Students’ Representative Council By Term Report: good governance of students, enhancement of student life and outreach

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UNBSJ’s Students’ Representative Council (SRC) has accomplished many things this year and has made great strides in publicizing and modernizing the university.

The SRC had three main blanket objectives set out this year: good governance of students, enhancement of student life and outreach. Here is a look at what they’ve accomplished so far and what to expect in the future.

The bylaws addressed in the SRC’s first meeting of the year have been revised: they are now more current and are in keeping with how the SRC is operating today as opposed to how it used to be. The SRC is maintaining a good working relationship with administration and has worked in tandem with them throughout the year and have also reached out to political representatives, both municipal and provincial, involved in the education system.

The SRC held a round table discussion regarding student loans and payment plans, as well as student employment at home and abroad. In attendance were: our local MP, Rodney Weston and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister of Labour, Kellie Leitch. Leitch discussed financial support programs for students and ideas for new policies with students. It was an interactive session where students’ ideas could be potentially translated into functioning federal programs.

The SRC have offered a wide range of events from pie eating contests to hypnotists last semester, hoping to foster maximum student involvement in campus life, especially with international students. They have offered both daytime and nighttime events with and without alcohol to cater to as many students as possible.

Another objective the SRC have been addressing via student involvement has been boosting school spirit. They have been placing special emphasis on having students identify as Seawolves. During frosh week, first years were welcomed into the wolf pack and the SRC have been featuring Seymour more prominently around campus. The SRC have also re-designed the school logo, bringing the school up to modern standards. They’ve also been making an effort to keep students in the know about events by purchasing sandwich boards, keeping the bulletin boards neat and tidy and increasing their online presence.

This year, the SRC created the SafeRide program so that students who live off campus always have safe transportation, not only on party nights, but from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. every Wednesday to Friday. They have also made the shuttle available for grocery runs every Tuesday. The SRC have spruced up the Thomas J. Condon Centre by installing two widescreen TVs in the cafeteria accompanied by new furniture.

Two couches have been put in the Whitebone Lounge, as well as a pool table, for student use at any time of day. They have also converted former club offices into quiet study spaces for public use.

With the help of the Biology and Green Societies, the SRC has managed to trim the walking trails located behind the stadium and residences. They have secured a funding partnership with administration to place a culvert in the large ditch, limiting access to the trails and with further funding they hope to add signage, benches and picnic tables.

The SRC has been sponsors of and donors to many charity events, including the Mind Care Ball Hockey Tournament, Saint John Mill Rats player Modeibo Diarra’s campaign to bring himself and his family to safety in Canada and the Christmas food drive for Romero House in order to get involved in the greater Saint John community.

They have given the university great publicity by their involvement in a Mascot themed Seadogs game and winning an honourable mention and Best Large Float in the Saint John and Kennebecasis Valley Santa Clause Parades. They have formed business partnerships with Boston Pizza, Freedom Tours and Oaktree photography.

The SRC will be forming a policy manual committee to review and revise the university’s existing policies. Students can expect major changes in club policies. Last year’s clubs exceeded their budget by a significant amount, so there could be possible budget cuts on the way. The rough figure is a $350.00 cap for club spending, additional funding for large events pending formal request.

The SRC will also be keeping students in the know by posting details such as council meeting minutes, budget updates and a meeting schedule on their website. They will be communicating directly with students via a new e-mailing list in order to keep students aware of special events.