Weekly Briefs: Jan. 21-25, 2019

Off-campus representative resigns

Marlyne Vanderlee, an off-campus representative for the St. Thomas University Students’ Union, resigned. Vanderlee sent in her resignation to be read aloud at the student representative council meeting on Jan. 27.

“Due to a recent opportunity with a job, I will now be working full-time and as such will not be able to commit to my position as necessary,” read Vanderlee’s resignation.

Visual art society

The governance committee ratified a visual art society. According to the society’s constitution, they aim to create a culture on campus that values and appreciates visual art. The society wants to hold exhibits to help students showcase their projects, help students get professional opportunities, work with any other organizations that align with their values and be a voice for those who may have concerns regarding visual arts on campus.

Any full-time students can become a member of the society. There isn’t a set fee for members at the moment. The executives of the society are Olivia Stymiest, Madisyn Belyea and Cameron Tarrant.

World Water Day art exhibit

A meeting will be held on Feb. 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. in Memorial Hall on the University of New Brunswick’s campus for those interested in participating in ArtZone’s end of year exhibition at the UNB Art Centre. The exhibition will feature a waterfall made from plastic bags and plastic animals based off species that are harmed by plastic pollution. ArtZone is partnering with STU Sustainability and UNB Sustainability for the event.

Funding approvals

At the student representative council meeting on Jan. 27, two funding applications were approved.

An academic application was submitted by Emily Williams, a human rights and criminology student. She will be going to Geneva for an experiential opportunity at the Lucerne Academy for Human Rights Implementation, a three-week summer program at the University of Lucerne in Switzerland.

“[It] focuses on the domestic implementation of international human rights law,” said Williams in a message.

She requested $1,000, but the finance committee recommended Williams receive $800. The total allotted for academic assistance is $2,000 and the committee thought that funding Williams with $800 would leave enough money left over for any other applications they may receive. The student representative council voted in favour unanimously.

Another application was submitted by Global Brigades asking for funding for their trip to Honduras. They requested $1,500, which works out to about $100 per person. The finance committee approved the group for $1,200 as there is a cap at 15 per cent of total funds allotted for clubs and societies. The student representative council voted and the funding was approved with 10 votes. Wasiimah Joomun, vice-president student life, abstained from voting because she’s part of Global Brigades.

Ontario Student Assistance Program letter

Brianna Workman, president of STUSU, presented a letter regarding the Ontario Student Assistance Program, composed by student unions in Ontario that will be sent to the Doug Ford government. The letter advocates against the 10 per cent decrease in tuition and cutting of non-tuition fees which puts more emphasis on loans.

Workman put forward a motion for STUSU to become a signatory on the letter, alongside other universities in the country.

Members of the student representative council agreed it’s important to show solidarity.

“I do express my support for this, I think it’s really, really important to have it because, especially for people who are in low-income families, that grant is like, really crucial to them being able to even afford or consider going to universities,” said Nikita Spencer, a STUSU at-large representative.

The motion passed unanimously.

Search for replacement LGBTQIA2+ advisor

Sara Nason, the sexuality and gender diversity representative for STUSU, is looking for a replacement LGBTQIA2+ advisor for this semester, as Professor Erin Fredericks has been away from the position this year. Nason reached out to professor AJ Ripley in mid-December. They said they’re unable to take over the position. Nason spoke to Dean of Social Sciences Susan Machum to see how student services would be filling it. Machum told them student services thinks it’s doubtful they’d be able to find someone to take on the role this term.

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