News

U-Pass Service Expands to Fort Saskatchewan

News Staff - Fri May 16, 2014

Your U-Pass will now take you further. The Students’ Union is happy to announce that Fort Saskatchewan's transit service is now piloting new routes and fares until the end of next year that will have a positive impact on U of A students.

Effective from now until December 31, 2015, students will be able to use their U-Pass to ride route 198 one-way to and from Fort Saskatchewan for $1.00, as well as ride in Fort Saskatchewan for free. Commuter Route 198 will take students from Fort Saskatchewan to the LRT, creating a great link from Fort Saskatchewan to the U of A Campus.

The Fort Saskatchewan Record has further information about the pilot project.

For more information, please contact:

Simon Yackulic

External Communications & Media Advisor

University of Alberta Students’ Union

P: 780.492.4236

E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




UASU Reaches Out to Calgary Students

News Staff - Tue Apr 15, 2014

I’m unbelievably saddened by the horrific news coming out of Calgary. Our thoughts today are with our fellow students at the U of C. My most sincere sympathy goes out to the friends and family of the five deceased students, struck down in their prime.

I know that many students raised in Calgary are studying in Edmonton, and I want to reach out and encourage anyone who may be affected by these sad events to contact the U of A’s counseling services through University Wellness Service’s Mental Health Centre. The Mental Health Centre can be reached at 780-492-5205.

Petros Kusmu

University of Alberta Students’ Union President




SUB Renovation Update: Outdoor construction continuing on south side of Students’ Union Building

News Staff - Tue Apr 08, 2014

Outdoor construction work on the south side of the Students’ Union Building has begun in earnest, and as a result, there are significant changes to how people access the building. The details are as follows:

  • there is a new entranceway on the south east corner of SUB next to the Myer Horowitz Theatre parking;
  • there is no direct access from the south (specifically from the Van Vliet Centre): the stairs, the ramp and the concrete canopy above the entranceway have all been removed;
  • the concrete steps from the 89 Avenue service road to SUB (next to the pedway to the Stadium Parking lot) are now closed off. Please use the pedway to get into SUB if you are coming from Lister or the Windsor park area.

We do not expect any other changes that will affect how people access SUB. The entrances on the west side, on the north side (by the loading bay), via the ALES pedway, and on the east side of the building, will all remain unchanged.

With the concurrent construction around SUB and the new PAW Centre, we urge all users of the service road between SUB and the Van Vliet Centre to watch for and obey special signs and flag people. If you can avoid using the road, please do so. In addition, we encourage all unnecessary traffic to use alternate routes.


For more information, please contact Nigel Brachi, at subreno@su.ualberta.ca or 780.492.4241.

General information about the SUB Renovation project is available on the web at subreno.ca. The project will be funded by a referendum-approved, CPI-indexed fee of $9 per term and an annual cash contribution from the Students’ Union operating funds. Additional funding is being sought from outside donors and vendors, with some key contributions already secured from business partners of the Students’ Union.




U of A Launches Fall Reading Week

News Staff - Mon Mar 31, 2014

(Edmonton, AB) – The University of Alberta Students' Union is excited to announce the official approval of a fall reading week for the 2015 school year, which will be termed the "Green and Gold" week, at the University of Alberta.

Students have been working on creating the week at the U of A for years, with students supporting a plebiscite question in 2011 regarding the fall break. The current proposal has gone through a number of iterations, taking into consideration extensive feedback from consultations with students, faculty, and staff at the university.

“While a Fall Reading Week itself isn't a silver-bullet solution to issues like student retention, student mental health, or student engagement, I feel it will demonstrate that the University of Alberta is a national leader in supporting student success and well being,” said Students’ Union President Petros Kusmu.

“The week will allow students to take the time they need to catch up on their studies, take part in programming, work to afford school and visit family members that might live outside of Alberta, much in the way that students already use the spring reading week.”

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SUB Renovation Update: Outdoor construction to recommence at the Students’ Union Building

News Staff - Fri Mar 28, 2014

Construction work on the lower level inside the Students’ Union Building has been ongoing throughout the winter, and now it is time to start construction outside once again.

As you may know, the South entrance into SUB from the Van Vliet Centre has been closed permanently, and a new East entrance, where the quiet room used to be, is now open. This is perhaps the first real sign of one of the new features of the SUB Renovation Project!

All other entrances into SUB remain unchanged.

With the south entrance closed, we will be able to proceed with a number of other construction activities:

  • starting at the very end of March, the existing accesses from the south - the stairs and the ramp - will be removed;
  • at the same time, the concrete canopy above the entranceway will also be removed;
  • in early April, the stairs from the 89 Avenue service road to SUB (next to the pedway to the Stadium Car Park) will be closed, and will not reopen until 2015.

In line with City of Edmonton noise bylaws, construction work will only take place between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., Monday to Saturday, and 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Sundays and Holidays.

With the concurrent construction around the new PAW Centre, we urge all users of the service road between SUB and the Van Vliet Centre to watch for and obey special signs and flag people, and we encourage all unnecessary traffic to use alternate routes.


For more information, please contact Nigel Brachi, at subreno@su.ualberta.ca or 780.492.4241.

General information about the SUB Renovation project is available on the web at subreno.ca. The project will be funded by a referendum-approved, CPI-indexed fee of $9 per term and an annual cash contribution from the Students’ Union operating funds. Additional funding is being sought from outside donors and vendors, with some key contributions already secured from business partners of the Students’ Union.




Let’s Build on Our Election Successes

Petros Kusmu, SU President - Thu Mar 13, 2014

There have been a lot of concerns the last few days about the SU’s recent executive election, specifically about a ruling by the CRO that led to an appeal to the SU’s Discipline, Enforcement and Interpretation Board that was held on Wednesday. Besides comments flying around Facebook, lots of Edmonton media has shown a rare interest in what exactly is going on in the SU’s electoral process.

I want to take a moment to reflect on the amazing work that this year's candidates and their volunteers have already put in, because elections are one of the most stressful things to endure as a student. I can speak from having 6 years of experience running in them, and I know that the last few days have not been made easier on any of the candidates with allegations flying back and forth.

Elections are central to the Students’ Union’s continued success. This year we saw a record amount of candidates run in both the executive and councillor elections from a diversity of backgrounds. If anything, The Gateway made the case that there were too many candidates running this year! We saw such an incredibly diverse array of candidates step forward, including students from different U of A campuses, different faculties, international students, and female students — a trademark of the success of this year's executive’s goal to make the SU a more inclusive organization. In my 6 years of student government, the large turnout of candidates for this year’s contested executive and councillor elections was impressive and showed me how much passion people have for the organization.

That said I think the outpouring of student concerns the last few days makes it clear that we still have a lot of work to do. I think it is important to emphasize that by the SU’s own rules election results are not official until council approves them, meaning that there is time for any election decision to be contested before results are official — of course, it is important to note that the complaint to the CRO regarding this manner came in right before the unofficial results were announced. I would also like to add, for those less familiar with SU elections, that it is normal for candidates to both receive and appeal fines in any election. It is part of what keeps the process fair.

Since we want to encourage a diverse array of university students to run for SU positions, we clearly need to ensure that election rules and decisions are clear, transparent and easily grasped by the average student. I want to make it a personal priority during the last few weeks of my term to ensure that this issue is discussed at Students’ Council. If building on this year’s successes means that we need to review our rules, I hope the newly elected executive team and Students’ Council do so.

Petros Kusmu
Students’ Union President 2013-2014

Click here for the original CRO ruling, click here for today's ruling, and click here for a list of council election candidates.




New Executive Team Takes the Reins

News Staff - Fri Mar 07, 2014

University of Alberta undergraduates have selected a new executive team, voting on March 5 and 6 for the Students’ Union President along with 4 Vice Presidents and the undergraduate Board of Governors Representative.

Incoming SU President William Lau will be joined on the executive committee by newly elected Vice President (Academic) Kathryn Orydzuk, incoming Vice President (External) Navneet Khinda, Vice President (Operations and Finance) Cory Hodgson, and Vice President (Student Life) Nicholas Diaz.

The Athletics and Recreation Fee Plebiscite failed with 56% of students voting against.

Sangram Hansra was elected as the undergraduate Board of Governors Representative.

Click here for round-by-round election results.




Candidates for the 2014-2015 SU Executive Election

News Staff - Wed Feb 26, 2014

Campaigning has begun for the 2014-2015 SU Executive Election!

Decide whom you’ll cast your vote for during the campaign period leading up to the election by following the campaigns and attending the forums.

The Myer Horowitz Theatre Election Forum will be at 12:00 noon on March 3.

Voting takes place on March 5 & 6, 2014. To vote online please visit www.su.ualberta.ca/vote on one of the voting days and follow the instructions listed below.

Everything else you need to know about voting can be found here.

See you on the campaign trail!

Your 2014-2015 nominees are…

For PRESIDENT:

Adam Woods

William Lau

Bashir Mohamed

Claudius

Doge Team

For VICE PRESIDENT ACADEMIC:

Rebeka Plots

Nisha Patel

Kathyrn Orydzuk

Fahim Rahman

Stephanie Gruhlke

For VICE PRESIDENT EXTERNAL:

Navneet Khinda

Dylan Hanwell

Thomas Dang

For VICE PRESIDENT OPERATIONS & FINANCE:

Cory Hodgson

For VICE PRESIDENT STUDENT LIFE:

Patrick X. Cajina

Parjanya Joshi

Insung Peak

Nicholas Diaz

Fabian Gonzalez

For UNDERGRADUATE BOARD OF GOVERNORS REPRESENTATIVE:

Sangram Hansra

Umer Farooq




The CoSSS Fee and FGSR

News Staff - Tue Feb 25, 2014

After some discussions with our graduate student colleagues, the Students’ Union would like to clarify our stance around the CoSSS fee funding the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, something that we discussed in this video here. To be clear, the Students’ Union is not questioning the value of FGSR. The position of the Students’ Union is that a mandatory non-instructional fee (MNIF) should not fund FGSR. Instead, FGSR should be funded through instructional fees and the Campus Alberta Grant.

The primary reasons for our position include that FGSR does not provide services accessible to undergraduate students, and FGSR is central to the instructional mandate of the University of Alberta. A mandatory fee to all students should provide a service that is accessible to all students. This does not mean that every student needs to access all of the services, but rather that the unit is accessible for students to utilize. This is not the case for FGSR, which correctly only serves the needs of Graduate Students.

Beyond FGSR only serving graduate students, FGSR should not be funded through the CoSSS fee, because it is core component of the institution. Mandatory Non-Instructional Fees, as additional fees on students, should only fund services of the institution that are not core to its mandate. This is not true of FGSR. One component of being a Comprehensive Academic and Research Institution in Alberta is that the University of Alberta educates graduate students. In order to educate graduate students the University requires a Faculty of Graduate Studies. This is the role that FGSR plays at the University of Alberta and is therefore core to the institutions mandate.

On behalf of the Students’ Union, I hope this clarifies our position. It is not that we are opposed to FGSR in anyway. Instead, it is the position of the Students’ Union that FGSR should not be funded by a MNIF because it does not provide services accessible to all types of students and is central to the University of Alberta’s mandate as a Comprehensive Academic and Research Institution.

Petros Kusmu

Students' Union President




Students Concerned Elections Changes will Inhibit Youth Vote

News Staff - Tue Feb 25, 2014

Students are concerned that the proposed changes to the Federal Elections act may make it more difficult for students to vote.

“Voter turnout from students and youth is already relatively low in federal elections, a concerning sign regarding our democracy’s future,” explained U of A Students’ Union President Petros Kusmu. “We need to work towards making it easier for students and youth to vote, and find new ways to encourage them to do so. I’m concerned that these proposed changes will have the opposite effect.”

Last year, the Council of Alberta University Students worked with the Provincial Government to successfully change Alberta's Elections Act to make it easier for students to vote in Alberta. Furthermore, at the Students’ Union, we have worked this year to make it easier for students to vote in municipal elections by having multi-constituency advance polls located on campus.

With this local progress, students are hopeful that any changes to the Federal Elections Act ensure that barriers to voting for student and youth voters are removed. The currently proposed changes will remove a student’s ability to “vouch” for another student who might not have appropriate up-to-date local identification. Since many students attend university away from their hometowns, often in other provinces, this could prevent students who may have lived in a riding for the majority of their degree from exercising their democratic right.

“I’m hopeful that the federal government revisits these proposed changes, and engages in a cross-Canada consultation in regards to these changes to the Elections Act to ensure that students are encouraged to vote, instead of hindered,” Kusmu added. “Promoting youth voting is the surest way to ensure the future of our democracy.”

The Students’ Union encourages students to write to their respective Member of Parliament and Minister Poilievre. You can easily find contact info for your Member of Parliament here.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Simon Yackulic

External Communications & Media Advisor

University of Alberta Students’ Union

P: 780.492.4236

E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




University of Alberta Students and Administration Make Positive Strides to Advance Peter Lougheed Leadership College

News Staff - Mon Feb 24, 2014

As students were leaving campus for Reading Week, Students’ Union Executives were meeting with top University administrators to work through growing student concerns with the proposed Peter Lougheed Leadership College.

“We were really happy that President Samarasekera asked us to meet with the Provost, her Special Advisor, and herself to work through the remaining issues with the college,” said Students’ Union President Petros Kusmu. “This meeting was an indication of the President’s willingness to work with students to shape the Leadership College into something positive for the entire university community.”

The meeting with senior administration came on the heels of the third straight Students’ Council where the college was discussed. These discussions gave the Students’ Union Executives a clear understanding of what students needed from the proposed Leadership College.

“What we heard from Students’ Council was that students were concerned about the potentially limiting link between the proposed residence and the leadership college, and that students need to be involved in shaping the design of the college as it moved forward,” added Students’ Union Vice President Academic Dustin Chelen. “Furthermore, students want to ensure that the college remains accessible, and has a much broader impact on students beyond the originally stated 144-figure. Students’ Council advocated for increased funding for existing leadership programming like student groups, emerging leaders program, study abroad, experiential learning and undergraduate research opportunities.”

Out of the meeting, the administration and the Students’ Union Executive came to some points of understanding about both the college and the residence:

  • The Residence Hall will be a location to remember and honour Peter Lougheed’s legacy on campus;

  • The Residence Hall will be like any other residence at the University of Alberta, all of which have a variety of co-curricular programming and cohort style living opportunities. The Residence Hall will not offer exclusive leadership programming only available to 144 students;

  • Living in the residence will not impact a student’s ability to participate in the opportunities associated with the Peter Lougheed Leadership College;

  • The Peter Lougheed Leadership College will develop as expressed in the most recent documents presented to the General Faculties Council’s February 3, 2014 meeting and not previous reports;

  • The University of Alberta will at least endeavor to develop the programming and governance for the Peter Lougheed Leadership College with student input throughout the entire process, acknowledging that some conversations with donors cannot engage the University community; and

  • The goal is to eventually have at least one third of the undergraduate population directly impacted by the Peter Lougheed Leadership College. All students will have access to the Peter Lougheed Leadership College depending on their interests. The University intends to raise funds to cover the cost of programs that are part of the Peter Lougheed Leadership College, with a target of 10,000 students as intensive participants.




