Students' Union Advocacy
The University of Alberta has 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 the full release.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What changes have the University of Alberta announced?
The University of Alberta has announced a suite of 8 changes in a massive restructure to residence life and Lister Hall.
Elected representatives of the Lister Hall Students’ Association (LHSA), who are currently jointly employed by the University and LHSA, have been given notice that their jobs have been eliminated. They have the option to work solely as a University employee, for a $100 bonus.
Students will no longer be able to consume alcohol in lounges or common space, but instead will be required to restrict alcohol use to their room.
Only first year and transfer students will be accepted to the classic Lister residences, while returning students must find alternative housing arrangements.
2. How were students consulted about these specific changes?
Students were not provided with an opportunity to respond to this proposal.
According to the signed 2009 Memorandum of Understanding between the University and the LHSA, students should have been consulted about these sweeping changes.
Issues affecting student health and safety should be communicated to the LHSA as soon as possible, and the finalized state of this proposal indicates that this did not occur.
3. How was the Students’ Union consulted about these specific changes?
The SU was not consulted. The Students’ Union Executive was informed about the press release hours before it was made public.
4. Weren’t students consulted about these changes in January 2012?
The SU attended a meeting on possible residence staffing changes with the Dean of Students and the LHSA in January. The conversation stalled, and no further consultation took place. The LHSA proceeded with their elections in March, expecting no changes to the working agreement in the upcoming year.
5. Who will be affected by these changes?
These changes to classic Lister will have major impacts on students living in Lister in 2012-2013 and any students living in residence after 2013. The staffing changes will affect student-staff in classic Lister immediately.
6. How will this affect current Lister students?
Effective immediately, Lister students will not have access to many of the social activities and community building opportunities provided by the LHSA.
Starting in 2013, only first year and transfer students will be accepted to the three classic Lister towers. Returning residents will not be present in these communities to welcome and orient new Lister residents to the campus. This has major repercussions for the residence’s culture, which has in the past defined the Lister experience.
7. What is the LHSA and what is its role?
The LHSA is the representative group for the largest residence in Canada. They are a registered student group and residence association, with elected floor coordinators and executives who are responsible for building community and advocating on behalf of Lister students.
The LHSA is unique in Canada for the scope of its governance structure and the services it provides, a fact that should be a point of pride for University of Alberta community.
The LHSA already provides the residents of Lister with social and academic support. In the past, it has jointly employed student-staff representatives and worked with the University on a variety of resident issues.
8. What will happen to the LHSA?
The future of the LHSA is unknown.
These changes effectively disempower the LHSA. They have an immense impact on its organizational structure and mandate, as laid out in its constitution.
Joint staff members are being offered money to sever ties to the LHSA and report solely to the University. Without these staff members, the LHSA cannot provide the services it has provided its students in the past, including representation and advocacy, tower social events, and a strong sense of community.
The joint council of the LHSA, including executives, floor coordinators, and residence assistants will no longer be able to function in its current form.
9. How will student consultation proceed?
The Dean of Students committed to consult with the SU, LHSA, and GSA on how these changes will be implemented.
The Lister Management Team and Extended Lister Management Team has been eliminated, and replaced with a “Residence Advisory Committee”, whose membership is currently unknown.
Students' Union Executive and Administrative Offices
Students' Union Building
University of Alberta
8900 - 114 Street NW