MASU looks for student input in strategic planning session

Reviews transparency, grassroots advocacy, relations with other organizations and MASU services 

The Mount Allison Students’ Union held their second strategic planning session on Monday, Nov. 16 to discuss transparency and governance, grassroots activity, the relationship of the MASU with other organizations both on and off campus and the MASU services
The MASU is looking to update their strategic plan, as it can span only three years due to frequent membership turnover.
MASU President Dylan Wooley-Berry began the session by laying out the four themes and questions discussed at the previous strategic planning session with the hopes the discussion of these topics would continue into the second session.
The first theme identified by Wooley-Berry was transparency and governance. The question asked was: “How can the MASU become more transparent and more accessible to students?”
The second theme which emerged from the first session was grassroots advocacy and whether or not the MASU should be more involved in grassroots movements.
The third question was what students want the MASU’s relationships with the university, the Town of Sackville and the Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA) to look like in the future.
The final theme revolved around the utility of the MASU’s services.
Roughly 30 students were divided into two groups to hold the informal discussions during the strategic planning meeting.
The discussions encompassed councillor-constituent relations. Zoe Luba, a fourth-year international relations student, suggested that when councillors take time to think about an issue, which often occurs before council votes on whether or not to pass a policy, they should make it publicly known that they are researching the topic. Furthermore, said Luba, it should be considered a standard measure to reach out to their constituents in an effort to gather their opinions.
Councillor Nick Cochkanoff brought up the topic of dry, non-party events. Cochkanoff said that in the past, part of the assistant entertainment director’s role included putting on events such as these, and suggested bringing them back. “There are always people who don’t want to be at The Pond and who would rather be doing some other activity,” said Cochkanoff.
One of the last topics discussed was how the MASU could foster a sense of engagement with the student body. Morgan McGinn, a fourth-year international relations student, said the MASU was not solely there to provide services students expect, such as the health and dental plan, but also for specific advocacy issues. For example, McGinn suggested that the MASU take a stance on the lack of a racism policy at Mt. A.

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