Students Prepare to Launch an International Students' Association

News Staff - Tue Feb 18, 2014

The Students' Union has been working closely with international students to facilitate the creation of an International Students' Association (ISA).

The following summary report has been compiled following a number of community consultations, and outlines the mandate and role that an ISA would play in our campus community:

International Students' Association Summary Report

Come and build your official International Students' Association. We are now accepting proposals for a structure that will best allow the ISA to deliver its mandate.

Proposals should address the following pieces in the context of the ISA's mandate:

  • Organizational Structure
  • Decision-making Structure and Processes
  • Organizational Values
  • Programming, Activities and Function

Please browse over this short guide to creating a proposal for a new association as a starting point, and contact Rebecca from our Discover Governance Office (rebecca.taylor@su.ualberta.ca) if you have any questions about proposal writing or the process in general.

Proposals will be due on March 14th at 11:59pm.

A town hall will be hosted by the Students' Union at 5:00 PM on March 28th, 2014 in Telus 134 for individuals/groups to present their proposals. International students are encouraged to come out and voice their opinions on how they want to be represented. The group whose proposal wins the most support among international student attendees that evening will form the ISA for the 2014-15 academic year.

Further information on the ISA can be found here.




SU Releases Discussion Paper on the Peter Lougheed Leadership College

News Staff - Mon Feb 10, 2014

The Students’ Union, asked by U of A President Indira Samarasekera to share student thoughts on the proposed the Peter Lougheed Leadership College, has taken a thorough and thoughtful approach to considering the proposal and releasing this discussion paper today. The late Alberta Premier started off his journey in politics as President of the University of Alberta Students’ Union.

This document has been informed by conversations with staff, administration, and students on our collective vision for student leadership development. This report provides a number of recommendations to foster student leaders in a way that does justice to the legacy Peter Lougheed left at the university and the province.

“Our vision is that a Peter Lougheed Leadership College should be grounded in student and university values, support existing programs, and develop new programs or facilities based on research and best practice,” said Students’ Union Vice President Academic, Dustin Chelen.

“Anything bearing the Lougheed name should be established in such a way that reflects his values, and should be championed by students, staff and the community.”

The Students’ Union hopes that a successful leadership college has buy-in and support from all groups on campus, so that all members of the University of Alberta campus community can proudly celebrate the creation of a Peter Lougheed Leadership College.

Key Report Recommendations:

  1. Separate the Lougheed residence from the Lougheed Leadership College, focusing instead on leadership development in all University of Alberta residences.
  2. Use a more consultative and informed approach to developing a Leadership College that reflects the values of the University and of Lougheed.
  3. Provide sustainable funding to Community Service Learning, Undergraduate Research, Study Abroad, and the Emerging Leaders Program.
  4. Develop leadership courses and ensure the teaching and learning environment supports the development of attributes essential to leadership.
  5. Provide greater institutional support for extra-curricular leadership opportunities like student groups, student government, and entrepreneurship programming.
  6. Foster diverse leaders through targeted outreach and access for non-traditional leaders and low-income students.

Read the Discussion Document here:

Leadership Discussion Document




SUB Renovation Update: Accessing the Lower Level of SUB during renovations

News Staff - Tue Jan 21, 2014

The latest phase of the renovations to the Lower Level of the Students’ Union Building has just begun, and will affect access to that part of the building, whether you are visiting CJSR, the University Bookstore, SUBprint or 0-22. Special provisions have been made for people with accessibility issues.

Key details are as follows:

  • To access CJSR, please use either the West staircase or the elevators.
  • To access the lower level of the Bookstore, please use the stairs inside the store.
  • To access SUBprint and 0-22, please use the East staircase.
  • The freight elevator in the loading dock area should be used for deliveries.

Accessibility

If you have accessibility issues (for example, if you use a wheelchair, have a stroller, or are on crutches) and you need to visit SUBprint, 0-22 or the lower level of the Bookstore, please go to the Bookstore’s Service Desk on the main floor. They will arrange to give you access.

Appropriate signage will be in place to provide assistance on site.

If you have any questions, please contact the main Students’ Union office at 2-900 SUB, or at 780-492-4236.

General information about the SUB Renovation project is available on the web at subreno.ca. The project will be funded by a referendum-approved, CPI-indexed fee of $9 per term and an annual cash contribution from the Students’ Union operating funds. Additional funding is being sought from outside donors and vendors, with some key contributions already secured from business partners of the Students’ Union.




Open Letter to University of Alberta Board of Governors Chair Doug Goss

The Undersigned Undergraduate Students - Fri Dec 13, 2013

Open Letter to University of Alberta Board of Governors Chair Doug Goss

We are a collection of international students studying at the University of Alberta. Throughout our degrees we have had the opportunity to engage in campus life culminating in positions of leadership within campus organizations. Our involvement on campus has given us the chance to better engage in the campus community, to help build a stronger University of Alberta community and gain an understanding of the make up of the University’s international student population. It is from this perspective that we ask you to consider the impact of the proposed tuition increases of between $1000-$1700 for international students.

First of all, having international students in Edmonton is good for the U of A. While we already pay much higher tuition rates than domestic students, we contribute much more than just financial stability to the University — we contribute diverse global perspectives that make this a truly international institution. Attracting worldwide talent to Alberta enriches Albertans just as much as it enriches us.

Having international students attend the U of A is good for Alberta. Many of us will end up staying in Alberta after graduating. This means that this diverse pool of talent that has been drawn to the U of A will not only study in Edmonton, but many of us will end up making Edmonton our home: the place that we work, live, and pay taxes.

However, and despite the clear advantages of internationalization, this massive tuition hike threatens to ruin a good relationship between international students and the U of A. The decision to study abroad is not an easy one, but at a young age we decided to leave the comfort of our families and community to travel across the world. This meant spending a lot of time considering which university would be the best fit for us, by reviewing factors including the quality and the cost of the education provided. While many of us could budget for minor cost variations, an unexpected increase to students already halfway through their education of $1700 is simply unfair, and for many, an unaffordable increase.

The current proposal doesn’t provide us with any more scholarships, and many of us are already working extensive hours to afford our education. There was no consultation whatsoever on the university’s behalf with international students in drafting this proposal. If there had been, we would have asked the University why we are paying more for less — this proposed increase is much higher than the rate of inflation, and we already know that the U of A will have fewer professors and courses next year as a result of the budget cuts. We haven’t even been told what this money will pay for, so we don’t know if it will pay to reverse the cuts the U of A has already made to our education, or if it will simply go towards paying the salary of an inefficient Administration.

This proposal doesn’t include any real justification besides cornering the one vulnerable group at the U of A that the Administration isn’t prohibited from charging more. This increase will increase stress on students who are already overworked to pay for their current tuition, and will drive international students away by causing students to drop out midway through their degrees despite already spending tens of thousands of dollars to come to study in Canada.

Sincerely,

Ana Fernandez, President, Latin American Students’ Association

Tianrui Pan, President, Chinese Students and Scholars’ Association

Tymothy Jaddock, President, Ukrainian Students’ Society

Jar-R DeLara, President, Philippine Students’ Association

Heena Sengar, President, Indian Students’ Association

Yves Lai, President, Chinese Compassion and Relief Youth Group

Mohamad Youssef, President, Canadian and Arabic Students’ Association

Abdul Hadi Hood, President, Malaysian Students’ Association

Mike McGinn, Co-Chair, Student Umbrella for Social Justice

Elaine Jar, Co-President, Chinese Students’ Club

Zartaj Habib, Vice-President (Social), Pakistani Students’ Association

Thomas Trombetta, International Students’ Representative, Augustana Students’ Association




Students Disappointed in Massive International Student Tuition Hike

News Staff - Fri Dec 13, 2013

(Edmonton, AB) – Students were left disappointed today when the University of Alberta’s Board of Governors approved a massive tuition hike for international students, despite vocal opposition from many undergraduate students.

The University of Alberta will be increasing international student tuition by 5%. The combined base tuition and international differential fee increases for international students will be between $934.80 and $1,645.20 depending on a student’s program of study.

“This is unfair to the international students who travelled across the world to attend our institution under the assumption that they would be paying one price during their time here, only to be told halfway through their degree that their costs will face a steep increase,” said Adam Woods, Vice President External.

“This year we’ve seen programs cut and professors leave in a large-scale voluntary severance package. Students are being charged more and receiving less.”

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Expanded Compassion Policy Protects Students

News Staff - Fri Nov 15, 2013

(Edmonton, AB) – The University of Alberta has updated and expanded its concessions policy for students facing hardship, making it explicit that mental illnesses, as well as reasons related to any human rights protected grounds — such as religious belief, race, or disability — are grounds for the deferral of term work.

Students who are penalized for any of the above-mentioned reasons, such as attending religious holidays, will now be able to appeal based on those grounds.

The policy change, which deals with section 23.3 of the university calendar, goes on to clarify that students can appeal any decisions involving accommodation of term work the same way that they are able to appeal concerns with marking or grading. With a growing focus on student mental health the last few years, the Students’ Union pushed to ensure that compassion for mental illnesses was explicitly stated. Students are pleased with the inclusive nature of the final policy.

"The updated policy clearly demonstrates that the U of A is continuing to grow more compassionate towards the circumstances of our diverse study body," said Dustin Chelen, Students' Union Vice President Academic.

"It allows students equal opportunity to demonstrate their learning, while not being disadvantaged by factors outside of their control."

The policy was amended by a subcommittee of the Academic Standards Committee, with leadership from Dr. Nat Kav, Associate Dean from ALES, Ada Ness from the Registrar's Office, and Dustin Chelen from the Students' Union.

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Students hope new funding will equal new commitment to Post-Secondary Education

News Staff - Wed Nov 06, 2013

(Edmonton, AB) – Today, students learned that the Ministry of Enterprise and Advanced Education would be providing the University of Alberta with an additional $14.4 million to the 2013/2014 base operating grant to deal with enrolment pressures.

The University of Alberta Students’ Union is thrilled to hear that the government of Alberta is beginning to reinvest in our postsecondary education system, and is optimistic that this is the first step towards stable, predictable funding.

“While the cuts to post-secondary education in the last budget have certainly hit at the educational quality of our institutions, this funding is an excellent first step towards mitigating the damage,” said Adam Woods, Vice President External.

“I hope that this is a sign from the government that they intend to fully restore post secondary education funding to previous levels in order to uphold their promise that last budget’s cuts were not meant to fall on the backs of students.”

The budget cuts have already been painful for the U of A, and have resulted in over a hundred staff so far leaving the U of A through a voluntary severance program, as well as decreased enrollment in the Faculty of Science. Students are also concerned that international students are being increasingly seen as “cash cows” by the institution. With less staff to teach and fewer Albertan students being admitted, the Students’ Union remains concerned about the future of post-secondary education in the province.

“With this announcement, the U of A needs to ensure that students are fully engaged when determining where this new funding will be directed,” added Woods, noting that the U of A President had already committed to talking with deans and the Acting Provost.

“Most importantly, we would encourage the U of A to use this funding to repair the damage that the cuts have caused to current programing and enrollment on our campus first, rather than using it to fund new initiatives.”

For more information, please contact:

Simon Yackulic

External Communications & Media Advisor

University of Alberta Students’ Union

P: 780.492.4236

E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Leadership College Proposal a Missed Opportunity

News Staff - Mon Nov 04, 2013

(Edmonton, AB) – In the midst of massive and unprecedented budget cuts that have already caused the University of Alberta to announce professor severances and fewer students, students are concerned that a leadership college proposal is moving forward that appears elitist and fails to take into account the requirements of the broader student population at the U of A.

In response, the SU has released a discussion paper (attached) on the Lougheed Leadership Initiative that will spark discussion on how to ensure all 32,000 U of A graduates — and not just 144 — emerge from the institution as leaders.

“I’m hearing that many students are deeply concerned over this proposal, and how it conflicts with the U of A’s promise of Uplifting the whole people,” said Vice President Academic Dustin Chelen.

“The 144-person leadership college needs to engage a significantly larger portion of the student body, and should be focused from the outset on benefiting the wider campus community,” said Chelen, referencing currently existing and still underfunded leadership development programs at the U of A like Community Service Learning, the Undergraduate Research Initiative, and the Emerging Leaders Program.

Chelen has heard negative feedback from the University of Alberta’s Students’ Council about the proposed initiative, as well as from many students who have made their concerns known over social media. Chelen noted that concerns revolve around how the current leadership college proposal is moving forward, and not with the general idea of a Lougheed Leadership initiative, which has been met with broad support.

Students are grateful for the support of the Lougheed family in promoting leadership at the U of A. As a former President of the University of Alberta Students’ Union, Lougheed will be remembered for fighting for post secondary education as key to a successful province.

The SU is currently consulting with students and administration as this project moves forward and hopes that the proposal will develop into an initiative that will allow all students at the U of A to have an opportunity to improve their leadership capabilities.

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Open letter from GBVPP on Working with Greek Community

News Staff - Fri Oct 18, 2013

In light of the recent article in the Gateway, we at the Gender-Based Violence Prevention Project (GBVPP) wish to re-state our interest in working with fraternities on the Accountability Action Project. In the Gateway article, we were asked to speak broadly to the idea of male accountability for gender-based violence and in doing so, unintentionally implied that fraternities live up to a reputation for perpetuating gender-based violence. Our intention was simply to briefly mention this perception of fraternities and explain the AAP as a way of combatting those perceptions, not to reinforce stereotypes. We would like to apologize to the Greek community for this misunderstanding and to state clearly that we believe these stereotypes of fraternities to be widely false. We do not believe fraternity members are significantly more likely than any other group of men to perpetuate sexual violence. On the contrary, we have found through our own personal experience that fraternities tend to be incredibly receptive to conversations about sexual violence and highly committed to ending violence.

What we do believe is that all men have a responsibility to learn about gender-based violence, and actively engage in changing the systems and societal factors that allow it to continue. The GBVPP uses the phrase “gender-based violence” as an umbrella term encompassing sexism and gender discrimination, homophobia/heterosexism and transphobia, sexual violence (sexual assault, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse), and intimate partner violence. Through the AAP, we want to provide additional knowledge for fraternity members to recognize gender-based violence when they see it in any form, and empower them to have conversations that spread their positive community standards into all parts of campus and other areas of their lives.

The reality is that we live in a culture that places rigid gendered expectations on men, which are reinforced from childhood on. Even in 2013, men are still typically expected to be strong, aggressive, financially successful, and stoic. Such expectations put a lot of pressure on boys and men, and it manifests in many different ways for different people. Some of the consequences of this pressure range from men feeling shamed for expressing emotions, to casual homophobia or sexism, to aggression in conflict situations, to extremes such as perpetration of sexual assault or other physical violence. These are social realities that require an active commitment on the part of men to change.

The AAP wanted to work specifically with fraternities because we have had the opportunity to see them engaging with these issues in the past through their participation in sexual assault awareness presentations. We know that being part of a fraternity is most often a positive experience in which men feel supported by their peers and choose to actively create a culture of inclusion and respect. We believe that this positive, supportive environment lends itself perfectly to having conversations about the implications of the version of masculinity widely accepted and promoted by our society. We see the huge potential for fraternities to create meaningful change around ending gender-based violence, and we hope to collaborate with you in doing so.

