By The Cadre
Before reading our report cards, check out our rubric here. The grade and explanation of each executive report card is the collective opinion of The Cadre team.
Vice President Academic and External (VPAX) Malak Nassar has been putting work in to make this year successful despite all the challenges.
The VPAX is tasked with helping students with academic matters as well as reaching out to the community and all levels of government to advocate for students. It is a big job for one person to take on, but we believe that Malak has been doing well thus far.
Malak planned her mandate for both semesters, tasking herself with two key goals for first semester and two for second semester. She also added some other tasks due to the unforeseen pandemic.
Due to the complications of the pandemic Malak along with the rest of the SU team started their intensive work before the Fall semester even started. In June they were already meeting with the Mayor of Charlottetown to advocate for students in terms of student loans, getting students into pei, and other key issues. The team also talked to the university in this time to discuss student fees and how to approach those and make them more accommodating this year.
In the Fall semester Malak also added the task of increasing student access to technology. This is important every year, but crucial this year given the decision to hold classes online. To achieve her goal, Malak has found ways to put funding into buying more laptops to put into the library laptop rental service. She has added some of the budget she is allocated as VPAX to this, as well as reaching out to community groups and government for donations, both monetary and physical laptops.
Given the urgency of COVID-19 related matters her second goal for the first semester has gotten pushed back. The second goal is to increase student representation on committees in the university. It is important to have students’ voices heard as UPEI is an institution for students. Malak has worked on this goal some, but there is still work to be done. Malak has done research on the committees currently running and positions available for students on those committees. She plans to continue the work she has started into the second semester.
For next semester, Malak plans to run advocacy training. Advocacy training was done last year and Malak plans to expand on it more this year by adding in other university groups for workshops. It will help students learn not just how to advocate to government, but also how to advocate in their own lives.
She also plans to publish a policy paper in March covering the topic of international students.
Malak has also worked on a project that broke UPEISU records. A recent survey regarding academics and mental health had over 1100 responses, the most survey responses in SU history.
Malak kept her mandate very concise which made it easier to assess her work. Despite this year being full of surprises, Malak has been ready for it. She has not completed all of the mandate she expected to have done by this point in the year, but she has done other tasks which were urgent and unexpected. Malak is on a good path to continue into next semester and is a strong VPAX.