Hello MRU students,
We are your 2022/2023 Representation Executive Council (REC). REC is comprised of four MRU students just like you who were elected by MRU’s student body and hired by the Student Governing Board to represent student issues to MRU and all levels of government.
The 2022/2023 executive team is, from left to right:
President Joseph Nguyen
Vice-President External, Tera Cardinal
Vice-President Student Affairs, Pamela Malec
Vice-President Academic, Yasmin Ahmed
In this post, we want to let you know about the advocacy work REC did in September 2022.
- EDI Advisory Committee
- NSO/Welcome Back
- General Faculties Council (GFC)
- Government Relations
- CASA: Indigenous Policy Revisions
- Low-sensory Room for Students
- Living Room Letters
- Career Services Communications
- Period Poverty Letter of Support
EDI Advisory Committee
All of SAMRU REC sits on a committee called the President’s Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Advisory Committee. As a committee made up of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) individuals, allies, and those with knowledge and experience in equity, diversity, and inclusion, the committee strives:
- to affirm MRU’s commitment to EDI
- to disrupt racism
- to advocate for systemic change (at MRU and in our community)
The committee provides ongoing recommendations regarding the evolving EDI framework of activities, policies, and procedures so that goals and actions can be developed, enacted, communicated, and monitored.
At this year’s first meeting, Joseph suggested the committee focus on facilitating spaces for MRU members (students, faculty, and staff) to share their personal experiences relating to EDI. Joseph also mentioned that people who share their emotional labour should be financially compensated. This was in reference to both SAMRU’s Loudest Silence event and SAMRU REC’s Position Statements. These recommendations were highly well received by the committee.
Tera, Yasmin, Joseph, and Pamela were all at SAMRU’s student welcome event with a free BBQ and carnival games. The four REC members engaged with students, informing people of what SAMRU REC does for them; this was also a great opportunity to listen to the various issues students brought up.
The team also attended the Welcome Orientation to engage with new students, deans, faculty, and MRU admin where Joseph spoke to students about SAMRU supports and practical tips on how to make the best of their MRU experience.
Academic updates: General Faculties Council (GFC)
GFC is up and running! Yasmin, Joseph, and several SAMRU volunteers attended the first GFC of the academic year. Additionally, Yasmin and Joseph have had introductory meetings with the subcommittees of GFC. GFC meeting minutes are here.
What is the GFC and why is it important?
The University is governed by a bicameral system, governed by both the Board of Governors and the General Faculties Council. Although the Board is the senior of the two bodies, both balance decision-making responsibility and authority within the institution. The Board is responsible for business policy decisions and the GFC, subject to the authority of the Board, is responsible for academic policy decisions (from the GFC bylaws).
Tera, as the Vice-Chair of the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS), attended the new Student Leader Orientation run by the Alberta Government. She met with Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides, and presented CAUS’ advocacy asks for the year, which he agreed to help work with CAUS on. Tera also had the opportunity to ask questions on what the government’s plan going forward to address student homelessness is – keeping the Alberta Government accountable.
Tera met with the Chief of Staff to Alberta’s Minister of Advanced Education, Mackenzie Kibbler to discuss student concerns and new funding announcements coming in the next 2 weeks. This announcement included increasing the number of nursing students that could be held at MRU, as well as an increase in funding for institutions to recruit new Indigenous students.
CASA: Indigenous Policy Revisions
As Director of Policy for the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), Tera met with the CASA membership to review and update CASA’s Indigenous policy. Overall, Tera and her policy committee have revised 12 policies already! These revisions were all approved at a CASA board meeting on Sept 23rd.
Low-sensory Room for Students
Pamela has asked for a low-sensory room for students with sensitivity. She envisions a large space that can host multiple-users. Pamela is advocating for those with audio/visual sensory barriers.
Living Room Letters
You may have seen SAMRU’s VPSA Pamela Malec down MRU’s main street recently! Pamela started an initiative to meet with students where they’re at. She’s got comfy seats, refreshing drinks, and snacks! In exchange, she wants to have a conversation about student involvement in extracurricular activities on campus. Visitors can also fill out a short questionnaire if they can’t stop and chat.
Career Services Communications
When Pamela realized that the Career Services newsletter went out and she did not receive one, she talked to the Director of Career Services to verify if part-time students are receiving their messages.
Period Poverty Letter of Support
SAMRU REC wrote a letter of support to lend support to MRU’s Healthy Campus Team’s request for money to get free menstruation products placed in the dispensing machines placed across all campus washrooms.
Thanks for reading!
We, your REC members, are employed in our respective roles full-time over twelve months, which means that every day is full of advocacy and representation happening behind the scenes, and dedicated to improving your student experience at MRU.
Keep your eyes open for updates, statements, and more on these and other upcoming initiatives on social media by following the SAMRU REC Twitter at https://twitter.com/samrurec. If you have questions, you can always contact us directly either at our respective emails or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit this link to learn more about the four REC members this year as well as how to potentially become an elected student representative yourself!