I will be attending the next IFC meeting on October 23rd and am happy to answer any questions. If any fraternity members wish to continue this conversation before then, we can absolutely schedule a meeting to do so.

Melanie Alexander - Gender Based Violence Prevention Project Coordinator
Parker Leflar




Municipal Elections: Advance Polls on Campus October 17

News Staff - Wed Oct 16, 2013

Students can now cast their vote for Edmonton’s municipal election while on campus!

On October 17 the SU will be hosting an advance polling station in the Alumni Room in SUB from 10am to 5pm. Students from any ward in Edmonton will be able to vote here.

Who can vote?

Anyone who is a Canadian citizen, has lived in Alberta for six months, and calls Edmonton their primary residence can vote in this election. Please check out the Elections FAQ page here for further details.

What ID do you need to vote?

You must show up at the polling station with a piece of authorized ID that has your name and your current residential address, such as a driver’s license or a utility bill. For a complete list of valid identification documents, please check here.

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Students Request Fairer Transit Fines

News Staff - Tue Oct 15, 2013

The Students’ Union is concerned about the fine structure for students who are caught on the LRT without their U-Pass.

After a law student successfully had his fine dismissed, the SU proposed policy changes to Edmonton Transit Service, hopeful that tweaking ETS’s policy could save potentially hundreds of students unnecessary time and money spent fighting punitive transit tickets. Unfortunately, the city hasn’t budged in its position.

“I’m highly dissatisfied with the City of Edmonton’s response to this,” said Vice President Student Life William Lau. “While I’ve been pleased to see that at least one student was able to avoid this fine, many others may be unaware that the option exists to challenge these tickets. I’m worried that cash strapped students are facing further fines that are, as it turns out, not in the public interest.”

The SU has proposed that students caught on the LRT without their U-Pass be given a window of time, such as three business days, to produce valid proof of payment to have their fine withdrawn. This would save court time that will otherwise be spent prosecuting students who have paid for their transit pass, but might have simply misplaced it one day.

The $250 transit fine is meant to discourage fare evaders. As students have already paid for their transit pass out of their school fees, students cannot evade the fare. This fine simply becomes a substantial punishment for misplacing a card that U of A students use for attending the gym, paying for meals on campus, or printing assignments - activities that could allow a student to occasionally misplace their ONEcard.

We encourage students to contact Student Legal Services for further information on disputing any fines. U of A law student Scott Meyer successfully fought his fine and is leading the charge for rule changes that will benefit all students who use the LRT.

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




The Students’ Union celebrates Green & Gold Day

News Staff - Wed Sep 25, 2013

September 27 is the third annual Green and Gold Day, a chance for the entire university community to show its collective pride by wearing the school colours of green and gold. This year the university is hoping to get as many people as possible into Quad at noon for a huge group photo!

The Students’ Union will be joining the celebration: throughout the day, we will be offering specials at our businesses in SUB to anyone wearing green and gold.

So show your school pride and do yourself proud with these specials at The Daily Grind, L’Express Deli, Room at the Top and Dewey’s. Just remember to wear green and gold!

The Daily Grind:
Free 12 oz coffee for the first 500 green and gold customers

L'Express Deli:
50% off Lunch between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Room at the Top:
Green Beer at $4.00 Pint from 11:00 a.m to close and free Chips with Guacamole 

Dewey's:
Green Beer at $4.00 Pint from 11:00 a.m to close and free Hummus & Pita

So... after you get your photo taken with everyone else in Quad, come on over to SUB.




Continuing Undergraduate Scholarships On Schedule

News Staff - Tue Sep 24, 2013

The Registrar's Office at the University of Alberta clarified today that the timing and disbursement of two major awards will occur in this academic year, after confusion earlier this month. Many students —able to apply for these awards in August or September in past years — were frustrated this year as they returned to campus and the scholarship applications were unavailable and listed as "under review" with no information provided as to when they would reopen.

Initial plans indicated that students would not receive funding during this academic year, but fortunately the University has now clarified that this is not the case.

"I'm glad that our best and brightest students will have the opportunity to apply for and receive these important scholarships this year," said Dustin Chelen, Students' Union Vice-President Academic.

"The Registrar's Office has made tremendous efforts to focus on helping students find their way at the University of Alberta, especially with their launch of the service centre called 'Student Connect.' Despite a difficult fiscal environment, the Registrar's Office has made changes that will give future students more notice about the opportunities available while ensuring that current students will still have the access to scholarships that they previously expected."

More information on the timing of awards can be found on the Registrar's site.




SUB Renovation Update: Phase 2 of storm sewer relocation work to commence September 28

News Staff - Mon Sep 23, 2013

Work on the Students’ Union Building Renovation will continue with the next phase of relocating the storm sewer that runs under the 89 Avenue service road between SUB and the Van Vliet Centre. This work will start on September 28 and is expected to take two weeks to complete.

Construction

The work will be done in two stages, working west to east across 89 Avenue, from Clare Drake arena toward the Students’ Union Building. Each stage will take about one week. A diagram is attached showing the approximate extent of each stage of the work.

During stage one, excavation will extend from the north-west corner of the arena to half way across the roadway. During stage two, excavation will continue across the remainder of the roadway and extend to the side of the Students’ Union Building.

Suitable measures will be taken to minimize the impact on anyone using the roadway. These may include the installation of appropriate signage, concrete barriers, site fencing and temporary lighting, among other measures.

In line with City of Edmonton noise bylaws, construction work will only take place between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., Monday to Saturday, and 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Sundays.

Traffic Impacts

The 89 Avenue service road will be reduced to one shared lane for east and west-bound traffic. Traffic will be controlled by flagmen during both stages.

During stage one, vehicles will not be able to access the west side of Clare Drake arena from 89 Avenue; the entrance will remain open for wheelchair and pedestrian traffic. The entrance off 87 Avenue will remain open.

DATS service will continue during the construction work. Access to SUB and to the Myer Horowitz Theatre loading bay will not be affected.

We urge all users of the roadway to watch for and obey special signs and flag people (and we encourage all unnecessary traffic to use alternate routes).

Construction Map

For more information, please contact Nigel Brachi, at subreno@su.ualberta.ca or 780.492.4241.

General information about the SUB Renovation project is available on the web at subreno.ca. The project will be funded by a referendum-approved, CPI-indexed fee of $9 per term and an annual cash contribution from the Students’ Union operating funds. Additional funding is being sought from outside donors and vendors, with some key contributions already secured from business partners of the Students’ Union.




SUB Renovation Update: Site preparation for Phase 2 of storm sewer relocation work

News Staff - Thu Sep 19, 2013

Recent activity on the Students’ Union Building Renovation project (see also our Update issued August 30) has included excavation work to remove obsolete steam pipes between the 89 Avenue service road and the Students’ Union Building.

The large concrete planter on the south side of the Students' Union Building was removed to facilitate access to the existing storm sewers.

This was the final work needed in order to prepare the area for Phase 2 of the storm sewer relocation, which is expected to start on September 28. A separate Update will be issued early next week with full details of the Phase 2 work.


For more information, please contact Nigel Brachi, at subreno@su.ualberta.ca or 780.492.4241.

General information about the SUB Renovation project is available on the web at subreno.ca. The project will be funded by a referendum-approved, CPI-indexed fee of $9 per term and an annual cash contribution from the Students’ Union operating funds. Additional funding is being sought from outside donors and vendors, with some key contributions already secured from business partners of the Students’ Union.




Get Involved!

William Lau - Wed Sep 18, 2013

Well, Orientation and Week of Welcome sure passed by quickly — I hope you had a chance to see what your Students' Union could do for you and our campus community! By the way, what was your favourite Week of Welcome event?

Anyways, it's not only the Students' Union that builds a campus community — it's every one of you. What I love about the University of Alberta the most is that every one of us are encouraged to change and better the community. If you want to take part in building a strong, healthy campus, register for the Heroes for Health initiative ASAP and let's start brainstorming! If you're more of an observer, I would encourage you to join us on the benches to support our Golden Bears and Pandas!

Now if you are like me and seek pure bliss through volunteering, I would love to offer you an amazing opportunity with the International Centre. Join their Peer Program to meet students from across the world, and broaden your perspectives. Be a host to an international guest, and a mentor to a new student.

We also have many opportunities within our own SU services. For example, Safewalk is a safe and reliable alternative to walking home alone at night. We give everyone that peace of mind at night by being an effective response to crime on campus. By default, every member of the University of Alberta is already a client of ours! You need no prior security/self-defense training, just a smile and legs that are ready to walk! Applications are due soon though (September 24th) for the Fall term and can be dropped off in 0-22 SUB at the Safewalk desk.

Anyways, I don't want to overburden you with too much good news - welcome (back) to the University of Alberta and I hope to see you around!

William Lau

@uasuvpsl

vp.studentlife@su.ualberta.ca

WOW photo credit: Jason Yuen




The Daily Grind sets up shop, RATT reopens!

Josh Le - Wed Sep 18, 2013

Room At The Top, affectionately known as RATT, is not only your campus bar but also conveniently hosts the best view of any bar in Edmonton and is located on the 7th floor of your Students’ Union Building. We just finished a complete renovation to the kitchen in August in preparation for the new school year. We’ve heard your feedback over the years and we’re responding with an entirely new experience at RATT. Expect delicious food and drinks (16 local and imported draught beers on tap), great service, and an unmatchable atmosphere at your newly renovated RATT.

The Daily Grind is the Students’ Union’s new coffee and smoothie shop. This summer, we combined the operations of Cram Dunk and Juicy into the former Java Jive space in SUB. We are proudly serving Fairtrade Certified coffee along with a variety of expresso-based drinks. For the non-coffee drinkers, there are gourmet tea options, sparkling Italian sodas, and healthy smoothies. Our snacks include a variety of delicious baked goods and many gluten free options.

As with all Students’ Union businesses, the profits generated fuel the operations of the Students Union to serve you better. Let me know how you like the changes, and what we can do to make your SU businesses even better!

Josh Le

vp.operations@su.ualberta.ca

@uasuvpfinance




Getting Involved in SU Advocacy!

Adam Woods - Wed Sep 18, 2013

Our institution is currently facing extreme financial shortfalls due to the recent provincial budget cuts. As VP External, I’ve spent this past summer emphasizing to the government the importance of quality within the classroom. I’ve also worked hard to ensure the government keeps Premier Redford’s promise; that these cuts will not fall on the backs of students. The Students’ Union has made it quite clear to the government how more regulations are needed to ensure the University cannot drastically increase the cost of our education during financially tough times.

Want to get involved and help me make a difference? Join me with the Students’ Union’s External Advocacy Team, which will be starting up in September. The EAT will assist in running any externally-focused campaign the Students’ Union engages in, and you will be providing lobby training so you can learn how to effectively advocate. You may even be presented the opportunity of attending an actual lobby meeting with an MLA.

As many of you are aware, Edmonton will hold City elections in the month of October. As a means of getting students engaged in this process, the Students’ Union will be working together with the Students’ Association of MacEwan University and the NAIT Students’ Association in order to mobilize the student vote.

On this particular project, the Students’ Union and City of Edmonton need your help. We are looking for seven students to help run the U of A’s on campus advanced voting station. Students will receive training on the 12th of October in SUB, and then be asked to spend all day on the October 17th running the voting station. You will be paid $135 total for both training and working the station. In order to participate, you must not be visibly involved in any municipal election campaign. If you’re interested, please shoot me an email.

That is all I have to update you on at this time. If any of you want to talk government or better understand the SU’s stance on something, feel free to call my office. My door is open and I am always happy to set up an appointment.

Adam Woods

@uasuvpexternal

vp.external@su.ualberta.ca




U of A Withholds up to $500,000 in Scholarships

News Staff - Thu Sep 12, 2013

(Edmonton, AB) – Without any student or donor consultation, the University of Alberta has unilaterally decided not to award $300,000 - $500,000 in scholarships this academic year.

“The administration has informed me that due to reconfiguring their awards system and weaknesses in their IT system, hundreds of existing student scholarships will not be given out this year,” said Vice President Academic Dustin Chelen.

“The very real, immediate consequence of this decision — made after the school year has already started — is that students currently in their last year of studies will probably not be able to receive any of this scholarship funding.”

Scholarships that were previously distributed between December and January will now be disbursed in June. Students were still anticipating that these scholarships were going to be distributed before winter semester. This delay ensures that students will not be able to receive any of these funds during this academic year, and students in their last year of studies will not have a chance to apply to any these scholarships.

This decision will effect up to 350 undergraduate academic and leadership scholarships.

“University access and affordability has been a challenge for many students in recent years, in a large part due to the increased costs of attending post-secondary,” said Chelen. “While a tough economic climate has meant that many students are having trouble paying for their education, there was always the consolation that studying hard and getting involved in campus life could lead to scholarship support.”

“I hope that donors know that students who desperately need their aid are not getting it this year. I really hope that the university will rethink how this is going to affect a large number of its most involved students.”

For more information, please contact:

Simon Yackulic

External Communications & Media Advisor

University of Alberta Students’ Union

P: 780.492.4236

E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




SUB Renovation Update: Construction Activities for planned SUB Renovation to begin in September

News Staff - Fri Aug 30, 2013

Beginning in September, construction work on the new addition and renovations to the Students’ Union Building (SUB) will commence on 89 Avenue west of Celebration Plaza and east of Stadium Car Park. The project will include a new outdoor plaza on the south side of SUB, which will support a variety of student outdoor programs and activities, and a new patio at the north entrance to the Physical Activity & Wellness Centre.

This activity will complete the second phase of the underground services relocation and the provision of new storm water lines; phase one was completed on schedule earlier in August.

New landscaping will be introduced to provide welcoming entrances to SUB and the PAW Centre, creating a student-focused, open-air space that supports student operations and activities. This will include five new Brandon elms, and up to 300 new shrubs and 250 new perennials.

The Project Team has worked hard to minimize the impact on the existing landscaping and to keep as many trees in the immediate area as possible. 23 mature trees in the vicinity will be maintained, and protected in accordance with the university’s Horticultural Tree Protection guide. They include ten American elms, one Manchurian elm, five spruce, two ash, one linden and four trees north of the Phys-Ed West Building.

A total of 12 mature trees will be removed; several of them are not in good health, and some cannot be relocated because they are too close to existing building and/or utility lines. In addition, 10 to 15 multi-stemmed shrubs, and other plant material, will be removed.

The SUB Renovation project is being done in stages: the landscaping work is expected to be completed by the Spring of 2015.


For more information, please contact Nigel Brachi, at subreno@su.ualberta.ca or 780.492.4241.

General information about the SUB Renovation project is available on the web at subreno.ca. The project will be funded by a referendum-approved, CPI-indexed fee of $9 per term and an annual cash contribution from the Students’ Union operating funds. Additional funding is being sought from outside donors and vendors, with some key contributions already secured from business partners of the Students’ Union.




Cuts to the University of Alberta freeze Albertans out of Higher Education

News Staff - Wed Aug 21, 2013

Cuts to the University of Alberta freeze Albertans out of Higher Education

With the Faculty of Arts cutting 20 programs and the Faculty of Science slashing enrollment for the second year in a row by 300 seats, students are bearing the full brunt of the U of A’s budget cuts.

