During the candidate platforms and interviews in March and April, the current Student Union Society (SUS) board, including Gurvir (G) Gill, Rajdeep (Raj) Dhaliwal, Jaleen Mackay, Sharnpreet (Sunny) Cheema, and Andrew Stahl gave answers on how they planned to proceed upon being voted into their elected positions. Main points brought up were the deficit from the Canoe, how student orientations would be handled, sexual misconduct prevention, and how the Student Union Building (SUB) could change to benefit the students.
The deficit from the Canoe was mentioned to be something that needed to change and shouldn’t be at the fault of the students. It had also been left ambiguous as to what exactly should happen to fix the predicament.
The current members of SUS claimed they would like to work with Student Life to better the student orientations. In particular, Cheema wanted to put emphasis on student resources during the event. It had also been brought up that the SUS student orientations take an entire day to best benefit the new incoming students. Cheema hoped to work on making friendships during the orientations due to most sexual assault cases occurring when the victim is alone and vulnerable.
Cheema also spoke on how he would handle sexual misconduct prevention measures. He would like to have security patrolling more often and to see someone in the office at all times, available to help when needed.
It’s been roughly eight months since the platforms and interviews were held. What has actually happened? The Canoe has since been shut down, therefore it will not continue to rack up a deficit, and is currently being used as a general space to hang out, study, or book for events. The claim of wanting to work with Student Life in hosting student orientations has proved to be barren. According to The Cascade, a student life representative said the SUS declined in joining a student orientation committee. There has been an emphasis of sexual misconduct prevention, as the SUS-hosted orientation was focused on the students making connections and being given information on SUS and SUB-related resources. Changes in the SUB mainly included the new basketball court. During the semester, there was talk of doing more with the Canoe space, but so far it has remained a simple multi-purpose general space for students.
Other changes that have also occurred during this semester are the changes to the long complained about shuttle bus, which operates on a better schedule now; clubs and associations budgeting has changed to encourage the groups to become self-sufficient; and the food bank service has been reopened in partnership with the Peer Resource and Leadership Centre.
In this next semester we should be able to know what exactly will happen to the Canoe and know how the deficit will be handled. There was a generally displeased response from clubs and associations after the initial budget change, and there should be more discussion on that in the upcoming semester. As per usual, we students should expect to continue to see the open-door policy formed by Gill. As the SUS is merely a representation of us students, it’s our job to make use of the open communication and voice our complaints and opinions to the SUS.
Image: Cory Jensen/The Cascade