MASU press release

An update from the MASU executive

Since the executive took office on May 1, we have been working hard to make sure that your student experience is extraordinary. Here’s a short update on just some of the things we have accomplished thus far.

President, Emelyana Titarenko (masupresident@mta.ca)

Since the start of my term, I introduced MASU staff training and cultural competency training for all our MASU staff and councillors and the residence and orientation leaders. I created a MASU Partnership Package to help us increase entertainment revenue and supported the planning of the Get Out the Vote (GOTV) campaign. In September, I, alongside Elise, led the #DontCutOurFuture campaign to raise awareness of the cuts made to financial aid programs in New Brunswick. We also finalized the Budget Advisory Committee advocacy document which includes recommendations for RA pay increase, correspondence courses, a permanent Black Student Advisor-Diversity Educator position and Fitness Centre improvements. Additionally, work and planning for the Strategic Plan 2023 has begun alongside our VP Finance. Finally, I started to explore the Nimbus app (Uber but for tutors) to see if it could work on our campus.

Vice President Academic, Sam Unger (masuacademic@mta.ca)

In May, Sam created an advocacy document which includes recommendations on five key themes: mental health in the classroom, modernizing exam spaces, scholarships and bursaries, online learning and distribution credits which he presented to members of the University administration, deans, professors and staff. In August, Sam began to work with our graduate students to help with their advocacy and in December, a Graduate Student Representative position on the Student Administrative Council (SAC) was approved. Sam also started a conversation with Anne Comfort surrounding faculty mental health training which would improve the classroom experience for many. Accordingly, the Student Affairs Committee drafted a policy on content warnings and mental health in the classroom along with a policy on affordable classroom resources, which has had its first reading at the SAC.

Vice President External, Elise Vaillancourt (masuexternal@mta.ca)

Elise spent most of her mandate planning, organizing and executing the federal GOTV campaign alongside two student coordinators (Olivia Corrigan and Mearon Mulugeta) and a group of student volunteers. The campaign collected over 900 pledges which helped students get informed on when, how and where they can vote. Elise also sits on the University Experiential Learning Committee and ORBIS Outcome Committee which was established to plan a successful execution of a co-curricular record. A huge project for Elise has been the Good Food Box program which will be launched this February. The goal of this program is to offer students a pack of fresh produce at a discounted rate to help with healthy and affordable eating. Finally, Elise alongside Student-at-Large Jordan Takkiruq and myself participated in the New Brunswick Student Alliance advocacy week. We met with different key stakeholders within the post-secondary education system and brought forward recommendations within the themes of international students, Indigeneity and financial aid. The full document is available on nbsa-aenb.ca/.

Vice President Student Life, Venna Penney (masustudentlife@mta.ca)

This year, Venna along with the Pride Committee organized the first-ever Mount Allison Pride Week which was filled with different events including the Pride Parade. Venna has also organized and taken part in several trainings including the clubs and societies executive training, alcohol harms reduction training for orientation leaders, and the active bystander training for the football team. With her staff, she has had several successful campaigns and events including the Keep It Social Halloween campaign, “What to do in Sackville” mini reading week campaign, and the winter carnival featuring Delaney Jane. Venna has also emphasized supporting residence leaders and even hosted the first-ever Residence Leader Appreciation night. Accordingly, Venna helped advocate for having residence leaders attend a cultural competency training to help create a welcoming environment for all. Finally, through the various committees she sits on, Venna has been able to advocate for mental health, alcohol and cannabis harms reduction and accessibility needs.

Vice President Finance & Operations, Kevin Wong (masufinance@mta.ca)

Although Kevin did not spend the summer in Sackville, he still worked a few hours a week from home and managed to get several of our operating procedures reviewed. Although Kevin’s role is very internal, he has had great success in supporting his staff during the fall election and the first-ever MASU job fair. He has also been leading his committees in approving funding and making changes and improvements to our bylaws and operating procedures.

Vice President Communications, Lauren Doane (masucommunications@mta.ca)

In the summer, Lauren created our MASU Agenda and helped the Allisonian editors finalize the yearbook, on top of organizing a media team to help with orientation. Since then, she has created a proposal for a new MASU website, provided input on the Mt. A Website Advisory Committee and assisted in the execution of the GOTV campaign (just to name a few things).

To learn more about our work, come by council, read the minutes, shoot us an email or just come by the office! We look forward to another successful semester with you all.

Emelyana Titarenko