A huge, warm WELCOME to your 2020-21 Representation Executive Council

On May 15th, your 2020-21 Representation Executive Council officially swapped with the 2019-20 crew. We’re sad to see our student leaders go, but so excited to see your newly elected reps in action! Here’s a snapshot into your new reps.

Left to right: Luc Carels (VP External), Carly Bullough (VP Academic), Camille Rhose Tabacla (VP Student Life), and Spirit River Striped Wolf (President)

What is your position on SAMRU’s 2020-21 Representation Executive Council (REC)?

Spirit River Striped Wolf (SS): I am the President!

Carly Bullough (CB): I am the Vice-President Academic of SAMRU.

Luc Carels (LC): VP External.

Camille Rhose Tabacla (CRT):  Hi everyone, my position for 2020/21 is Vice President Student Affairs.

What is your year and major? 

SS: I’m in my fourth year of the Policy Studies program.

CB: I am going into my fifth year of Policy Studies, minoring in political science.

LC: Fourth year, Policy Studies Student with a minor in History.

CRT: I am entering my fifth year at Mount Royal, however, it will be my fourth year as a Policy Studies major!

Why did you decide to run for REC?

SS: I ran because I was finishing my student research term in the Bissett School of Business and, after all of the experiences and opportunities this university offered me throughout the years, I wanted to pay it back by using the skills and lessons that I developed along the way. With the upcoming challenges that students were going to face, specifically the funding cuts and subsequent rising of tuition, I felt that this was the way I wanted to “pay it back,” by serving and representing students to help them succeed.

CB: I decided to get more involved with the Students’ Association because I am passionate about governance and student advocacy. I love MRU, and I wanted to ensure that other students enjoy their time at Mount Royal too.

LC: I have unfinished business that I would like to keep working on.

CRT: Running for SAMRU REC was based on encouragement from my peers. I am someone who was on the sidelines of advocacy. I never thought of my voice to be as empowering in comparison to others. However, this election made me realize how quiet voices can be empowered through different positions at SAMRU. Seeing others have faith in what I can do built up my confidence in my own power to do so.

What are you hoping to accomplish this year? 

SS: At the moment my team is working on our advocacy response plans for COVID-19, but ultimately I hope we can help push forward the best accommodations for students in these times. Although COVID-19 makes things extra difficult, I hope to advocate to the provincial government regarding the harmful impacts on students from the funding cuts to universities. Besides crisis management, I have a few ideas about helping improve the management of mental health among students through a human connection and community emphasizing strategy. As well, I hope to continue the work on the Indigenous representation portfolio that the previous student representatives were working on, specifically the need for finding the many Indigenous student leaders that already exist and giving them a platform to be heard by the Representation Executive Council and the Student Governing Board.

CB: I am hoping to achieve as many goals from my campaign platform as possible, which focused on the areas of accessibility, accountability, and affordability. I would like to see Mount Royal align with other Albertan post-secondary institutions by extending the course Withdrawal deadline to the final day of classes. I am an advocate for increased transparency of course registration, specifically regarding the foundation-level GNED courses. I am also hoping to bring more awareness to Open Educational Resource (OER) development on campus.

LC: Enhancing financial aid and employment opportunities for students.

CRT: At the end of this role I want to accomplish more education and further unpacking Dating, Domestic and Sexual Violence on campuses.

What’s the best part about working at SAMRU so far? 

SS: Folks might not know but I used to work and volunteer for SAMRU extensively during my first year in university. I worked as an assistant in the SAMRU Communications department, I volunteered for the Pride Centre, Peer Support and at SAMRU events. As well, I was elected onto the Student Governing Board in 2016. I love SAMRU. I have a deep respect for the senior operations staff, and even more so since I started my job as President. Ultimately I think the best part of working for SAMRU is the immense amount of support there is offered to students — even for me in this role now, I feel incredibly supported.

CB: So far, my favourite thing about working for SAMRU has been the people. Everyone wants to see each other succeed. The environment is very friendly and welcoming.

LC: The passion everyone at SAMRU has for their work.

CRT: Overall the best part about working for SAMRU so far has been meeting with the staff that works behind the scenes of the different centres and services provided by SAMRU.

What will you be working on this summer? 

SS: This summer, I’ll be getting up-to-speed on the work on the previous representatives, working on building team cohesion during a time where we can’t really be with each other in person, and structuring my goals so they can be accomplished within the year (fingers crossed).

CB: Most of my time so far has been dedicated to responding to students’ academic concerns regarding COVID-19. Over the summer, I will be (virtually) meeting with people from different departments across the institution to get a better idea of how we can best support students throughout the year.

LC: Setting goals for the year and meeting important stakeholders.

CRT: My work this summer will focus on in-depth research towards Dating, Domestic and Sexual Violence initiatives on campuses. As well as seeing what I can do to continue the previous legacy work that other VPSA’s have done before me.

What are you most looking forward to when the pandemic ends? 

SS: Hanging out with my Vice-Presidents and visiting my family! I’m incredibly starved for human interaction. You really don’t realize how much meetings, classes, or the local pub with friends mean to us and our mental health when they’re taken away.

CB: I’m really looking forward to spending more time with my friends and family once the pandemic is over.

LC: Seeing friends.

CRT: Once the pandemic ends, I’m looking forward to being able to go on road trips with family and spending time with friends without having the fear of catching COVID.

What’s one thing you wish students knew about SAMRU?

SS: That SAMRU is more than just the food court. SAMRU does incredible work in providing student clubs, service centres, events, cheap highballs (can’t forget that), as well as many invisible work that we, your SAMRU representatives, do, like sit on important committees throughout the school, meeting and developing relationships with top MRU officials, advocating directly to all levels of government, and just getting bombarded by information that helps us advocate for students in the best ways possible. SAMRU is more than just a food court, it’s an entity that always has the back of the average student in ways they may know about, like emergency student loans and other services, as well as ways they might never know about, like the intense amounts of advocacy and representation done.

CB: I wish more students were aware of the wide variety of services and programs that SAMRU offers, and how easily accessible they are. There’s something for everyone!

LC: The breadth of services SARMU offers.

CRT: One thing I wish students know about SAMRU would be the different services and how to volunteer with SAMRU!

How can students get in touch with you? 

SS: The Vice-Presidents and myself will soon have social media channels that you can follow where we’ll post updates and such so look out for that, but you can always contact us through our emails. Mine is president@samru.ca and I hope I hear from you, and hopefully we’ll get to meet each other in person soon enough!

CB: During #WFH times, I encourage students to contact me by emailing vpacademic@samru.ca. Once campus is open, students can stop by my office (Z230) on the second floor of Wyckham house.

LC: Students can email me at vpexternal@samru.ca.

CRT: If you’d like to get in touch with me feel free to email at vpstudentaffairs@samru.ca and when campus is open my office is always open if I am there! If you do see me around campus say hi, I’m always open to meet new students!

Any last thoughts? 

SS: It’s okay to not be okay during this time. Just because we’re in lock down doesn’t mean you have to come out of this with new skills or having checked on everyone and their dog. It’s important that, during this time, you take care of you. Check out different zoom conferences and events that are going on. My church moved online and it’s nice to see all the comments of everyone who’s also in lockdown and still get that sense of fellowship, I’ve also been listening to a lot of Indigenous folks who go live for interviews, or lessons on how to paint, as well as folks who are doing virtual music concerts.

CB: Thanks so much for your time! I’m grateful for the opportunity to represent Mount Royal students and very excited for the year ahead.

LC: Stay safe everyone.

CRT: I just want everyone to know that the REC team is here to support students and aid all of you!