Students’ Representative Council Meeting: Next year’s budget, free legal advice for students, more student lockers and WUSC proposal on a new fee to part-time students

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The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) met to discuss a number of issues important to UNBSJ on Monday, Feburary 18.

The SRC shot a Harlem Shake remake video featuring UNBSJ students on Feb. 22. The video can be viewed on the SRC’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/unbsrc.

The possibility of getting funding for new lockers throughout the school was also discussed at the meeting. Brad Trecartin, SRC president says that if all goes well, there will be room in next year’s budget for new lockers. New ways, to manage how lockers are distributed to students, such as a draw system, to prevent abuse of lockers, were also mentioned.

World University Services Canada (WUSC) was present at the meeting to make a presentation to the SRC regarding the Student Refugee Program. This program provides student refugees living in Canada asylum and the opportunity to pursue a post-secondary education. They have partners in Asia, Africa and Latin America and generally about 60 candidates are accepted to be brought to Canada from refugee camps in these areas.

The local community provides financial, emotional and moral support for a minimum of one year. To bring a student to Canada costs about $20,000/year, and to help with these fees, WUSC proposed a new levee for part time students. Currently, full time student pay $2.50/term toward WUSC’s initiatives, but they are proposing a fee of $1.50/term to be charged to part time students. The SRC passed this referendum and it will appear on the ballot for students to vote on during the SRC elections in March.

The SRC budget for next year was also discussed. Every year, the SRC’s proposed budget is passed on to UNB’s board of governors who determines whether students’ money is being spent wisely. Among these expenses is a SafeRide budget of $22,000 for 2013-2014 which covers staff’s pay, gas, maintenance and van payments. They also budgeted $7,500 for student support which goes toward an “educational opportunities fund” allowing students to apply for funding to attend educational conferences. This money also goes to student services to provide tokens and gift cards to students who may be struggling with expenses. The SRC also budgets for legal aid: they will pay for one hour of legal advice for students. The council passed the proposed budget.

Trecartin ended the meeting with a reminder about upcoming SRC elections. Nominations for 2013-2014 SRC elections open on Feb. 21 and close on Feb. 27. A number of elected and appointed positions will be open for nomination/application at that time.

The next SRC meeting will be held the week following March break, on March 11.