The Government of Alberta promised that Alberta’s budget would not be balanced “on the backs” of students, yet it has become clear that the $43 million cut from the U of A’s operating budget is now shutting Albertans out of their own university programs.

“With 600 spots in Science cut in just two years, more and more Albertans are going to be prevented from pursuing post-secondary education,” explained Vice President Academic Dustin Chelen. “Likewise, the proposed suspension of Arts programs, coming suddenly in late August, has forced students to face the quickly approaching semester in a state of confusion, as they continue to learn about these institutional changes from the media, and not the university.”

“The lack of transparency over these budgetary decisions makes it unclear as to what extent, if at all, these measures will actually help solve the U of A’s deficit. The U of A is a public institution, and Albertans are right to be concerned that current and future students are paying the price for the U of A’s budgetary deficit.”

Government of Alberta to Review U of A’s Finances

Students have recently learned that the Government will be reviewing the U of A’s finances. It is unclear at this point how transparent the process will be, how involved students will be as U of A stakeholders, or what this means for overall financial transparency at the U of A.

The Students’ Union believes that students and the academy should be privy to detailed budgetary information and should be part of any financial reviews of the institution, especially in light of recent budget cuts.

For more information, please contact:

Simon Yackulic

External Communications & Media Advisor

University of Alberta Students’ Union

P: 780.492.4236

E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca


The Collective Body of Arts Students, which represents students in the Faculty of Arts, said in a statement:

“Last Friday (August 16, 2013), the Dean of Arts announced that admissions to programs in the Faculty of Arts with historically low enrollment will be suspended effective immediately. In the memo sent out to Department Chairs, which is available to the public, Dean Cormack outlined the process used in determining which programs will be cut.

One of the guiding principles was that student demand should dictate which programs will continue to receive funding and support. Remaining relevant with students is a value that CBAS holds, however we do not agree with the definition currently used by the faculty. Demand needs to be based on the number of students applying to the program, not the number currently enrolled in the program.

CBAS does not support the suspension of arts programs that will limit opportunities available to future arts students. CBAS will endeavor to work with the faculty to minimize the effect these suspensions will have on current and future students. While we understand the current financial realities our institution faces, we cannot support actions that hinder any present or prospective students of the Faculty of Arts.”

Questions for CBAS may be directed to Kelsey Mills at coda@thecbas.ca

The decision to suspend the programs in Arts will be made after feedback has been received by the Dean of Arts on September 3rd. Students are encouraged to also send their feedback to the SU to help inform the formal decision-making process. Letters should be sent to vp.academic@su.ualberta.ca


The Interdepartmental Science Students’ Society, which represents students in the Faculty of Science, said in a statement:

“The ISSS believes that a decreased enrollment in the Faculty of Science and an entrance average of over 80% is detrimental to the Faculty and to the province of Alberta as a whole. There is a high demand for Science degrees, as students want to be in Science, but the cuts will ultimately prevent a large number of Albertans from having this opportunity.

Beyond preventing students from getting a Science education, the cuts will decrease the quality of education for students in the Faculty (with a decrease in academic/non-academic staff and course suspensions). Time spent interacting with professors is essential to a quality education; larger class sizes and less diversity in course options will negatively impact the quality of our education.

As previously released, the Faculty of Science is seriously looking at introducing fees specific to our lab sections, though we've yet to see any details surrounding what the fees will cover. We may end up paying more for less quality and diversity in our education.”

Shauna Regan 2013-2014 President

Fahim Rahman 2013-2014 VP Academic

Questions for ISSS may be directed to Shauna Regan at president@isss.ca




SUB Renovation Update: Site Prep work for planned SUB Renovation project to begin in August

News Staff - Thu Aug 01, 2013

Site preparation work for the planned Students’ Union Building (SUB) Renovation will begin in August, with the relocation of a storm sewer. The storm sewer runs under the 89 Avenue service road between SUB and the Van Vliet Physical Education & Recreation Centre.

Initial work will start on August 6; excavation is expected to begin on August 10 and will take approximately two weeks to complete.

Construction

The work will be done in approximately 20 metre segments, from east to west, as the storm line is moved. Suitable measures will be taken to minimize the impact on anyone using the roadway. These typically include the installation of appropriate signage, concrete barriers and site fencing, among other measures.

In line with City of Edmonton noise bylaws, construction work will only take place between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., Monday to Saturday, and 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Sundays and Holidays.

Traffic Impacts

The 89 Avenue service road will be reduced to one shared lane for east and west-bound traffic. A flag person will be in place to direct traffic.

DATS service will continue during the construction work. For ease of access, DATS vehicles will reverse the direction that they usually go through the turning loop.

Access to SUB and to the Myer Horowitz Theatre loading bay will not be affected.

We urge all users of the roadway to watch for and obey special signs and flag people (and we would encourage all unnecessary traffic to use alternate routes).


For more information, please contact Nigel Brachi, at subreno@su.ualberta.ca or 780.492.4241.

General information about the SUB Renovation project is available on the web at subreno.ca. The project will be funded by a referendum-approved, CPI-indexed fee of $9 per term and an annual cash contribution from the Students’ Union operating funds. Additional funding is being sought from outside donors and vendors, with some key contributions already secured from business partners of the Students’ Union.




SUB Renovation Notice: Construction Underway on 3rd, 4th and 6th Floors

News Staff - Fri Jun 07, 2013

Work has begun on the renovation of portions of the 3rd, 4th and 6th floors of SUB. Once completed, these newly-renovated areas will feature prayer space, meeting space and a new student governance centre.

Access to The Gateway offices on the 3rd floor, as well as Dean of Students offices and the CAPS meeting room on the 4th floor, will remain intact throughout construction. Other meeting rooms on the 4th floor (rooms 420, 424, 426 and 430) are no longer accessible.

Student group offices on the 6th floor will remain accessible until they are vacated in late June.

We anticipate construction of all three floors to be completed by the end of August.


For more information, please contact Nigel Brachi, at subreno@su.ualberta.ca or 780.492.4241.

General information about the SUB Renovation project is available on the web at subreno.ca. The project will be funded by a referendum-approved, CPI-indexed fee of $9 per term and an annual cash contribution from the Students’ Union operating funds. Additional funding is being sought from outside donors and vendors, with some key contributions already secured from business partners of the Students’ Union.




Students' Union and University Administration Resolve Lister Hall Dispute

News Staff - Mon May 06, 2013

Joint statement from Acting Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Martin Ferguson-Pell and Students’ Union President Petros Kusmu:

The University of Alberta administration and the Students’ Union executive have settled a dispute related to changes made to the student residence, Lister Hall, announced last July.

This is great news for the university, and we look forward to continuing to work together productively in the future.

The major points of the agreement include:

  • a facilitated process to arrive at consensus with respect to the meaning and requirements of consultation;
  • confirmation of the 2008 MOA between the Lister Hall Students’ Association and Residence Services, with a commitment to update the MOA;
  • students will be in the majority on the Residence Advisory Committee;
  • the university will provide the Students’ Union with current and historical data related to alcohol-related incidents in residences;
  • the Students’ Union will provide feedback on the existing alcohol policy;
  • a student representative will serve as a member of the hiring committee for the position of Assistant Dean of Students, Residence Life;
  • the university will seek staff, student and community input as part of the review of residence operations related to the changes announced in July 2012; and
  • the university makes final decisions on whether the current alcohol policy as articulated in all University Residence House Rules (including Lister Hall – Residence Specific Rules) should be modified in any way, effective for September 2013. The university will consult with the SU regarding any such proposed modifications.



Tuition freeze helps protect students from budget cuts

News Staff - Fri Apr 12, 2013

Edmonton, Alberta – Alberta's post-secondary institutions and student organizations were told Thursday that tuition for the 2013/14 academic year will be frozen at current levels, supplemented by $16 million in additional funding. Alberta's universities, colleges, and technical institutions are being challenged by the Government of Alberta to find financial efficiencies without resorting to student tuition or fees and today's announcement is a part of that plan.

"We are happy to see today's announcement and the government making it clear to Albertans that these cuts are not to be put onto the shoulders of students and their families," said Raphael Jacob, chair of the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) and VP External at the University of Calgary Students' Union. "Tuition and student debt is already well above the national average in Alberta and has more than tripled since the 1990s so any move to keep that cost down is welcome."

Currently Alberta undergraduates pay on average $5,883 per year in tuition which is $300 more than the national average along with the highest non-instructional fees in Canada. Alberta also has the lowest post-secondary participation rate in Canada, with only 17.5% of Albertans between 18-34 years old in post-secondary education compared to 23.8% nationally.

The controversial letters of expectation, now called memorandums of understanding between institutions and government, will be delayed until September following a period of consultation with stakeholders. CAUS provided its initial thoughts to Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education and is available for download at http://caus.net/letterofexpectation/

The tuition announcement comes following a 7% cut to institutional operating funds from the Government of Alberta, the largest such cut in 20 years in the March 7 provincial budget. Student debt is also slated to go up in Alberta, with provincial student loans budgeted to go up from $268 million in 2011/12 to $425 million to students next year.

CAUS has been advocating that the costs of post-secondary education should be predictable for students in the long run and a predictable model would include both provincial regulation on tuition and fees. In Alberta, fees other than tuition remain unregulated and are a major loophole for post-secondary institutions to circumvent the tuition freeze.

"Today's announcement is an important step to protecting Alberta students from the painful cuts in the provincial budget," said Jacob. "But we have to start working on what the next steps for a long term plan to invest in our system and what our tuition and fees policy will be, not just next year, but for years to come."


The Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) represents the interests of students at the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge.




Lunchtime Town Hall Addresses Cuts

News Staff - Thu Mar 28, 2013

About 200 students joined the lunchtime crowds around SUBstage on Tuesday to attend a Town Hall on the recent cuts to post-secondary education in Alberta.

With The Gateway’s April Hudson and CJSR’s Matt Hirji moderating, SU President Colten Yamagishi and Vice President (External) Petros Kusmu gave an overview of the state of Alberta’s post-secondary education system in light of the cuts, with Kusmu touching on the provincial budget, post-secondary participation in Alberta and student debt. Yamagishi discussed student tuition and fees at the University of Alberta and the historical trends that have seen tuition rise by almost 300% after inflation since the early 90’s.

Yamagishi also outlined the Students’ Union’s immediate priorities in responding to the budget cuts, which include:

  • Maintaining a high quality of education for current and future University of Alberta students

  • Guaranteeing that students are highly involved in the discussion on budgetary decisions

  • Protecting valuable student services that are already funded by students through non-instructional fees

  • Ensuring undergraduate students do not face unjustified increases to fees

  • Informing the government of the negative effects of a cut of this magnitude on the student experience

  • Empowering students to advocate for those aspects of the University of Alberta experience that are most valuable to them.

A number of students who came out to the Town Hall shared their concerns with the crowd, which included concerns about administrative costs and mandatory retirement for professors. Other students emphasized the need to mobilize in order to respond forcefully to the cuts.

The SU shares the concerns about the ballooning growth of the university administration, and the SU also shares the same concerns as many staff — as Yamagishi voiced in the Town Hall — that mandatory retirement does not solve the institution’s structural deficit and would be a poor way to react to the budget cuts.

The SU is appreciative and supportive of efforts by students to mobilize and voice their frustration with the cuts, and continues to encourage students to get involved.

The SU is also appreciative of the many MLA’s of all parties who attended the forum to listen to student concerns and share their own views. As this is just one opportunity for student feedback, the SU aims to continue to collect student opinions on both the cuts and how to move forward.

To view the recorded Town Hall, please check out the Students on Budget website.

To contact your faculty association and get involved, check out the Council of Faculty Associations Website.


There has been some misinformation about SU President Colten Yamagishi’s answer to a question regarding mandatory retirement of university staff. His answer in full is has been transcribed below. The question may also be viewed at the beginning of the Town Hall video, which you can access here.

“That’s a great question. I think you’re really touching the root of where some of these issues come from and where the government, I believe, is trying to address with some of the initiatives that they are putting forward.

When we look at increases to staff salaries and we look at the increments that they get every single year, we see 2% plus 2%, plus an increment on top. So we’re looking at basically a minimum 4% increase to staff salary every single year. When the institution is looking for a 2% increase, we look at that 2% gap — where are we going to get that 2% in funding?

One thing that Minister Lukaszuk has brought up in the past few days was he was talking about the potential for staff salary freezes and how that will change the scope of how our operating budget is growing compared to these staff wages. One thing I think we need to be very careful about when we talk about staff freezes is that this is something that we looked at in 2009 — we looked at the mandatory retirement and giving people early buy-out packages.

The way I look at this is it is somewhat of a Band-Aid solution, making people retire at 65. You can’t force someone to quit their job whenever you feel like it. There are certain freedoms that need to be protected for our staff. However, I think looking at staff salaries is definitely an interesting way to look at the way we do human resources, to look at the way we do wages and compensation, and finding a model that works with the annual growth rates that the institution gets.

Not to say that, a 7% funding cut is always going to make it tougher to find a way to fill in these gaps, but I think we need to make sure, as students, that these gaps aren’t funded on the backs of students. We can’t continue to pay the extra 2% every singe year, and we need to find a long-term solution that’s going to solve this for us.

To give you an answer about early retirement: Do I think it’s a great idea? Not necessarily. I don’t think that we can restrict people to when they have to end their employment. But I do think that we can take a look at how wages and compensation are done at the university. There is what is called the Renaissance Committee being led right now between the academic staff association and the Administration, and hopefully these will be able to find some of the efficiencies that I believe the government is looking for.”


For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




U of A Students Concerned About Potential Massive Tuition Hikes

News Staff - Fri Mar 22, 2013

At a University of Calgary Town Hall yesterday, the Administration indicated that they had future plans to seek “targeted increases in some programs” — otherwise known as Market Modifiers, substantial tuition increases in certain faculties. At the University of Alberta, the President has told students that all options are still on the table.

The last time that Market Modifiers were approved, some faculties at the U of A saw tuition rise by over 66%, in coordination with similar tuition hikes at multiple public provincial institutions.

The Provincial Government has promised students that tuition will not be raised. We expect that this means that the current tuition cap will remain in place and that tuition will only rise by inflation. This system allows Albertan families to have clear and predictable targets when saving for post-secondary education. Students at the U of A already pay some of the highest university tuition and fees in Canada, which helps to explain why Alberta also has the lowest post-secondary participation rate in the country.

The Government of Alberta has repeatedly told Albertans that the past massive tuition hikes in the form of Market Modifiers will not happen again, referring to the past Market Modifiers as a one-time proposal. As these Market Modifiers have already “modified” program tuition fees in certain faculties, students expect that already high tuition in these faculties will not see further increases.

With the faculty/student ratio getting worse at our institutions, higher Market Modifiers no longer make sense — especially considering that the Administration has failed to show that past fee increases have been related to any sort of educational quality improvement for students.

The Students’ Union believes that Alberta’s education system must allow any qualified Albertan to receive an education, and is worried that an inappropriate response to budget difficulties could seriously impair the province’s future.

