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.

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