By: Dana Chatterjee
November 29, 2021: The UPEISU Executive team held their Annual General Meeting in the Fox and Crow to discuss their journey so far, and their goals and student priorities envisioned for the rest of the semester.
The President, Riley Mackay; VP Academic and External affairs, Anagha Muralidharan; VP Student Life, Nathan Lacroix; and VP Finance and Administration, Leena Daboo each spoke about their specific duties.
Role of the President:
- Primary spokesperson of the UPEISU
- Chair of the Executive Committee
- New initiatives & future directions Member of the UPEI Board of Governors
- Member of the UPEI Senate
- Liaison with UPEI President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz
Our newly elected President acknowledges the hardships students face, such as housing, finance, and mental health struggles. Mackay plans on working with the Mawi’omi Indigenous Student Center and Indigenous faculty members on campus to build a support system for all Indigenous Students. Further, he intends to work with students, the UPEISU team, and relevant government organizations to ameliorate student financial struggles. As the previous Health and Wellness Representative, Mackay had begun working on a centralized internet-based resource that will greatly facilitate student access to treatment. His ongoing project will be tailored to the UPEI community upon completion.
Role of the VPAX:
- Spearhead all advocacy efforts
- Conduct student consultations to identify priorities
- Research & write policies (along with PRC)
- Advocate to UPEI Administration, Municipal, Provincial, and Federal Government
- Support students through academic grievances
- Liaison with UPEI VP Academic & Research
- Member of the UPEI Senate and several of its subcommittees
Road so far
Muralidharan has actively been involved to introductory meetings with Municipal, Provincial, and Federal Politicians for discussing policy priorities, and crucial policy recommendations for the general public. She ran and successfully completed the ‘Get Out the Vote’ campaign for 2021 Federal Election.
Anagha’s efforts for helping students throughout the semester has not gone unnoticed. She has arranged for 110 devices (laptops + desktops) for students having financial constraints. Through student consultations, Muralidharan has pinpointed student grievances and ensured the possibility of getting affordable textbooks (Open Education Resources), easily accessible HPV vaccinations, and housing. Strengthening Relationships with External Indigenous Organizations has always been a priority for her and she has continuously worked for Indigenous Student Support and taken effective steps towards reconciliation.
Goals for Winter 2022 semester
- Racialized Student Support Group – Lack of BIPOC counselors on UPEI campus presents a desperate need for support for BIPOC students.
- Advocacy Training – Ensure that students are best equipped to advocate on issues they care about the most.
- CASA Supercon (February 2022) – Federal advocacy to be done along with Student Unions across Canada.
- Indigenous Students – Continue collaborating and consulting with Indigenous folks and organizations on and off the UPEI campus.
Role of the VPSL
- Organize events and campaigns
- Oversee all ratified Clubs
- Clubs & Campaigns Coordinator
- Sit on multiple committees of the University
- Occupational Health & Safety
- Sexual & GB Violence Prevention Committee
- Substance Use Harms Reduction Committee
- Senate Committee for Scholarships & Awards
- Events Working Group
Lacroix, who recently got elected as the VPSL wants students to have the full university experience. One of his goals is to have The Fox and Crow, our campus pub, open on weekends as it will be a much safer and affordable option for students. He plans on making events more diverse and inclusive so that everyone gets equal opportunities for having fun.
Role of the VPFA:
- Everything SU Money Related
- Chair of Funding Committee
- Chair of Budget Committee
- Human Resources
- Supervises different student staff
Road so far
- As the VPFA, Daboo has Hosted staff training for all SU staff, created a staff handbook with important additions such as a section on microaggressions, and most importantly, worked on the amended budget for this year. She has come up with innovative ideas to help budget student finances like the second-hand winter clothes drive for students where they could drop off unused winter clothes for their peers and the ‘Did you know series’ where she spread funding awareness through social media throughout the year. Additionally, Leena has reviewed and made necessary changes to the Bike Co-op and Panther Patrol policies in terms of operations. Her most recent service idea is the ‘The Tools Co-op’.
Goals for Winter 2022 semester:
- Supplies – Work on ideas on creating awareness to destigmatize SUpplies. (March 2022)
- Funding and Services – Look for more opportunities to increase awareness on the SU funding and available services.
- Sustainability Campaign –
- Plan more sustainability events:
- Make your own body scrub (February 2022)
- Plant kits (March 2022)
The meeting ended with a Q and A session where the students got the opportunity to get their specific questions answered.