Elections were last week – but what is MASU?
In light of the newly elected Mount Allison Student Union (MASU) executive, the Argosy thought we would publish a short primer on the structure of the student organization they’ve been elected to.
The MASU constitution (accessible to all on their website) states the organization’s objectives as follows:
- to represent and be the primary advocate for all students;
- to advance the education of its Members;
- to promote substantive student participation in all aspects of University governance;
- to promote public, universally accessible, high-quality postsecondary education; and
- to provide the administrative capacity necessary to enable students to participate in the educational, cultural, and social activities to which they have access by reason of being students.
The MASU constitution states that their members shall pursue these objectives:
- by acting as the primary channel of communication between students and all governing facets of the University;
- by communicating and cooperating with governing bodies within the University;
- by providing a medium through which a collective voice to the views of students can be substantiated;
- by representing students at the local, provincial, national, and all other appropriate levels; and
- through the supply of services to students and student organizations and the promotion of their educational, cultural, and social activities.
Apart from the recently elected president and the five vice-presidents, MASU has three full-time staff – a general manager, an office manager and a health and dental plan administrator – as well as over 20 part-time or volunteer student positions such as orientation chair, social justice coordinator and accessibility affairs coordinator. All of these positions report to the MASU executive.
The MASU also has two ombudspersons who are neutral parties that anyone in the University community can contact for complaints or information about the MASU or University affairs.
Within the MASU is the Students’ Administrative Council (SAC). It governs the legislative and administrative activities of the MASU. The SAC is responsible for passing policy on behalf of the MASU, for maintaining the bylaws and operating procedures and for providing oversight to the executive and staff. MASU members are elected to positions within the SAC.
The executive committee of the SAC is made up of the MASU president and the five vice-presidents. Vice-presidents of academic affairs, external affairs and student life are all elected by the students. The two other VP positions – finance and communications – are hired by the elected MASU exec. They are not voting members of the SAC as they are hired and not elected.
The SAC then elects two councillors from each academic department as faculty councillors. These councillors are voting members of the SAC and represent students at Mount Allison senate meetings.
In addition, one student is elected each year to serve as a councillor-at-large and attend Mount Allison Board of Regents meetings along with the President and five VPs. They are a voting member of the SAC.
There are also six other SAC members-at-large elected to “represent their constituents on general issues.” Additionally, one first-year councillor is elected to the SAC to represent the concerns of incoming students.
There are many committees within the MASU, such as Yearbook Committee and Student Life Committee, that have their own internal chairpeople and sitting members that carry out tasks as assigned by the SAC.
A popular platform for those running for executive this year was transparency, so take them up on it! Visit their website, chat with an ombudsperson about your rights and get involved.