Working for the MASU has been a really valuable experience and one of the highlights of my Mt. A career. I have had the pleasure of working with some incredibly dedicated and hard-working students. Sometimes the job is thankless and stressful, and it is always underpaid. This is a flawed organization that requires serious evaluation of practices and governance, and I have sometimes left the office frustrated or hurt. At the end of the day, however, I am always content knowing that the hours I’m putting in are going towards bettering the life of Mt. A students, connecting them to opportunities that provide valuable career skills.
– Cydney Kane
Having graduated, I’ve left Mt. A and Sackville and am still upset about the actions of the MASU – and I think that in itself says something. A students’ union should first and foremost stand by and support all students, not just preserve the status quo. Current status-quo conditions are further marginalizing already marginalized students. Watching the MASU fail to support one of its own executive members this year really made me question what they are actually doing to support students.
– Zoe Luba
There have been numerous times over the course of my four years when I have felt let down by the MASU. One thing that has continuously been a point of disappointment for me has been the tendency for infighting on council. I have personally seen infighting and cases where our elected representatives on council have actively sabotaged initiatives that, in my opinion, were in the interest of all students for their own political gain. For years, our students’ union has lacked leadership – I include myself in this – that is capable of building solidarity in the executive, in council and amongst all students.
– Dylan Wooley-Berry
If part of the students’ union’s mission is taking a stand on student issues, it must do so even if the interests of students are at odds with those of the administration. The MASU should vocally and consistently advocate for the university’s divestment from fossil fuels, recognizing that speculative damage to a small percentage of Mount Allison’s endowment fund is fundamentally less important than the concrete, ongoing destruction of humans and the environment those investments enable.
– Sebastian Carrera
I think recently the MASU has done a great job improving the flow of information it sends out to students, but the current exchange of information between the union and community seems non-reciprocal, as student-feedback has never been more unheard. When students tell you that your organization fosters systemic racism and discrimination, it’s your obligation to listen and absorb this feedback, not deny and save face with deflective press releases.
– Rebecca Butler
MASU committees are the behind-the-scenes workhorses of the union. Regularly meeting to discuss student consultation, write policy and plan events, committees are a great way to focus on specific issues that would take up too much time in council. They are a great way to hash out ideas and decisions, and they allow people with different insights to contribute to the discussion and come up with the best possible solutions. They have given me experience with policy planning and writing, which provides me with insight into the requirements for getting things done in the senate and student council. As well, on the entertainment committee, I have not only gained amazing experience but also have had an amazing time helping organize performances at Mount Allison.
– Garrett Muir
As a former MASU counsellor, the most defining feature I see in the organization is its radical lack of imagination and the value it places on imitating a corporate boardroom over fighting the many struggles faced by students. This is no one person’s fault: Every year’s executive goes in thinking it will be the team to finally turn things around. It never does, and until it radically rethinks its purpose, structure and relationship to students, it never will. We live in fast-changing times, and Mt. A is an active campus. Students deserve a union that can keep up with them.