Notes from Council: executives give inaugural addresses, councillors appointed to committees
"I am confident that with your help and support, we can achieve great things this upcoming year," UASU president says.
“Notes from Council” is The Gateway’s ongoing series of recaps of noteworthy items from Students’ Council meetings.
At Students’ Council on May 9, councillors were officially installed, and each executive gave an inaugural address. Councillors were also appointed to University of Alberta Students’ Union (UASU) committees.
Former UASU president leads installation ceremony, executives give their inaugural address
Abner Monteiro, who served as the 2022-23 UASU president, officially installed the new 2023-24 UASU councillors. Afterwards, each executive gave an inaugural address.
Vice-president (student life), Michael Griffiths, drew on his past role as president of the Lister Hall Students’ Association (LHSA). Griffiths said that he is “excited to broaden this work and serve all students across our campuses.”
“I know that there’s a diverse set of perspectives and lived experiences in this room that I can draw on to inform my work as your vice-president (student life). I will count on you folks as councillors to share your insights and help shape the work that we are doing for students,” Griffiths said.
Vice-president (operations and finance), Levi Flaman, reflected on his five years of previous experience on Students’ Council. He also spoke about his platform for the 2023 UASU election.
“Affordability has been a hot button topic in recent years as the cost of post-secondary education continues to rise. I’m intending to pursue initiatives that are designed to get us to a place that will allow us to lower the prices we charge to students in our UASU-owned businesses, lower our UASU membership fee, or both,” Flaman said.
Vice-president (external), Chris Beasley, discussed what his role will entail throughout the year. He said that although his role “may change radically in the next three weeks” because of the provincial election on May 29, what he’ll be “pushing for will remain the same no matter what.”
“What we’re going to need to do is work with whoever gets elected, and I’m excited to do that work,” Beasley said.
Vice-president (academic), Pedro Almeida, discussed points from the platform that he ran on in the election. He touched on accessibility to resources, hybrid-learning, and addressing issues with academic-related costs.
“This will be my first time sitting on council, so I’ll have the opportunity to learn alongside you as we work together to improve the experiences of students across our three campuses,” Almeida said.
President Christian Fotang addressed how the 2023-24 Students’ Council is the 116th Students’ Council. He talked about the opportunities that councillors will have to improve the student experience.
“I am confident that with your help and support, we can achieve great things this upcoming year. Let us work together to create a students’ union that reflects the needs and aspirations of our student body,” Fotang said.
Council appoints councillors to UASU committees and fills all open seats
Council filled all open councillor seats on UASU committees during Board and Committee Business.
The Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee (ARRC) assists the UASU in implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. The following councillors were appointed: science councillor Noor Abdelwahab, arts councillor Mason Pich, and education councillor Muneeba Qadir.
The Audit Committee oversees how the UASU collects funds and spends its money. The following councillors were appointed: law councillor Damon Atwood, science councillor Megan Garbutt, Augustana councillor Adrian Lam, Pich, and arts councillor Nathan Thiessen.
The Bylaw Committee oversees the UASU’s bylaws, as well as referenda and plebiscite questions. The following councillors were appointed: Faculté Saint-Jean councillor Jillian Aisenstat, Atwood, nursing councillor Precious Majekodunmi, and Board of Governors (BoG) undergraduate representative Stephen Raitz.
The Council Administration Committee (CAC) handles the administrative needs of Students’ Council. The following councillors were appointed: Abdelwahab, Lam, Majekodunmi, Pich, and Thiessen.
The Finance Committee oversees budgeting for the UASU, and the allocation of the UASU’s grant and bursary funds. The following councillors were appointed: science councillor Laurel Ford, Pich, and engineering councillor Aiman Saif.
The Health and Dental Plan Committee oversees the UASU’s Health and Dental Plan. The following councillors were appointed: Abdelwahab, and medicine and dentistry councillor Elm Elahi.
The Policy Committee oversees the UASU’s political policies. The following councillors were appointed: Lam, Majekodunmi, Pich, and Thiessen.
The Student Group Committee oversees undergraduate student groups at the U of A. The following councillors were appointed: Majekodunmi, and Qadir.
The Sustainability Committee evaluates the UASU’s sustainability practices, and makes recommendations. The following councillors were appointed: Aisenstat, Lam, and Thiessen.
The Students’ Union Building (SUB) Planning Committee reviews the needs of students, in relation to the facilities and services provided by SUB. The following councillors were appointed: Garbutt and Majekodunmi.