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




New Executive Team to Confront Challenging Times

News Staff - Tue Mar 12, 2013

University of Alberta undergraduates have selected a new executive team, voting on March 6 and 7 for the Students’ Union President along with 4 Vice Presidents and the undergraduate Board of Governor’s Representative.

Incoming President Petros Kusmu, currently the SU’s Vice President (External), noted that his team appeared to be coming up against a challenging year.

“I’m excited to have been chosen to fight for students in these challenging times,” Kusmu said, referencing the upcoming provincial budget’s 7.2% cut to the University of Alberta. “That said, I’m also looking forward to finding new opportunities to better the student experience throughout the next year as well.”

Kusmu will be joined on the executive committee by re-elected Vice President (Academic) Dustin Chelen, incoming Vice President (External) Adam Woods, Vice President (Operations and Finance) Josh Le, and Vice President (Student Life) William Lau.

The U-Pass Referendum once again passed by a large majority, with 84% of students voting in favour. The ISSS FAMF Referendum also passed, with 58% of undergraduate science students voting in favour of the fee.

Brent Kelly won an uncontested race, and was re-elected as an undergraduate Board of Governors Representative.

A full breakdown of election results can be found on the SU Elections website.

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Students' Union Reacts to Budget Cuts

News Staff - Tue Mar 12, 2013

The University of Alberta Students' Union is seriously concerned about the future of post-secondary education at our institution and in our province. With the U of A facing a 7.2% cut in provincial funding, students are concerned for the quality of their education, and worried that they might be targeted with further fees in order to make up the budget shortfall.

“Alberta has the lowest post-secondary participation rate in Canada already. Further fees, and further debt, will just further discourage more Albertans from attaining an education,” said Vice President (External) Petros Kusmu.

“These further cuts to educational funding will just add to an ongoing erosion of Alberta’s post-secondary system. Tuition has already gone up by nearly 300% after inflation in the last two decades, as the student/faculty ratio has become worse. Students are already paying more for less.”

The Students’ Union believes that Alberta’s education system must allow any qualified Albertan to receive an education, and is worried that an inappropriate response to budget difficulties could seriously impair the province’s future.

The Students’ Union Responds

Since the cuts were announced last Friday, the Students’ Union has been taking action. This week, President Colten Yamagishi and Vice President (External) Petros Kusmu have been speaking to various political parties, Members of the Legislative Assembly and Premier Alison Redford. Yamagishi and Kusmu, working in conjunction with the SU’s partners in the Council of Alberta University Students, have been clear to all parties that these cuts will hurt quality, and cannot be balanced by simply increasing tuition or tuition disguised as additional fees.

The Students’ Union wants to hear your concerns, and wants to ensure that students are fully informed about how serious these cuts could be. The SU will be spending this next week and a half meeting with concerned undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders while at the same time collecting and disseminating information about what the 7.2% reduction in funding means to undergraduate students.

The Students’ Union realizes that the impact of these cuts will be realized both in the short term and over the next few years, and that the cuts could have an extremely negative long term effect on post-secondary education in the province. Realizing the long-term effects of the cuts, the Students’ Union is preparing a long-term strategy to deal with the cuts and any resulting fallout.

“Looking forward, we are going to look more critically at both the provincial and university’s budgets with the interest of protecting student services and university quality,” added Kusmu. “This isn’t going to resolve itself overnight, but we need to fight the long fight — for current and future students — to ensure that Alberta has a strong and accessible post-secondary system for decades to come.”

Join Us

The Students’ Union is eager to hear student feedback, and encourages interested students to contact the SU for opportunities to involve yourself in this process.

Once we have had an opportunity to discuss budget impacts with faculty associations, the Graduate Students’ Association and other impacted groups, the SU will host a Town Hall to share its findings and elicit further feedback. Tentatively, this forum will take place at SUBStage on Tuesday, March 26 @12:30.

Students: For more information, please contact:
Petros Kusmu
Vice President (External)
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: vp.external@su.ualberta.ca

Media: For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




2013 Candidates for the Executive and Board of Governors Representative

News Staff - Fri Feb 15, 2013

News Staff - Fri Feb 15, 2013

The nomination deadline has passed and the candidate lineup for the 2013 Students’ Union executive election is set!

Your 2013-2014 nominees are…


President

Anthony Goertz

Horse with a Gun (Joke Candidate)

Petros Kusmu

Saadiq Sumar


Vice President (Operations and Finance)

Josh Le


Vice President (External)

Adam Woods


Vice President (Academic)

Dustin Chelen

James Hwang


Vice President (Student Life)

Kevin Smith

William Lau


Board of Governors Representative

Brent Kelly


2013 Referendum Question

Students' Council has approved the following question to be on the 2013 Executive and Board of Governors Representative General Election Ballot:


Do you support the continuation of a Universal Bus Pass (U-Pass) subject to the following conditions?

1) The U-Pass would provide unlimited usage of regular transit service through Edmonton Transit System, St. Albert Transit, and Strathcona County Transit during the Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer Terms only to undergraduate students enrolled in at least one course for credit within the participating municipalities' service area during the Fall, Winter, Spring, or Summer Terms.

2) The cost of the U-Pass to each student would be mandatory to any student enrolled in at least one course and would follow the price structure below:

  • 2013-2014: $122.92

  • 2014-2015: $129.17

  • 2015-2016: $135.42

  • 2016-2017: $141.67

3) The following students may opt-out of the U-Pass:

a) Student enrolled in work-experience, co-op, or a practicum outside of the participating municipalities service area for a majority of a term;

b) Students unable to make use of ordinary transit services by reason of disability; and

c) Students employed by Edmonton Transit System, St. Albert Transit, or Strathcona County Transit.


4) Students enrolled at Augustana are exempt from the U-Pass.


Decide whom you’ll cast your vote for during the campaign period leading up to the election by following the campaigns and attending the forums.

The first will occur Wednesday February 27 at 6 p.m. in Lister Centre’s 2nd Floor Cafeteria.

Voting days are March 6 & 7. On those days, you can vote online or at the polling stations in SUB and Campus Saint-Jean.


See you on the campaign trail!




Students’ Union Reflects on Administrative Appointments

News Staff - Tue Feb 12, 2013

We would like to send our sincere congratulations to Martin Ferguson-Pell, Carl Amrhein, and Lisa Collins as they begin and renew exciting roles serving the University of Alberta this year. Ferguson-Pell will be extending his term as Acting Provost in place of Amrhein, who will be taking a prestigious 14-month position with the Conference Board of Canada to explore our University system and help set the direction for the future of Post-Secondary Education in Canada. Collins will be stepping into her new role as University Registrar this summer and we are looking forward to working closely with her to better the student experience.

We would like to send our congratulations to these three individuals and would especially like to thank our current Registrar, Gerry Kendal, for all of the great work that he has done and is doing for our students.

Colten Yamagishi

Students’ Union President

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Student summoned for investigation over email

News Staff - Wed Jan 16, 2013

The Students’ Union is concerned that actions taken against a student in Lister Hall will have a chilling effect on dissenting opinions.

"It’s completely inappropriate for Residence Services to be using University of Alberta Protective Services when a student simply expresses disagreement with Administration decisions," said Vice President (Student Life) Saadiq Sumar.

“We have confirmed that at least one student was summoned to answer UAPS investigators for sending an email that simply expressed disagreement with a Residence Service's decision. This is an institution of higher learning — students should never fear being investigated or charged under the Code of Student Behavior for expressing concern with a decision made by Administration.”

Students have been speaking out against actions that the Administration has taken in Lister. Before the winter break, a student was evicted from Lister in a case that many students saw as being part of a larger administration crack down on the residence, as the student was the Vice President of Lister’s Schaffer Hall. One Lister resident, Luke Kissick, responded to the eviction by writing an email to a residence administrator expressing frustration and asking for the evicted student to at least be allowed a fair appeal. Within the email was a quote from Reg Lister — who Lister Hall is named for — on dealing with student residents. Kissick contrasted Reg Lister's advice with how Residences Services was treating students.

“You are doing the wrong thing. Do not evict Kody. This will negatively affect Schaffer residents,” read his email. “You have worn him out. You have bullied him to defeat. You look like a villain in the eyes of students.”

“Please reconsider your decision, and at least let Kody have a fair appeal process.”

Rather than give Kody a fair appeal, Residence Services responded by lodging a complaint with UAPS. UAPS summoned Kissick to a meeting, informing him that failure to meet and discuss the email would “result in a Code of Student Behavior investigation proceeding without [Kissick's] input.”

Kissick, then on a co-op term, felt pressured to miss work in order to meet with UAPS, who gave him a “warning” regarding the email. The Students' Union is worried that these actions will scare other students from speaking out against actions taken by University Administration in the future.

“We need the Administration to state unequivocally that students won’t be penalized or harassed for simply disagreeing with the actions of Residence Services,” said Sumar. “It speaks volumes if students are no longer allowed to honestly inform residence administrators how their actions are negatively affecting residence life.”

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Students' Union files for judicial review

News Staff - Mon Jan 14, 2013

The University of Alberta Students’ Union has filed for judicial review in response to the Administration’s continued unwillingness to revisit their improper and unilateral changes to Lister Hall. These changes, undertaken over the summer break when most students were off campus, ignored the responsibility that a public institution has to consult with its constituent groups when creating change.

Changes included terminating 46 students jointly employed by the Administration and by the Lister Hall Students’ Association, which had the effect of leaving many floors in Lister dangerously unprepared for the start of fall semester as residents came to campus. The Administration also announced major changes to the character of the student body in Lister and the disciplinary codes of the residence. The decisions were undertaken without proper consultation with the student population, in contradiction to motions approved by the General Faculties Council and Board of Governors and in violation of agreements between the University and the Lister Hall Students’ Association.

Since the Administration first forced the changes on Monday, July 23, the Students’ Union has proposed reasonable and balanced solutions to the situation that have been rejected by the Administration. Students have raised concerns with subsequent actions undertaken by the Administration towards Lister residents, and the Students’ Union is troubled by the way that the Administration has responded to student concerns.

The Students’ Union cannot allow the Administration to continue to ignore the interests of students and agreements that have been made with students. While still holding out hope that the Administration will agree to follow the proper protocol and procedure that it is bound by, the Students’ Union has filed for judicial review to have a court correct the Administration’s actions from this past summer.

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




A Holiday Message from the Students’ Union

News Staff - Sun Dec 23, 2012

The holiday break has finally arrived. I’m sure for many of you, winter vacation couldn’t have come soon enough. I want to congratulate all of our undergraduates on the completion of the semester, and urge everyone to take the next few days to recuperate and reenergize in the company of family and friends.

This holiday is a good time for us to reflect on the University’s promise, Uplifting the Whole People. It is our challenge as your Students’ Union to ensure that post-secondary education is truly accessible for all students. We need to ensure that rural students, students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and FNMI (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) students are not prohibited from attending the U of A as many currently are— not only by the cost of tuition but also by the living expenses attributed to attaining a post-secondary education.

The Students’ Union will continue to advocate for students in the New Year on issues including the Fall Reading Week, mandatory non-instructional fee regulation, and the protection of the Lister Hall community. Be sure to check out the Students’ Union website for updates on the construction of the PAW Centre and the SUB renovation as both projects continue to progress.

On behalf of the Students’ Union, I want to wish everyone happy holidays and thank all members of our campus community for their support this past semester. We want to personally thank our undergraduate students for allowing us to serve you this year. I hope that you all have a relaxing break, and will join us refreshed and prepared for a new semester in January.


The SU has been doing its part to spread Holiday cheer throughout December. On Friday, December 7, the SU kicked off the holiday season by hosting its 18th annual SU Holiday Party for Kids.

This year over 400 kids from Kindergarten to Grade 6 from St. Benedict Elementary School met Santa and had their first taste of university life. "This event provides inner city elementary school children the chance to be on campus and have a very positive experience to encourage them to attend the university later in life as students,” said Vice President (Student Life) Saadiq Sumar.

“It also provides our students with an opportunity to give back to the community and provides them with a chance to relieve some stress during their study time," Sumar said, adding a big thank you to all the volunteers, along with the SU’s programming and venues staff, who managed to pull off a great day despite a busy finals season.

80 student volunteers came out to the event to help with craft making, cookie decorating, caroling with Santa and a movie screening of Charlie Brown’s Christmas.

Holiday Photos

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Breaking Ground on the PAW Centre

News Staff - Tue Nov 06, 2012

The construction of the U of A’s new Physical Activity and Wellness (PAW) Centre has taken a big step forward this week, with Monday’s official groundbreaking ceremony.

“The PAW Centre is a truly outstanding addition to our campus, as is the visionary process by which it has been created,” said Students’ Union President Colten Yamagishi.

“This new Centre, built out of a great partnership with the university community, will add real and significant value to the university experience of future undergraduate students, and I’m very proud of what we have all achieved here.”

The PAW Centre will be composed of a social street connecting multiple buildings and a new, eye catching climbing complex that will rise high next to the Butterdome and faces south towards the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy. Students are turning out in higher numbers than ever before to take advantage of the physical health facilities on campus, making the current fitness centre crowded — the new building properly quenches this thirst for athletic improvement, with a larger, more open fitness centre with modern equipment and ample use of natural light.

“The new PAW Centre will feature expanded student lounges, multi-purpose rooms and eagerly awaited community kitchen space, where programming may soon be offered to enable students to enhance their culinary knowledge,” Yamagishi added.

“We envision the social street that will run through the Centre will bring students together in their athletic endeavors as well as socially, and further enhance the sense of community that our predecessors have built on this campus. It is projects like this that truly add to the student experience, that give students space to meet, to collaborate and to grow.”

The PAW Centre has been a key project for the Students Union, with previous Presidents Rory Tighe, Nick Dehod and Zach Fentiman working hard alongside Vice Presidents Andy Cheema, Saadiq Sumar, Kristen Flath, Steven Dollansky and SU general manager Marc Dumouchel in order to bring the project to completion.

While undergraduate and graduate students will be contributing $30 million to the project, further support from the Government of Alberta to the tune of $4.5 million, $10 million from an anonymous donor and $17.5 million from the University of Alberta will combine in order to create something that will greatly benefit the entire U of A community.

Yamagishi added that the successful undergraduate referendum to build the PAW centre was also groundbreaking, proving that students aren’t necessarily fee averse when they recognize value.

“Students approved the PAW Centre referendum fee because they can see the great value it will add to the student experience,” Yamagishi explained.

“Furthermore, the student levy to support this, $29 per fall or winter term and $14.50 per spring and summer session, will only be charged to students once the building is completed. This is important, because in the interest of fairness only the undergraduates that will be actively using the facility will pay for it.”

Further information about the PAW Centre can be found here where the SU will be posting project news and updates as they occur.

Groundbreaking

Groundbreaking

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Students' Union Remembers Peter Lougheed

News Staff - Fri Sep 14, 2012

The University of Alberta Students’ Union salutes the memory of Peter Lougheed, former Alberta Premier, Students’ Union President (1951-1952), and distinguished University of Alberta alumnus, who recently passed away.

Lougheed will be remembered for founding the still governing Progressive Conservative political dynasty, which he led as Premier for 14 of the party’s 41 years in government. As Premier, Lougheed worked to preside responsibly over Alberta’s natural resource development, creating the Heritage Savings Trust Fund.

