MASU execs share goals for upcoming year

The Mount Allison Student’s Union executive kicked off the year by holding a “Vision for 2013-2014” meeting. The meeting aimed to share MASU’s upcoming projects and objectives.

MASU President Melissa O’Rourke delivered the presentation, going through the projects in each vice-president’s portfolio.

As O’Rourke said, the presentation not only focused on what MASU will “be doing for the next year, but also some things that the MASU is going to be lobbying on for the next few years.”

The executive panel consisted of Vice-President, Academic Affairs Ryan Harley; Vice-President, External Affairs Ian Smith; Vice-President, Campus Life Heather Webster; Vice-President, Finance and Operations Josh Outerbridge; and Vice-President, Communications Matthew Ranson.

The presidential portfolio includes the executive summer recommendation, consisting of O’Rourke interviewing each member of the executive and submitting a recommendation to MASU’s Student’s Administrative Council about the future of the project. This project compliments the “executive position review,” in which each position will have its relevance appraised.

The academic portfolio includes an examination of the now operational online used bookstore. Harley will be “finalizing a lot of the processes with the bookstore,” mostly examining the logistics of storage and preparing for January. He will also be looking at the implementation of an emergency bursary program, to be finished by January. It will be along the lines of the St. Thomas program, which provides funds for “any last minute needs,” in the even of financial trouble, such as “student loans or textbooks.”

Harley’s portfolio will also include an examination of grad school preparation resources.

MASU will offer an opportunity to take last year’s LSAT and MCAT tests this fall, with a strategy session addressing any shortcomings in the following weeks.

O’Rourke said, “[MASU] signed a contract over the summer with Princeton Review, which is an academic resource for anyone looking to take the MCATs, LSATs, the GRE, the GMATs.”

The MASU will also draft a document weighing in on the labour negotiations between the Mount Allison Faculty Association, the Mount Allison Staff Association and the University. This will be done with an eye towards addressing concerns about possible negotiation outcomes, such as a strike.

Finally, Harley will address the long-term potential for reading week courses and a fall reading week, with regular updates being provided at council meetings.

Smith’s external portfolio includes continued fine-tuning of the bike co-op, with an official launch slated for the end of September. The viability of Mt. A participation in the Transport for Tantramar car-share program as well as a SafeRide program will be examined. The long-term viability of expanding the number of places where MountieMoney is accepted, such as the Pond, will also be examined.

Webster will continue to push for the hiring of a psychiatrist to work in the student centre, which will hopefully be done “in the next couple of months.” Another potential project to be examined is the installation of condom dispensers in high traffic areas on campus.

Outerbridge’s portfolio will mainly focus on a review of student usage of the health and dental plan with an eye towards improving the plan. In particular, the executive will examine the possibility of expanding the plan to include mental health care.

Ranson will produce an orientation report on behalf of the executive, recommending potential changes. A large number of MASU website changes will also be examined, with the intention of improving student services. Communications will also manage several awareness campaigns about MASU projects and programs.

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