September 12, 2012
Volume 103, Issue 2
vice-president (operations & finance)
vice-president (student life)
The Vice President (Academic) is essentially in charge of anything that has to do with issues students experience in the classroom. From textbook prices to faculty associations, Dustin Chelen is responsible for making sure things are being taken care of. He’s also the one lobbying the university on behalf of
students in dealing with the Academic Plan. The VP Academic also advocates for and facilitates student involvement in governance. In the position this year, Chelen comes with a background building a faculty association from the ground after working to found the Interdepartmental Science Students’ Society.
The VP Ops-Fi takes on the mammoth responsibility of looking after the SU’s $10 million budget. As the only secondterm member of this year’s executive, Andy Cheema is continuing his long-term vision for improving and managing the
operations of the Students’ Union. Cheema has been working to improve food options at SU businesses, including a revamped menu at RATT, and putting plans into motion to renovate SUB, which passed as a referendum last year.
The President is the face of the Students’ Union, acting as the primary voice for the organization in maintaining student and public awareness about issues the SU is discussing. He also keeps the rest of the execs on track, crafting a framework for the way they collectively approach policy and setting goals to achieve through their time in office. This year’s top exec, Colten Yamagishi,
is the third president in a row to make the jump to the spot from the Vice-President (Student Life) position, and has previously been involved in Lister governance as well as their residence publication, The Lighthouse. In addition to his awarenessraising and organizational duties, the President sits on the Board of Governors and a variety of other committees.
While the President is the face of the SU as a whole, the VP External is the face for specific organizations to which the SU belongs as well as to government. Petros Kusmu negotiates with the Canadian Alliance of Students Associations (CASA) and the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) to lobby the government
when issues around things such as tuition arise. Kusmu handles student concerns on another level, dealing with an external set of organizational bodies. He comes to the portfolio this year with four years as an Arts councillor under his belt, as well as involvement with numerous other campus student groups and organizations.
While the VP Student Life is in charge of all the “fun stuff,” that doesn’t mean the job isn’t still a serious undertaking. The job title says it all: Saadiq Sumar is responsible for improving student life. This encompasses everything from movie nights to residence issues, and larger undertakings like putting the
Week of Welcome celebrations in motion. Essentially, the VP Student Life is in charge of all things affecting students that aren’t strictly academic — this also includes the U-pass and SU student services. Sumar, this year’s VP, is a former Engineering councillor and Residence Halls Association executive.
the executives a Madeline
s you get acquainted with your new university — or maybe just a new year at your university — it might help to know you’ve got someone looking out for you. A whole team, in fact, of students charged with the great power and responsibility of advocating for undergraduate student interests on an official level. Dealing with nine SU committees, a staff of 200, an undergrad population of 30,000 and an operating budget of $10 million, their individual powers combine to hash out what students need and make it happen.
Home base: The Students’ Union is, of course, in charge of the Students’ Union Building. Their offices are located on the second floor, and they oversee businesses like RATT, L’Express and Juicy. But council forces normally come together every second Tuesday in council chambers, located in University Hall, just across from SUB. This year is a little different, with council moved to ECHA L1 490 while renovations take place in University Hall. Meetings are open to the general public, and if you show up, they even feed you free dinner.
photos by kaitlyn
Board of Governors Representative: In addition to the President, another student representative sits on the university’s highest governing body: the Board of Governors. They act as a student voice in the midst of official discussions. This year’s pick, Brent Kelly, is a former Arts councillor.
This year’s council speaker is none other than Rory Tighe, previously the 2011/12 President and the 2010/11 Vice-President (Student Life). Tighe doesn’t get a vote on council, but he’s in charge of presiding over council meetings and ensuring discussion flows smoothly.
Council is comprised of 32 seats, divided among faculties based on population. All are represented, from ALES and Native Studies to Arts and Engineering, but larger faculties have more seats available. Council elections are held directly after executive elections in March with by-elections to fill any remaining empty seats in the fall. The body of representatives is in charge of approving any major decisions or policy amendments proposed by council.
The Disciplinary, Interpretation and Enforcement Board flexes most of its muscle during election season, when candidates take questions or concerns they have for judicial interpretation of SU bylaws.