STUSU Briefs Jan. 18, 2018

A new student executive council this year plans for the future. -Submitted by Book Sadprasid, STU Communications Director

Mandatory sexual assault training

At a meeting on Jan. 18, at-large representative Sean Kinney brought forth a motion to make the Jan. 19 sexual assault training optional for STUSU members rather than mandatory.

Kinney said he had been approached by a number of fellow STUSU members who feared the content and intensity of the training would cause survivors who could be present to become upset.

“We have to be open to everyone,” Kinney said.

“We don’t know what anyone at this table … has been through, whether they’d be comfortable with going to this meeting or whether they wouldn’t be.”

Social inclusion representative Rebecca Kingston, who has received the training twice before, assured Kinney distress is not the intention of the session.

“I don’t believe that in any way this is intended to be malicious,” she said.

Olivier Hébert, sexuality and gender diversity representative, has also received the training. He reiterated a number of other comments made during the discussion.

The Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre facilitates the training, and Hébert said its employees know how to appropriately train attendees.

“They know how to deal with this type of stuff,” he said.

“This was a difficult thing to go through … but I’ve never had anyone tell me it was not important. I think it is fundamental … whether or not we are comfortable.”

Kinney said he remained bothered by the idea that the STUSU executive would “force” its members to attend the training. He motioned to vote on the matter to make it an optional training session.

The motion failed in a 13-1 vote.

Job fair on the way

Vice-president student life Jimy Beltran said he’s been in talks with Trish Murray-Zelmber, the university’s employment and financial aid coordinator, about this year’s job fair.

So far, nine companies will set up displays in the off-campus lounge on Feb. 6, all of them offering summer jobs and opportunities for graduates.

Making resources accessible

Hébert said there has been an increase in LGBTQ community members reaching out for information on resources, such as how to access hormones.

Hébert said this proves the Students’ Union must prioritize doing a better job at advertising the resources and acknowledging them so students receive adequate direction.

Have a Heart Valentines

Indigenous representative Alexa Metallic said her committee will be drafting variations of Valentine’s Day cards to send to local elected officials — not to praise them, but to highlight the need for equal opportunity for Indigenous children in the area.

The initiative will be part of STUSU’s contribution to Have a Heart Day which takes place on Feb. 14. Have a Heart Day is a youth-led reconciliation event that fights to ensure a safe upbringing, good education, health and pride for First Nations children.

“We’ll have a booth in [James Dunn Hall] selling candy and encouraging students to sign Valentine’s so that we can send them off,” Metallic said.

All proceeds will go to the national Have a Heart campaign.

Mystery bus and more

Grad class president Leeanne Doxtator said the annual mystery bus tour for graduating students is set for March 16.

She also said she’s confirmed with the registrar’s office that the T-ceremony and grad dinner will take place on March 23.