Council CliffsNotes #2 | The Wanderer Politics

The Wanderer Politics section is here with its second edition of “Council CliffsNotes,” a quick rundown of executive reports and other relevant business for upcoming Students’ Council meetings. We explain the ins and out of upcoming meeting as simply as possible, with the intention of engaging both members of Council and every other U of A student. Tomorrow, we will post “several questions worth posing” to the SU executive, based on their reports. Cheers!

With September only one month away (well, five weeks to be more precise), life in the Students’ Union is beginning to heat up. That means the SU executive is growing increasingly busy, which might explain the fact that only Dustin Chelen made the general orders list. Though reports being posted on the late additions happens from time to time, it is something to be avoided. (In the background, there is someone whispering, “Oh, but the later exec reports are more up-to-date with what I’m working on right now.” Yes, that might be true, but a responsibility is a responsibility – you gotta meet the general orders deadline!)

Since Chelen sent in his report on time, his report is receiving the bulk of The Wand‘s coverage. It is an interesting report, to be sure. First, the SU has recently hired a coordinator of the 2012 SU Undergraduate Research Symposium, to take place in November. The fact that a coordinator will run the event is a change from 2011, where the VPA was in charge of coordinating the event. Though Chelen still plays a role in the symposium coordination (likely by meeting occasionally with the new coordinator, Mr. Gurpaul Bara), the hiring frees up important time for the VPA.

Another interesting component of the report is the Faculty Association Task Force. At first glance, there are some similarities between this task force and the Fall Reading Week Task Force from the summer of 2011, in that the terms of reference (the document describing the task force’s membership and its list of responsibilities) includes people from the SU and the University of Alberta. The Dean of Students, for instance, is a vice-chair on the new task force. This task force is something that councillors should keep a close eye on, for it could enhance the manner in which the SU works with the more specialized faculty associations, such as the Interdepartmental Science Students’ Society, the Engineering Students’ Society and the Law Students’ Association.

Two students sit on the University of Alberta’s Board of Governors, with one of them being Brent Kelly. His opening to the July 24 report is fascinating, for he writes that the U of A is on Treaty Six terriroty. Moreover, he writes that the U of A and the SU should recognize this fact, and that he will continue with this introduction until this is done. It is likely that Mr. Kelly will be asked of this introduction in the Council’s question period.

Here are some other notes, in brief:

– The SU President, Mr. Colten Yamagishi and SU Vice-President (External), Mr. Petros Kusmu, have both been in Ottawa for a Canadian Alliance of Student Associations gathering on strategy and policy-setting.

– Mr. Saadiq Sumar, the Vice-President (Student Life), has posted his first video blog (vlog) of the year. It is worth three minutes of your time. His fashionable ball cap provides a nice touch to the video, as do the captions at the outset of the speech.

– Following the failure of its membership fee renewal and a low voter turnout in the March 2012 nursing elections, the Nursing Undergraduate Association elected to be placed on probation. Dustin Chelen will work with the NUA throughout this period.

– Though summer is often the time to understand new portfolios and become acclimated to the demands of being an executive, the fact that only one SU exec made the general orders papers with his report is something that must improve.

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