On Jan. 30 and 31, the MASU held its annual winter election. The winning candidates for president, vice-president academic, vice-president external and vice-president student life were announced on Feb. 1. The Argosy spoke to the newly elected executive and asked about their main platform points and hopes for their position.
Sara Camus President
“I had three main points on my platform. One identified that our campus isn’t very accessible. Some of the [accessibility] issues include electronic door openers, residence washrooms and braille. Some of these issues can be fixed in a short period of time. However, I will be pushing to establish a long-term plan for making changes on campus.
“The second point is in regard to the lack of mental health services on campus. Mental health was identified as a concern in both the CASA [Canadian Alliance of Students Association] and NBSA [New Brunswick Student Alliance] lobby documents this year. The provincial budget will be dropped this month. Once this is made public, we can do further analyses and adjust how to achieve these goals….The MASU is also currently working on a voucher system with Sackville Cab for students to get to Moncton for mental health reasons.
“The third point of my platform identifies some of the issues faced by international students. This includes, but is not limited to, inclusivity within the MASU, government-issued identification and provincially funded health care.
“What drives me is that being involved with the students’ union is never static. There is always opportunity to initiate change.”
Rachel Howlett VP Academic
“My major campaign points for next year are focused on providing academic support to students and communicating academic updates of the University. I want to support first-year students by continuing to fund resource centres across campus like the writing resource centre and the math resource centre.
“I’d like to work with the University to create specific workshops for these first-year students and also introduce workshops geared toward graduating students in regard to what they need from the University for graduate school. I’d also like to continue to adjust the academic mentors training so we can continue to help students in residences through these positions.
“I want to promote more study space around campus and I want to continue to advocate for extended library hours. I will continue to offer free practice standardized tests like the LSATs, MCATs and others, if there is interest. I also recognize the importance of the work that gets done in committees. I want to make sure that any student serving on academic committees within the MASU and within Senate feels prepared and ready to contribute.
“Academics are the foundation of our experience at Mount Allison, and I hope to improve student life academically next year. I care a lot about academics, learning and growing, and that’s what I hope to carry with me next year in this position.”
Danica Garner VP External
“My focus will be on transportation, housing and landlord-tenant relations, strengthening and expanding relations with external entities, pedestrian safety on the perimeter of campus and accessibility advocacy. More concretely, I will fight for a more affordable airport shuttle service and a Maritime Bus stop on campus.
“I will plan a number of info sessions and create pamphlets and the like to raise awareness and provide information to students regarding housing options as well as their rights and responsibilities as tenants. I will schedule meetings with members of town council, members of the admin and any government officials willing to meet with me to build relationships. I also hope to have a crosswalk put in place in front of the [student centre] leading to the stairs near the library, [which are] currently blocked off.
“I’d like students to know that I really encourage anybody and everybody to come talk to me throughout the year about what I’m doing – not only if they have concerns, but also if they just want to know what I do and how I do it. I’d love to talk to students about what it is I actually do and how I can help them with any concerns they may have in the future.”
Emma Miller VP Student Life
“The platform points I plan on looking into include reforming the newly implemented Residence Code of Conduct, developing mental health [initiatives] on campus and strengthening the connection between the MASU and the residences, clubs and societies on campus. The portion concerning sexual violence on the Residence Code of Conduct has recently been looked into and appropriate changes have been made.
“I plan on developing mental health [initiatives] on campus through new resources and overall awareness. I plan on looking into making mental health first aid training more available and advertised so that a larger number of students can be equipped with this type of education.
“I also intend on looking into the MASU insurance plan and figuring out what mental health coverage is provided with the intent to make its services more student-oriented. This would hopefully in turn provide more mental health assistance to those who need it on campus.
“Next year, I intend on being more present in the lives of the students on campus to ensure MASU is providing for them in every way possible. I hope to form new connections and continue to maintain the strong ones that are already in place.
“I would like the students at Mt. A to know that I am incredibly enthusiastic about students’ experiences in university. I want to assist in making student life at Mount Allison memorable, accessible and enjoyable for all students whether they are on or off campus.”