keep the night moving smoothly, each Executive Council Member had compiled a brief slideshow depicting and explaining their Executive Mandates. For those who couldn’t make it because they were dutifully studying at home, here is a brief and broad recap so you can be informed and up to date on the latest UPEI Student Union Council activity. Keep in mind I am only an onlooker, so any specific questions on the mandates would be best directed to the Executive Council Members.
John Rix: Vice President of Academic and External
Rix is the man out there vying for us. He turns student consultations into policy to help improve our academic lives. One of the most discussed points within his presentation was the publication of a White Paper (which is a guide that helps readers understand a certain issue, as well as presents a solution). This particular White Paper will be addressing the real cost of Post-Secondary Education, an issue all of us are close to. Expected in January, the White Paper will be a physical booklet, easy to grab by students. Some other goals presented by Rix were to improve stakeholder relations within the community and to provide educational resource initiative that will create a better chance of jobs after University. Brought to Rix’s attention by an interested attendee was the issue of students rating professors, and the impact their feedback actually makes. Rix would like to see this feedback being much more available to professors, as well as available to the Tenure Committee on considering professors for such a promotion.
Kaylee Jabbour: Vice President of Student Life
Jabbour’s Mandate as the VP of Student Life is one that connects to students on a personal level. Having already coordinated events such as the Back-To-School Pub, Financial Literacy Week, Stress Less Week, and most recently, Halloween Pub, Jabbour has a whole new set of events she plans on organizing for us students. She mentioned in her presentation ideas including a US Elections Results Party, a Culture Fair, the 5 Days of the UPEISU and a Sexual Education Week. She also plans to raise the levels of student engagement, keep the UPEISU App up to date, and strengthen good relationships with all clubs on campus. In the upcoming months, keep a keen eye out for all of Kaylee Jabbour’s fun and exciting events.
Clayton Smith: Vice President of Finance
My utmost respect goes out to Clayton Smith. To be honest, numbers go completely over my head, so thank goodness Mr. Smith is here to take care of them. While keeping the SU within budget, Smith also takes care of Human Resources, which this year included creating a new Human Resources Policy and doing a New Staff Orientation. Smith also spoke on the sustainability of the financial portion of the SU, Mickey’s Place in particular. Since Tim Horton’s moved into the SU building, there was expected to be a drop in revenue. However, it seems Mickey’s Place has bounced back and is not a concern. The Wave is taking in what was expected. As for student funding, Smith hopes to make it more transparent and accountable with the use of a Funding Tracker.
Nathan Hood: President
Mr. Hood is doing a bang-up job as our Student Council President, and it shows in the number of projects he has on the go. One of the biggest projects would be the Student Centre Refresh. Hood hopes to fix up all aspects of the SU that are in need, specifically, The Wave. Having finalized the changes plan in September, contractors are intended to be found by January while the actual renovations take place from May through August. Next in his presentation, Hood addressed the “implementation of restructuring recommendations and further governance work.” With this, he strives to fix any structural issues within the council, define the best possible councilor behavior, represent student interest, and address student concerns. Finally, Hood is finding ways to improve relationships and promote more participation from the student body and special constituencies. Specifically, Hood would like to see more opportunities for involvement of the AVC students, Graduate Studies Students, and International Students, starting with the twenty new volunteer positions available.
Some final, fast facts of the evening mentioned by Clayton Smith included the increase in student enrollment by 331 students over last year, as well as the increase in Student Club Funding. The winner of the free course was Taylor Sorenson, while the winner of the two tickets was Erin MacNeil. Overall, the evening was a very informative one, made all the more interesting by the delicious Sweet Potato Fries and Nachos provided by the SU. Our council is doing their best, and their best is pretty impressive.