Students’ Council meets every second Tuesday in Telus 134 at 6 p.m. Council meetings are open to all students. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6, where free food will be provided for all attendees.
Last meeting, Council offered a spread of pasta and sauces, with a dessert platter and salad on the side. So if you’re at all interested in student politics, swing by, fill your belly, and get your democracy on.
Students’ Union Vice-President (Academic) Dustin Chelen gave council a presentation regarding student attributes. The academic plan of the university commits to articulating and supporting the development of core sets of skills, attributes and values to be incorporated into graduate and undergraduate programs, while recognizing each faculty will best decide how to move in that direction. As Chelen co-chairs the CLE Subcommittee on Attributes and Competencies, his presentation updated Council on the background and suggested list of attributes.
After the presentation, Councillor Carson posed three questions to the Vice-President. In response to one of the questions, which asked how one can ensure students are culturally sensitive, Chelen said he agrees it is important, and one of the attributes — collaboration and openness — includes other cultures and people one might interact with.
A Just CAUS
University of Calgary’s SU Vice-President (External) Raphael Jacob gave a presentation on the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) alongside CAUS Executive Director Duncan Wojtaszek.
The presentation centered on what CAUS is and what it does for students. According to the presentation, Alberta is dead last in post-secondary participation when compared to the other provinces in Canada. One per cent of Albertans enroll in further education, as compared to 23.8 per cent in British Columbia and 25.9 per cent in Quebec.
The presentation also notedthat CAUS represents 70,000 undergraduate students to the Alberta government, public and shareholders. The three members are the Students’ Unions of the Universities of Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge.
CAUS’ advocacy extends not only to the provincial government but also to opposition parties like the NDP and Wildrose. The presenters said CAUS’ priorities are regulating non-instructional fees, closing the market modifier loophole, making elections more accessible for students, creating a new rural and aboriginal bursary, and ending property taxes on residences.
In response to a question from Board of Governors Representative Kelly regarding the organization’s position on the Quebec student protests, Jacob said that kind of situation is why CAUS wants tuition caps, although CAUS maintains an apolitical stance in regards to the protests.
Aside from a number of written questions which were answered in the Student Council agenda papers, Governor Kelly posed a written question to Councillor Nguyen regarding a comment Nguyen posted on an online article he wrote, asking whether the comment — which was edited after original publication — could be construed as a Code of Student Behaviour violation or possibly a civil or criminal code violation.
Councillor Nguyen declined to answer, adding that his comment held no relevance to his work on Students’ Council. Kelly further pressed that, as an elected representative, he felt councillors have a public role and thus did not understand why behaviour outside council would be deemed irrelevant. Nguyen said he had no comment, and cited advice by his lawyer to not say anything.
A question was posed to Vice-President (Student Life) Saadiq Sumar regarding U-Pass negotiations and whether the SU executive team has considered hiring a professional negotiator. Sumar said there was an associations meeting scheduled for the following day to go over everything that has happened in the past six months of negotiations and why the SU believes their position is the best. Regarding hiring a negotiator, Sumar said he didn’t think that had ever been discussed. He added there are benefits to the current system, such as giving students on the executive team the opportunity to develop negotiation skills, since it may be difficult for staff members to properly advocate on behalf of students.
The remnants of chivalry still linger today, especially in the dating world.
Talk on “commitment,” “excellence” and “unity” dominated Friday’s Board of Governors meeting, as members continue to address financial pressures and determine their next steps in the wake of the budget cut.