Lougheed had a large impact on campus, foreshadowing the impact he was to have on the provincial landscape after graduation. As a student, Lougheed started his political career as Freshman Class President, played football for the Edmonton Eskimos, covered sports for The Gateway, joined a fraternity, and served students as Public Relations Officer and finally Students’ Union President.

As a student politician, Lougheed will be remembered for fighting for post secondary education as key to a successful province. Speaking to Edmonton’s Rotary Club in 1951, Lougheed warned that high salaries in industry, among other factors, were resulting in declining student enrollent at the U of A, a serious problem that had to be rectified.

Coverage by the Edmonton Journal stated that “(Lougheed) charged every citizen with the responsibility of seeing that an adequate supply of professional men in all fields is promised for the future development of the province.”

“That Lougheed’s contributions to this campus and to Alberta as a whole still resonates with so many people speaks to his great legacy as one of the most visionary premiers in Canadian history,” said Vice President External Petros Kusmu. “It is humbling to think of the great role models who have studied here before us at the U of A, and the amazing things that they have gone on to accomplish.”

Lougheed
Text

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




SU Response to Gateway articles

News Staff - Wed Sep 05, 2012

The Gateway recently published two articles (see links below) regarding the Lister situation that the Students' Union felt necessitated a response.

Below is our response.


Dear Editor,

I read with interest this week’s editorial “Students’ Union far from transparent.” The article rather missed the point, and I would be happy to provide some clarification.

First, I want to address your concern that this “affects a minority of SU fee-paying students” and with that your concern about the $40,000 in professional fees. Lister Hall is the largest student residence at the U of A, and the Administration has refused to follow proper processes with our students there. There is a natural power imbalance between a university and its students, and agreements for consultation between the two are one of the ways to ensure that students have a say in their university experience. We are a $10 million organization representing over 30,000 students, and while the SU runs events, businesses and many other services, ensuring that the Administration cannot unilaterally force changes over students is one of the core reasons we have a Students’ Union protecting the student voice. Since we need to negotiate and deal with other groups within the U of A community, including the Administration, it is understandable that there needs to be an allowance for closed-door discussions among elected student representatives, much as the university Administration has scheduled closed and in-camera sessions to discuss strategy and matters that must be kept confidential.

The SU is digging in over Lister not just because it is our largest student residence, but also because if the Administration can decide that agreements and Board of Governors motions do not apply to them in this case, why should we expect them to hear student concerns in any other situation? The editorial discusses the Memorandum of Agreement that the SU is “hung up on” but declines to discuss the Board of Governors motion that directed decisions regarding Lister to be made by the Lister Hall Students Association and the Administration nor does it reflect the fact that all major changes to Residence Codes must first be passed through the GFC Campus Law Review Committee – a major step that was undoubtedly forgone. The U of A is a public institution, which means it is run by a public Board of Governors that keeps it accountable to the citizens of Alberta. If the Administration is no longer accountable to the Board of Governors regarding Lister, than the Administration can walk over students in all other facets of university life as well.

Now let me address the concerns that the Administration has raised. None of the Administration’s concerns were regarding incidents that happened during the summer. If these incidents were of concern over the school year, the proper thing for the Administration to do would be to discuss changes with the LHSA, not to announce the changes in July when most students are away from campus. Consultation involves working with stakeholders to create change, not announcing that you have already made a decision and informing the stakeholders an hour before the changes are implemented and released to the public.

The Administration raised concerns with events in Lister from years ago that the Students’ Union would never condone, but is confident that the LHSA has dealt with. The evidence the Administration provided to the SU included a mix of links to Youtube videos from years ago, exaggerated and inaccurate depictions of tower competitions that have changed multiple times in the last decade, and pages of screen captures from the University of Alberta memes Facebook page. It seems that a primary concern of the Administration was dealing with its institutional image on social media, which is concerning considering that the Administration then decided to publicly paint Lister as a residence “that fosters and celebrates alcohol abuse and vandalism.” This was offensive to thousands of U of A Alumni who have lived in Lister, as well as current students, who have seen and experienced an entirely different picture of residence life.

The U of A has proposed changes to address what they have called health and safety concerns. The administration’s actions make clear where their concerns actually lay. The have banned alcohol from public areas, where students formerly could monitor each other’s behavior and take care of students who have over consumed, and instead directed students to drink in their bedrooms, away from the common areas. Adults can drink in Alberta when they turn 18, so many U of A students are going to drink regardless of the rules. Instead of drinking in a safe setting with their peers, they may over consume behind closed doors in their rooms, or off campus where we have no ability to monitor drinking at all. While this might address concerns with our institutional image, it does little to put the health and safety of students first.

The $10,000 in student association training fees was to cover training for LHSA staff that is normally provided by the Administration through Residence Services. As Residence Services failed to actually employ enough RA’s for the start of the school year, leaving the health and safety of Lister residents in jeopardy, the Students’ Union felt that it was necessary to assist the LHSA in this extraordinary situation and ensure that their staff were properly trained for conflict resolution, crisis intervention, etc. which are no longer a part of their job description but that the FC’s are volunteering their time to do in the absence of hired/trained RA’s to ensure our students’ safety.

The SU has ensured that these funds have only been spent on training fees, including training materials and costs for trainers and speakers. Yes, the LHSA did attend a training retreat at Camp Hela but all of the related costs for these activities were covered solely by the LHSA.

Sincerely,
Students’ Union President Colten Yamagishi & Vice President (Student Life) Saadiq Sumar


For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




University Administration Stalls Lister Negotiations

News Staff - Tue Aug 07, 2012

After agreeing to negotiate in good faith with the Students’ Union and Lister Hall Students’ Association, the University Administration has stonewalled reasonable proposals for a compromise on changes to Lister Centre.

On Friday, the Administration and student leaders discussed principles that could be followed to resolve the dispute. The Students’ Union and Lister Hall Students’ Association were prepared to move forward on the issue, and, by all indications, so was the Administration. It was understood at the time that all parties had the best interests of the University of Alberta community at heart.

Today, the Administration appears to have retracted any effort at compromise, instead presenting student leaders with a document akin to the administration’s original proposal. They have now asked students to sign an agreement similar to the Memorandum of Agreement signed in 2009 that the Administration has already breached with these changes.

The Students’ Union is unable to explain this about-face by the Administration, which is now disregarding obligations that have been spelled out in signed agreements with students and motions of the Board of Governors. The University Administration reports to the Board of Governors, and it should be troubling to all Albertans that the Board of Governors of a public institution was sidestepped in these matters.

The Students’ Union is trying to resolve this dispute quickly, to the benefit of former student employees at Lister who expected to have secure employment prior to these changes, to the benefit of thousands of past, current and future Lister residents who have voiced outrage at these changes, and to the benefit of the University of Alberta as a whole. The Students’ Union is proposing solutions that will protect all that is good about Lister’s heritage while proposing positive solutions to address any concerns. The Administration, on the other hand, is prepared to further tarnish the University of Alberta by prolonging this dispute and painting all residents of Lister with a negative stereotype. The University of Alberta deserves better.

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Students and Administration Expect Progress on Residence Changes

News Staff - Fri Aug 03, 2012

The University of Alberta Students' Union and the Lister Hall Students' Association are entering into important discussions with the University of Alberta administration concerning Lister Centre. All parties have the best interests of the University of Alberta and the University of Alberta community at heart. Recognizing the swiftly approaching fall semester, the participants expect that these discussions will address the concerns of all parties in a way that will be productive, fair, and timely. We expect that we will arrive at a resolution early next week.

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




University terminates 40 student-staff

News Staff - Thu Aug 02, 2012

With the passing of its response deadline today, Residence Services has terminated 40 of its student-staff members who refused to agree to the newly created staff positions.

These 40 students were democratically elected in March to dual roles as LHSA officers and Residence Services employees. In an attempt to sever students' ties with the LHSA, the University administration unilaterally changed the conditions of their employment last week, and provided the students with ten days to respond to a new offer. Of the 46 staff members who received the offers, 40 declined and 38 have chosen to remain officers of the LHSA.

This leaves the University administration with two weeks to hire 36 student-staff positions for the new Residence Assistant roles as well as all 4 Senior RA roles. The latter in particular are designed to be filled by residents with experience in the Floor Coordinator role. Recruitment for these roles will be very difficult due to the limited pool of applicants with Lister leadership experience.

All 40 of these positions will have to be filled in time for staff training, which begins in the middle of August. Residence staff training provides student leaders with skills such as suicide intervention, conflict resolution, and listening skills that are vital to effectively support a floor of mainly first-year students. It has, in the past, been considered a compulsory condition for Residence Services employment. It is unclear what will happen if any positions remain vacant through move-in, when new students are most vulnerable.

Today the Dean of Students, Frank Robinson, has written to student leaders that declined continued employment with Residence Services. Robinson has told each that each "is the one best suited for the job now." With this letter, the Dean of Students has presented additional offers — waiving the mandatory meal plan and encouraging involvement with the LHSA — to student leaders who choose to remain as Residence Services employees. The terms of this offer were unclear in the email.

While the University administration is having to continually adapt the proposal because of implementation oversight, the Students? Union has remained resolute throughout the process that working on a consultation framework that arrives at evidence-based solutions by December 2012 is the best way forward.


In yesterday's University press release, the acting Provost mentioned an all-or-nothing SU negotiating position that has compromised progress. This could not be farther from the truth. The Students' Union has proposed a consultation framework that would allow any solution to be considered — including the University administration's proposals — so long as they are backed by evidence.

In the attached letter of commitment, sent by the University administration on July 30, the University administration continues to refuse to revert the changes and enter into consultations regarding the merits of their proposal. The Students' Union and LHSA remain committed to ensuring the University administration engages in open discussions about the proposal's virtues, not its implementation.

Attachment 1: Proposed Letter of Understanding
University of Alberta (student concerns annotated inline by University of Alberta Students' Union / Lister Hall Students' Association)

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students' Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Lister Hall Updates from the Students' Union

News Staff - Wed Aug 01, 2012

The Students’ Union holds the health and safety of Lister residents in the highest regard. The SU is concerned that with students arriving in roughly one month and new problematic changes being made to the student staff structure and the residence alcohol policy, the residence will start the year in a volatile position. The SU has offered a framework for how the Lister Hall Students’ Association, Students’ Union, and University Administration can work together to create positive changes in Lister but the Administration has refused to work with the proposed terms.

Most importantly, the Administration does not clearly recognize the SU’s concern with their disregard for due process. The SU is not asking the Administration to reverse these changes simply because an overwhelming number of students and alumni oppose them. The SU is asking for the reversal because these changes were made without consulting the Lister Hall Students’ Association prior to implementation. This action violated agreements the Administration had with the LHSA as well as a motion approved by the Board of Governors, the highest governing body of the University of Alberta.

The Students’ Union has made it clear that an immediate rescission of these changes would not mean it will not consider aspects of the current proposal; it merely implies that this proposal is subject to the research and constructive discourse that should be expected of any proposal that is adopted by an academic institution like the University of Alberta. The consultative framework proposed by the SU would address issues in a timely and effective manner and would allow for implementation by the time new residents arrive in 2013.

If the Administration refuses to follow signed agreements that they have made with students, it is impossible for students to take the Administration’s frequently shifting position on the Lister changes at face value. If the Administration refuses to follow the Board of Governors, every Albertan should be concerned that the University of Alberta — a public institution — is no longer operating as mandated by the Government of Alberta.

The Students Union has a number of concerns that the specific changes the Administration has brought forward lack the full consideration that would have been given had the Administration entered into a consultation with students prior to the implementation of the changes. The Administration initially claimed that they had made the changes without student consultation due to urgent health and safety concerns, which they explained forced them to release the changes in the middle of summer even though most students were off campus. It now appears that their concerns are not urgent, but based on factors in Lister that would not be affected by changes to the Lister staff structure. In January, the LHSA was told that future consultation on these matters would happen in the upcoming fall, leaving the SU and LHSA blindsided by last week's announcement.

The Administration has asked students for evidence against its proposal. However, the burden of proof remains with the University Administration to demonstrate the positive impact that restricting consumption to student rooms will have on health and safety. The Administration’s proposal lacks a concrete evidence-supported connection to positive health and safety outcomes for students.

The Administration cannot simply ignore Board of Governors' motions, break agreements, propose unreasonable changes, and then simply modify their position and call it a “compromise.” The Students’ Union is ready for the Administration to honour their agreements with the LHSA and follow the Board of Governors motion by reverting the proposed changes and working together to find the best solution for the addressed problems.

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Lister Hall Myths and Facts

News Staff - Tue Jul 31, 2012

While the Students' Union was meeting with the University administration on Friday, July 27, a post appeared on their blog that attempted to dispel commonly held myths surrounding the proposed Lister changes. It is clear from the administration's response to public reaction that they are not actively listening to the concerns, but are instead convinced that the outcry is due to mass confusion. The problem is not that the community doesn't understand the proposal; the problem is that they were never given the opportunity to respond. The SU is responding to the University's post with its own set of Facts that clarify the impacts of the administration's actions.

The myths below are taken directly from Colloquy, with Students' Union responses written below.

Myth #1: There will be no second-, third- and fourth-year students in Lister.
Fact: There will be upper year students now, though it is important to note that the original proposal received by the Students' Union and the Lister Hall Students' Association did not include Orientation Volunteers or LHSA staff. In discussions with the administration, it became clear that they had not considered the impact of this proposal on either of these groups.

In addition to this, the Students' Union is concerned that the administration has approached the Graduate Students' Association to begin recruitment from the non-undergraduate student population. Placing one or two graduate students as student-staff leaders on a floor of undergraduates is unlikely to create an engaged, balanced living environment.

Myth #2: There will be no more elected floor coordinators.
Fact: This proposal, if implemented in its current form, would severely undermine the LHSA's ability to fill FC positions for the upcoming year. Beyond this point, the role that the elected FC plays on the floor will be impeded, as the unelected RA will be used to fulfill tasks that are currently the responsibility of the FC. The lack of a democratic selection process for the RA will remove the automatic credibility enjoyed by elected residence life staff, and an unbalanced power dynamic between two Residence Services staff and one LHSA representative on a floor is very likely to develop.

Myth #3: The Lister Hall Residents' Association has been eliminated.
Fact: While the LHSA has not been eliminated as a student group—this is beyond Residence Services' power—these changes severely impact its ability to recruit and transition staff. Further, the actions of the University administration put into question their commitment to properly work with the LHSA and the Students' Union on matters that impact students, as mentioned in the 2009 Memorandum of Agreement signed between the LHSA and Residence Services.

Myth #4: Lister is going dry.
Fact: Alcohol consumption is being relegated to the small, private dormitories of Lister residents. Since Lister's inception in the 1960s, alcohol consumption has been permitted in the floor lounges, which are viewed as living rooms. The SU and LHSA have serious concerns that this change will negatively impact student health and safety in Lister.

Drinking will not be discontinued, but will instead be marginalized to regions where the staff has little chance to monitor healthy consumption habits—bars and dorm rooms. If the safety of our students is of paramount concern, this must be addressed.

The impact on acceptable drinking areas in other residences remains unclear at the moment, as the administration has not further defined how shared spaces in HUB, East Campus Village, and Résidence Saint-Jean will be affected.

Myth #5: Students have no say in Lister Hall changes; students and/or LHSA were not consulted.
Fact: It is important to note that the framework for conversations that began in 2008 was created in response to student protest that arose due to lack of consultation. Residence Services signed this framework agreement, even though they did not follow the agreement in creating this proposal.

A week after the administration announced these changes they are still unable to state the emergency nature of health and safety concerns for staff and students. While the LHSA has been a part of discussions about aspects of this proposal, most components have never been discussed with the LHSA and prior discussions did not provide evidence-based practices to the LHSA. It is vital to restate that discussions about implementation of final decisions do not constitute proper consultation regarding the merits of the plan. This proposal has serious repercussions for health, safety, and student engagement at Lister; something that would have been raised had proper consultation been undertaken.


Continually, the University administration has cited the urgency behind this proposal as a reaction to emergent health and safety concerns. However, as can be seen in this graph, calls to emergency telephone lines have experienced a significant decline since 2007.

Emergency Calls

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Broken Promises, Lost Tradition — University of Alberta Lister Residence Changes

News Staff - Mon Jul 30, 2012

The Administration has continued to stonewall students with its proposed changes to Lister Centre. In response to student requests for a collaborative look at improving Lister, the Administration has cited unspecified “health and safety” matters as the reason that the Memorandum of Agreement between the Administration and student residence associations was ignored, along with Board of Governors' motions that required the Administration to work with, not against, student residence associations. As of today, July 30, it has been a week since the Administration first unilaterally announced the changes. Despite our request last week to view the evidence by today, the Administration has continued to withhold specifics of what “health and safety” concerns exist in Lister. Statistics show a significant reduction in disciplinary incidences over the past three years in Lister, leading the Students’ Union to be skeptical of the Administration’s unsubstantiated claims.

The University Administration reports to the Board of Governors, and it is should be troubling to all Albertans that the Board of Governors of a public institution seems to have been completely sidestepped in these matters. It is equally troubling that an institution so outwardly committed to collaboration with students, staff, alumni and the broader university community has continued to burn bridges by ignoring its mandate to consult with these groups. This proposal features no fewer than eight changes to the operations of Lister, most of which have never been discussed with the Lister Hall Students’ Association or the SU. The University of Alberta can do better.

Thousands of alumni, thousands of current students and generations of future students have been affected by these unilateral changes to their home. The SU is working with the LHSA to collect postcards from all of these affected constituent groups at www.PostcardsForLister.ca to send to U of A President Indira Samarasekera and ask her to reverse the changes and work with students to create positive change in Lister.

Attachment 1: Response and Resolution to the Residence Changes Proposed by the University of Alberta
University of Alberta Students’ Union / Lister Hall Students’ Association

Attachment 2: Residence Consultation Framework
University of Alberta Students’ Union / Lister Hall Students’ Association

Attachment 3: Response from the University to the Above Proposals
University of Alberta (student concerns annotated inline by University of Alberta Students’ Union / Lister Hall Students’ Association)

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




No Consultation — University of Alberta Lister Residence Changes

News Staff - Mon Jul 23, 2012

This morning, the University of Alberta announced major changes to Lister Centre, drastically altering the employment conditions of 46 students and dramatically changing the fundamental structure of Canada’s largest undergraduate residence. The Students’ Union was not consulted on this proposal.

Click here to read FAQs and click here to contact University officials about the issue.

“This decision from the U of A to post sweeping changes to student residence without properly consulting the Students’ Union or any residence association is in direct contradiction to the 2009 Memorandum of Understanding, a signed contract between the Lister Hall Students’ Association and the U of A,” said Students’ Union President Colten Yamagishi.

“The U of A’s actions directly contradict the Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education’s commitment to consult with student leaders and listen to student concerns on issues that affect them. These actions are gravely disappointing — it has become clear that students aren’t receiving the same level of respect or consultation from university officials.”

Prior to this unilateral move by the University, students who held the role of floor coordinator or hall VP were elected by their peers and were joint employees of the LHSA and the University, a model of cooperation and trust between students and their institution. These changes fit with the University’s increasing tendency to marginalize the student voice, and will allow the University to ignore student concerns further.

“Lister’s democratic system of having student representatives elected and accountable to the students they serve has been an important cultural aspect of the residence, and one of the key reasons that Lister has been so successful,” said LHSA President Eric Martin.

“The LHSA had high hopes coming into this year, and we were excited to do what we could to strengthen the bond between our association and the U of A’s Residence Services. It is disheartening to see that this is how they’ve decided to start our year off.”

The Lister residence has been an integral part of student life at the U of A for 50 years. Thousands of U of A alum were outraged when the University attempted to make similar changes in 2008, and the University agreed to consult with students on any future changes. The University has risked its relationship with thousands of alumni, thousands of current students and generations of future students with this unilateral change.

Click here to read FAQs and click here to contact University officials about the issue.

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




U of A Students Respond to Shooting

News Staff - Fri Jun 15, 2012

U of A Students Respond to Shooting

The University of Alberta Students’ Union (SU) and Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) responded with sadness today to the robbery-shooting that took place early Friday morning.

“We’re shocked at the violence and saddened by the news that these individuals lost their lives,” said SU President Colten Yamagishi and GSA President Ashlyn Bernier. “Our thoughts go out to the families of the victims.”

“It is in these tragic moments that we must stand strong as a community, and we offer our support to the Dean of Students’ office and the University of Alberta community.”

SU Vice President (Academic) Dustin Chelen expressed his gratitude for the University’s display of compassion, allowing students the option to defer final exams scheduled today.

Students have been touched by the messages of support and the condolences that have been flowing into the U of A from across various social media platforms.

“This has been a difficult morning for our students, and especially for those who live on campus,” added GSA Vice President (Student Life) Huimin Zhong and SU Vice President (Student Life) Saadiq Sumar.

“In light of these tragic events, we’re just thankful that our students in the affected residence were unharmed.”

The SU and the GSA encourage any students who have been affected by the shooting to make use of the counseling services that the University is providing at Lister Hall.

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236 E:ecma@su.ualberta.ca

Ashlyn Bernier
President – Graduate Students’ Association
gsa.president@ualberta.ca




SU Responds to Minister’s Statements

News Staff - Thu May 31, 2012

Comments from the new Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education on Market Modifiers, mandatory non-instructional fees and the relationship between the Province and university students have caught the attention of student leaders, coming as SU executives prepare for a summer of lobbying.

It appears that the Students’ Union’s lobbying is being heard loud and clear. Alberta’s Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education recently stated in question period that the previous imposition of Market Modifiers — massive tuition jumps in professional faculties — were a “one-time initiative” and he explained that there are currently “no plans to reintroduce Market Modifiers.” Previous attempts to reopen the debate by the U of A’s Faculty of Law without consulting the Students’ Union were also shut down by the province, and these recent comments deliver a clear message that the debate surrounding market modifiers has finally concluded.

As for non-instructional fees, which the UASU believes have been used by the University of Alberta as a backdoor method to raise tuition by going around the CPI cap, Minister Khan added, “students need to know that any new fees have to add value to their education.”

When asked about the possibility of massive student strikes occurring in Alberta that would mirror Quebec’s, Khan explained that he was looking forward to meeting with students to maintain an already “strong relationship.” UASU Vice President (External) Petros Kusmu echoed the minister, noting that he hoped to continue the positive relationship between the Students’ Union and the Ministry.

“We’re happy that Mr. Khan has used his first opportunity to address the Legislature to express his commitment to maintaining our relationship and hearing student concerns,” said Kusmu. “We’re also very encouraged by the position he has taken in regards to Market Modifiers, and look forward to discussing these issues further with him.”

Kusmu hopes to use the summer to engage with elected representatives and ensure the student voice is heard loudly.

“It’s a great opportunity now, to build rapport with MLAs and Ministers, get our name out there and start building on our lobbying priorities,” said Kusmu, noting that he will be expanding his lobbying role in his new position as CAUS vice chair.

The University of Alberta Students’ Union is a member of the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS). CAUS will be lobbying against non-instructional fees being levied on students without proper consultation, pushing to reform the Election’s Act which has unfairly stifled the student vote, oppose municipal taxes on student dormitories, review rural grants and bursaries and stand against any new Market Modifier proposals.

For more information please contact:

Simon Yackulic
External Communications and Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students' Union
1-780-492-4241




Students launching “Get out the Vote” campaign for provincial election

News Staff - Wed Mar 28, 2012

The University of Alberta Students’ Union, together with their partners at the University of Calgary and University of Lethbridge, is launching a campaign to “Get Out The Vote” for the April 23 provincial election. The campaign will officially kick off at the University of Alberta today where SU Vice President Farid Iskandar will announce the number of students signed up to date, as well as highlight the rest of the campaign and events leading up to election day.

Date: Wednesday, March 28
Time: 12:00pm
Location: Myer Horowitz Theatre, Students' Union Building
Participants: SU President Rory Tighe, SU Vice President (External) Farid Iskandar, and Get out the Vote volunteers

For more information please contact:
Jonathan Taves
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-4236
C: 780-707-2263
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca

Farid Iskandar
Vice President (External)
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-4236
E: vp.external@su.ualberta.ca




Students have decided the Students’ Union’s executive team for the 2012-2013 school year

News Staff - Fri Mar 09, 2012

Chief Returning Officer Zach Fentiman announced the results of the March 7 & 8 vote to an expectant and tense crowd of candidates and their volunteers late Thursday evening.

Elected to the position of President was Colten Yamagishi, 2011-12’s Vice President (Student Life). Victory for Colten was declared in the fourth round with 63% of the vote.

Dustin Chelen won the title of Vice President (Academic) in the fourth round with 59% of the vote.

Petros Kusmu will advocate on behalf of students to government as Vice President (External). Petros received his majority 52% in the second round of ballots.

Incumbent Vice President (Operations & Finance) Andy Cheema got voter approval for one more year, earning victory in the fourth round with 53% of the vote.

Saadiq Sumar will oversee events and protect student interest in residences as Vice President (Student Life). As the sole candidate in his race, Saadiq beat out the “None of the Above” option in the first round with 81% of votes.

Brent Kelly earned voters’ trust to speak for students as the Board of Governors Representative. He achieved victory in the second round with 54% of the votes cast.

The total number of ballots cast in this year’s election was 6,313, a voter turnout rate of 21.6%.

For more information please contact:
Zach Fentiman
Chief Returning Officer
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-7102
E: cro@su.ualberta.ca




Candidates for the 2012-2013 SU Executive Election

News Staff - Fri Feb 17, 2012

The nomination deadline has passed and the candidate lineup for the 2012 Students’ Union executive election is set!

Your 2012-2013 nominees are…

For PRESIDENT:

Adi Rao
Colten Yamagishi
Farid Iskandar
Big Notorious

For VICE PRESIDENT ACADEMIC:

Quetzala Carson
San Ruth
Dustin Chelen
Kelsey Mills

For VICE PRESIDENT EXTERNAL:
Adam Woods
Dorothy Roberts
Petros Kusmu

For VICE PRESIDENT OPERATIONS & FINANCE:
Andy Cheema
Mike McGinn
Murtaza Jamaly
Jessica Nguyen

For VICE PRESIDENT STUDENT LIFE:
Saadiq Sumar

For UNDERGRADUATE BOARD OF GOVERNORS REPRESENTATIVE:
Brent Kelly
Rebecca Taylor

Decide whom you’ll cast your vote for during the campaign period leading up to the election by following the campaigns and attending the forums.

The first will occur Tuesday, February 28 at 6 p.m. in Lister Centre’s 2nd Floor Cafeteria.

Voting days are March 7 & 8. On those days, you can vote online or at the many polling stations around campus.

Everything you need to know about voting can be found here.

See you on the campaign trail!




U of A and SU host national discussion about academic materials

News Staff - Thu Feb 09, 2012

Students face many rising costs for pursuing a university education, not the least of which is that for academic materials. This Thursday and Friday, stakeholders will discuss changing technology and approaches to creating and distributing textbooks and other products necessary for postsecondary education.

Educators, students, publishers, librarians and retailers will discuss how to ensure academic material industry quality and prosperity, now and in the future, during the Canadian Roundtable on Academic Materials, hosted by the U of A and the Students’ Union.

The first sessions began early Thursday morning, and will continue February 9-10, all throughout each day. Anyone interested in listening in on the sessions at any point can sign in as a guest here.

“New technology is changing the way academic materials can be used and distributed,” said Emerson Csorba, SU Vice-President (Academic) and an organizer of the conference.

“This conference presents an amazing opportunity to get all factions together to discuss how academic materials can become more affordable while still maintaining, or even increasing, their value to students.”

The medium for the conference is Elluminate, which is an online platform similar to Skype. By conducting the conference online, costs are minimized for all students and other participants involved.

Participating libraries, faculties and student associations come from all over Canada, including McMaster, Dalhousie, Saskatchewan, UBC, and Calgary. Major publishers, such as Cengage, Pearson and McGraw-Hill are also attending.

Topics at the conference will be presented by a variety of speakers from across Canada. Some topics include: Copyright Law; varying perspectives around digital books, academic materials and textbooks; the significance of the newly established Apple iTunes U initiative; and setting common strategies for CRAM in 2012 and beyond.

The last time CRAM took place was in 2008.

For more information please contact:
Jonathan Taves
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-4236
C: 780-707-2263
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




University of Alberta aims for third dodgeball world record

News Staff - Wed Feb 01, 2012

The battle for dodgeball domination is back on this Friday as the University of Alberta seeks to reclaim its lost world record.

The quest for the world’s largest dodgeball game has become a heated competition, with the U of A twice breaking the world record, only to have it usurped by American institutions on later dates. The current record is held by University of California, Irvine, with their official achievement of 4,000 players in a single game of dodgeball.

Undeterred, the University of Alberta is rising to the challenge; a new world record attempt has been organized for February 3, 2012 with a target of 5,000 players.

“We’ve seen this rivalry really ramp up over the last year,” said Colten Yamagishi, Students’ Union Vice-President (Student Life). “This game has evolved into the year’s largest single event on campus where everyone can feel like a part of the U of A community.”

All U of A students, staff, alumni, and even prospective students, are encouraged to pick a team: Green or Gold. Green’s goal this year will be to halt Gold’s two-game winning streak!

The world record attempt is made possible through a collaborative effort between the U of A, the Students’ Union, and the University of Alberta Alumni Association.

"Break the Record is an athletic event that has nothing to do with athletics but everything to do with community and playing hard while you work hard," explained Dr. Frank Robinson, the U of A’s Dean of Students.

Participants range from those who have never touched a dodgeball to seasoned veterans, but they will all be part of an overarching experience of school spirit, pride, and fun.

For information on how to participate visit www.breaktherecord.ca.

For more information please contact:
Jonathan Taves
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-4236
C: 780-707-2263
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




GFC committee recommends removal of all deferred exam fees

News Staff - Fri Jan 20, 2012

The University of Alberta is moving to eliminate the current $45 fee charged for a deferred exam.

During the January 19 General Faculties Council's Academic Standards Committee (ASC) meeting, a discussion item was presented regarding deferred exam fees. The committee focused on two principles in particular: that the practices used around deferred exam fees should be consistent across all faculties, and that fees could be a potential deterrent to deferred exams.

"The SU is strongly in favour of the removal of these fees, and we're pleased that this is going ahead," explained Emerson Csorba, Vice-President (Academic) of the Students' Union. "It is unjustifiable to charge students up to $225 to write their exams after facing an illness, personal or family issues or the death of a family member or friend."

A large contingent of ASC, largely made up of associate deans, expressed the same sentiment. The Committee's recommendation will be presented to U of A Provost and Vice-President (Academic) for consideration.

Currently, only two faculties, Business and Engineering, waive deferred exam fees for students facing extraordinary circumstances.

"It's great that all students will now be better able to write exams when they are mentally and physically ready, rather than feel academic pressure in addition to other trials," Csorba said.

For more information please contact:
Jonathan Taves
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-4236
C: 780-707-2263
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Spirit Week shows off U of A’s community involvement

News Staff - Mon Jan 16, 2012

Opportunities for involvement will be showcased next week at the University of Alberta during Spirit Week, which celebrates the contributions students make to the campus community and beyond.

The week kicks off with a free concert on Monday, January 16. A volunteer and clubs fair will host organizations and groups looking to engage students interested in health, athletics, entertainment, education, social development, and more. The fair will run in the Students’ Union building until January 19. A celebration of community will conclude the week on Thursday evening.

“Involvement, whether it’s with a student group, sport or even outside interests, is the key to a meaningful university experience,” said Colten Yamagishi, U of A Students’ Union Vice-President (Student Life). “Events like this make all the forms involvement can take visible to students in one place. It’s all about taking that first step.”

Spirit Week is a joint initiative between the SU’s Student Group Services and InfoLink. Students who come out to the events and the fair will be eligible to win daily prizes like Oilers tickets, a PlayStation 3, or gift cards. Further details of the event can be found at www.su.ualberta.ca/spiritweek.

“The Winter Term, especially its beginning, can seem dreary with the short days and cold weather,” noted Hallie Brodie, an organizer of the event and Manager of InfoLink. “We are trying to change that perspective by gathering people and groups that make our campus great, and showing students how they can contribute too.”

For more information please contact:
Jonathan Taves
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-4236
C: 780-707-2263
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Undergraduate Research Symposium hosted at U of A

News Staff - Thu Nov 17, 2011

Presentations have been perfected and judges’ clipboards are out for the first University of Alberta Undergraduate Research Symposium, organized by the Students’ Union.

The event begins this evening with a dinner and keynote. U of A President Indira Samarasekera and Engineering professor John Nychka are among the speakers. A poster competition occurs all day Friday and will showcase over 120 undergraduate student research projects across all disciplines.

“This event is one of the largest of its kind,” said Emerson Csorba, SU Vice President (Academic). “Demand is on the rise for engaged learning like research. The U of A is a leading research institution and every student who comes here should be able to benefit from that advantage.”

The event also provides students who want to become involved in research the chance to connect with opportunities that interest them.

“Participating in research helps students foster a sense of ownership of their education,” said Jessica McAllister, a 4th year nursing student who is presenting her own work on emergency care of seniors. “Discovering things yourself supplements what's learned from professors or textbooks.”

The symposium concludes Friday afternoon, where $9,000 in 20 academic awards will be given to the researchers of the most outstanding projects.

Undergraduate Research Symposium
Nov. 17, 6 p.m. & Nov. 18, 10 a.m. to 4pm
Dinwoodie Lounge, Students’ Union Building
and the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science

For more information please contact:
Jonathan Taves
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-4236
C: 780-707-2263
E: ecma@su.ualberta.ca




Opportunity to Serve on IT Student Advisory Board

News Staff - Tue Oct 25, 2011

For students interested in getting (more) involved, there is an excellent opportunity to serve on the University of Alberta's Information Technology Student Advisory Board, which is chaired by the Vice-Provost IT Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer. The student advisory board will meet about four times per year (twice in the fall semester and twice in the winter semester) and provide recommendations for how the university's information technology strategy can move forward. If you believe that the university could improve its Bear Tracks design, enhance its use of social media or integrate programs like Drop Box in classes, then you should consider serving on this advisory board. In order to apply for the advisory board, send a one-paragraph e-mail outlining your reasons for wanting to serve on the board to either the VP Academic Emerson Csorba or the VP External Farid Iskandar.

For more information please contact:
Emerson Csorba
Vice President (Academic)
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-4236
E: vp.academic@su.ualberta.ca

or contact:
Farid Iskandar
Vice President (External)
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-4236
E: vp.external@su.ualberta.ca




Involvement Opportunity with the Students' Union's Judicial Board

News Staff - Fri Sep 30, 2011

The Discipline, Interpretation and Enforcement (DIE) Board of the Students' Union is looking to recruit up to six undergraduate students to serve on the board. The DIE Board is responsible for the interpretation and enforcement of Students' Union legislation.

The scope of the Board shall deal with actions and appeals brought before it that initiate a complaint about a contravention of Students' Union legislation or request an interpretation of Students' Union legislation.

All current undergraduate students are eligible to apply to serve on the board provided they are not also a voting member of Students' Council, a voting member of a committee of Students' Council, or an employee of the Students' Union.

To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter via email to Amanda Henry, DIE Board Registrar, at sga@su.ualberta.ca. The application deadline is October 21, 2011 and 4:00pm. Please note that only short-listed applicants will be contacted, and all positions are subject to Students' Council ratification.

For more information please contact:
Megan Mickalyk
Chief Tribune, DIE Board
University of Alberta Students’ Union
E: mlperry@ualberta.ca




Opportunity to Represent Student Body on University Committees

News Staff - Mon Sep 12, 2011

A letter from Vice President (Academic) Emerson Csorba:

Hi everyone!

I hope that you had an awesome first week back at the U of A, and that you enjoyed volunteering for WOW and Orientation (if you happen to be one of the 700 or so volunteers that did that).

As Vice President (Academic), I serve on about 40 - if not more - university committees. All of these committees are important, and deal with different aspects of the Academy. This year, I plan on delegating about a dozen of these committees to other students. That means that you attend the committee meetings instead of me, in a role where your voice represents the near 30,000 undergraduates on campus. After serving as an Orientation TF last year, I served on a few university committees, and really enjoyed the experience. If you're interested in serving on one of the committees described below, please send me off an e-mail at vp.academic@su.ualberta.ca and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

I hope that you are interested in these opportunities, and I wish you great success in the upcoming year! Also, feel free to drop by SUB 2-900 if you ever have questions or concerns. My door is always open.

For more information please contact:
Emerson Csorba
Vice President (Academic)
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-4236
E: vp.academic@su.ualberta.ca

Committee Opportunities:

  • Arts Acquisition Committee: Meets infrequently, and determines the types of the art the university should purchase.
  • Community Service Learning Advisory Board: Oversees the community service learning programs at the university. If you have participated in CSL classes at the U of A, this might be right up your alley.
  • Administrative Information Systems Steering Committee: Deals extensively with the running of Beartracks.
  • Writing Centre Committee: If you are interested in the quality of writing services offered by the university, this is for you.
  • Festival of Teaching Steering Committee: Plans the upcoming Festival of Teaching, which takes place in March and celebrates teaching and learning at the U of A. This is a university initiative of growing importance.
  • University Research Policy Committee: If you are interested in how research is conducted at the U of A, serving on this committee might be of interest to you.
  • President's Standing Committee on Convocation: This committee provides direction for the organization of U of A convocation ceremonies.
  • Faculty-Based ICT Steering Committee: Students interested in potential enhancements to technology usage in the classroom should consider serving on this body.
  • Green and Gold Student Leadership and Professional Development Grant Adjudication Committee: The university is unveiling a new professional development grant, and one student is needed to serve on the committee that selects recipients of the grant funds.
  • Transfer Credit Arts and Science Working Group: A working group is being struck in order to implement changes to the way that transfer credits are awarded in the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Science. This is a big initiative that affects your study abroad experiences.

Other committee-related opportunities will arise throughout the year, so if you are interested in serving at a later date, please feel free to contact me.




Week of Welcome has what you need for your first week of class

News Staff - Sat Sep 03, 2011

Come one, come all, the annual Week of Welcome celebration is back! The U of A Students’ Union is providing a plethora of fun, food, and excitement with activities of all sorts. Free pancake breakfasts and a whole host of free musical performances are sure to entice the financially savvy, while food and beer can be found daily at the BBQ and Beer Gardens. Don’t forget to pick up your student handbooks at one of our info tents and check out the clubs fair to see what student groups have to offer you. Also, win some sweet prizing or get some delicious goodies from quad activities, which run daily Wednesday to Friday.

After the sun goes down, Week of Welcome has nightly shows guaranteed to entertain: from the sidesplitting comedic performance of hypnotist Wayne Lee, to the high energy music stylings of Dragonette ft. USS, to the free double feature movie night. Be sure to finish your first week of classes with a bang at the Mainstage event, which occurs in our very own Quad on the Saturday. This massive concert features a fantastic line-up of Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, The Midway State, and The Dudes, all topped off with the insatiable Shout Out Out Out Out. Get your tickets from one of our many ticket tables, or buy online if you just can’t wait.

For more details, check out the Week of Welcome website or visit the facebook page.

For more information please contact:
Student Programming Coordinators
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-4241
E: wow@su.ualberta.ca




Applications Open for AcaDream Team

News Staff - Fri Aug 26, 2011

One of the goals for this year's Vice President (Academic) Emerson Csorba is the establishment of an AcaDream Team, which is an intensive advisory and planning group for the Vice President (Academic). The team will consist of around 10 students in total, which will meet twice per month at different locations on campus. Simply put, the AcaDream Team stems from the need for the Vice President (Academic) to engage in thoughtful and meaningful debate and discussion prior to making decisions that affect large numbers of students.

Applications for this committee are being accepted from August 26 to Friday September 2 2011, at 5:00 PM. Please submit a one-page letter to vp.academic@su.ualberta.ca, outlining why you are interested in serving on the AcaDream Team, in addition to providing a glimpse of citizenship/engagement experiences you have been a part of as a university student. Short telephone interviews may take place following the application deadline.

For more information please contact:
Emerson Csorba
Vice President (Academic)
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-4236
E: vp.academic@su.ualberta.ca




SU By-Election Nominations Now Open

News Staff - Fri Aug 26, 2011

The Students' Union Elections Office is calling for leaders to "emerge from the crowded halls and security of their textbooks" and run as candidates in the upcoming Students' Council and General Faculties Council by-election.

The election will take place on September 29 and 30, 2011. Nomination packages are now available in 2-900 SUB and for download at www.su.ualberta.ca/vote. Completed nomination packages must be submitted by September 19 at 5:00pm.

For more information on the electoral process or available positions please visit the website listed above or contact the SU Elections Office using the contact information listed below.

Best of luck!

For more information please contact:
Zach Fentiman
Chief Returning Officer
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-7102
E: cro@su.ualberta.ca




ECOS Campus Community Garden to receive award from Sustainable Food Edmonton

News Staff - Thu Aug 11, 2011

August 11, 2011

The hard work of green-thumbed volunteers is being recognized today, following an announcement earlier this month that the University of Alberta’s Campus Community Garden will receive an award.

The garden, an initiative organized by the Students' Union’s Environmental Coordination Office of Students since 2005, has earned Sustainable Food Edmonton’s 2011 Community Garden Award.

Sustainable Food Edmonton’s mission is to encourage Edmontonians’ creation and participation in an “equitable and ecologically sound food system.”

“This recognition reinforces the SU’s commitment to citizenship and sustainability,” said Colten Yamagishi, SU Vice President (Student Life). “ECOS provides meaningful opportunities for students to improve the environment and build community.”

ECOS’ Campus Community Garden educates students and volunteers through workshops on gardening, composting, harvesting, food security, and sustainable lifestyles. The garden’s output is enjoyed by volunteers or given to the Campus Food Bank.

The two winners of the 2011 Community Garden Award were selected through a combination of online voting and judging by a group of representatives from City Council and Edmonton's various food security organizations.

The title will be given out today during a ceremony at City Hall.

For more information please contact:
Ian Moore
Director, ECOS
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-7134
E: ecos@su.ualberta.ca




SU Executive set out benchmarks for 2011-2012 year

News Staff - Thu Jul 28, 2011

President of the Students' Union, Rory Tighe, and the four Vice Presidents have compiled a list of goals they are planning to achieve during their term in office.

Each portfolio contains its own set of tasks, as the executive plans to do everything from getting voting booths on campus, to hosting an undergraduate research symposium, to revamping the food and services available for students.

The goals were presented to Students' Council on July 26.

The complete document can be found here.




Students Wanted to Help Plan Undergraduate Research Symposium

News Staff - Tue Jun 28, 2011

The Students’ Union will be holding its first-ever undergraduate research symposium in mid-November 2011. This symposium will celebrate the creativity and innovation of over one hundred undergraduate researchers from all faculties and will provide over $10 000 in awards. The event will kickoff with a dinner and keynote speech in Dinwoodie Lounge.

In order to facilitate the planning of the event, and make it as valuable as possible for students, Vice-President (Academic) Emerson Csorba is looking for five undergraduate students at-large to serve on the SU Undergraduate Research Symposium Planning Committee. If you are interested in participating on this committee, please send a one-paragraph response to vp.academic@su.ualberta.ca outlining your reasons for wanting to help plan this outstanding upcoming event. The deadline for applications to the committee has been extended to July 8 at midnight. Late applications (within reason) will be considered as well.

For more information please contact:
Emerson Csorba
Vice President (Academic)
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-4236
E: vp.academic@su.ualberta.ca




SU Managers converge in Edmonton to talk strategy

News Staff - Mon May 30, 2011

The University of Alberta Students’ Union is hosting the annual conference of the Association of Managers in Canadian College University and Student Centres (AMICCUS-C) from May 30 to June 2.

AMICCUS-C is a network of the permanent staff that work at student associations across the country and assist the elected representatives carry out their mandates.

Managers from across the country will meet in Edmonton to share ideas, network and collaborate.




New transit display helps students catch their bus

News Staff - Fri May 13, 2011

A new display screen in SUB now informs students on their way to the U of A transit centre how quickly they need to run to catch their bus.

An electronic schedule displays the next three departures for all Edmonton, St. Albert, and Strathcona transit routes that leave the U of A transit centre.

The departures board is located on the main floor of SUB near the Myer Horowitz Theatre and food court. Feedback is welcome and can be sent to digitalmedia@su.ualberta.ca.




May marks beginning of the new executive's term

News Staff - Tue May 03, 2011

While the end of April is a busy time for students wrapping up exams and making summer plans, it's also busy around the SU office, as the old executive ties up loose ends to prepare for the transition to the new executive team, formally on May 1.

For the coming year, Rory Tighe has been elected President, he will be a familiar face after serving as Vice President Student Life in 2010/11. Colten Yamagishi will replace Rory for the coming year, while Emerson Csorba (Academic), Farid Iskandar (External) and Andy Cheema (Operations & Finance) make up the rest of the executive team.

Every year has its moments, and with a new political climate in Ottawa and a provincial election likely in the next 12 months, 2011/12 should be an interesting and engaging year for the SU to represent students.

To “meet” the new Executive, please click here and click on Executives.




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