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Business students form advocacy group

By Chris Adams, May. 22, 2014 —

Students in the Haskayne School of Business (HSB) are now governed by a new students’ association.

The Commerce Undergraduate Society (CUS) now shares power with the Haskayne Students’ Association (HSA), which is responsible for representing the interests of business students.

Students’ Union business representative Jasmine Chitroda said that two years of planning went into forming the HSA.

“The HSA was a project brought in motion about two years ago by SU representatives and the CUS president,” Chitroda said. “The goal is to continue to provide student leadership opportunities with the Commerce Undergraduate Society and to have effective governance.”

Creating the HSA required a change in the HSB’s student leadership structure. The CUS used to handle both student advocacy and club events. Now their role will solely be to represent the interests of the faculty’s student clubs.

In 2007–08, two other HSB organizations — the Social Exchange and the Business Day Group — merged with the CUS, which used to focus only on student advocacy. After the merge, the CUS took control of club events.

CUS president Georges Ayoub said the HSA will help streamline advocacy in the faculty.

“The Haskayne club structure changed so much that it became difficult to advocate for students because we ended up advocating for clubs,” Ayoub said. “We couldn’t advocate for the general student body as effectively as we could before the Haskayne student clubs initiative came into play.”

Chitroda believes the HSA will simplify student governance in the faculty.

“CUS is still doing all of their events and all of their club activities. However, the HSA operates similarly to a miniature Students’ Union,” Chitroda said. “The responsibilities of the students sitting on this organization would be more committee work and advocacy rather than running events.”

The two SU business representatives will sit as co-chairs on the new student association. Below them is the president of the CUS, with four directors sitting underneath the other three members in roles modelled after the SU executives. The HSA will hire directors of academic, operations and finance, external and student life.

Chitroda said structuring the HSA on a model similar to the SU’s will not change the scope of the HSB’s student leadership.

“The [director external] wouldn’t be lobbying to the government or anything like that. We see the director external operating [with] alumni relations within Haskayne or with the career centre or any other external parties,” Chitroda said.

The application process for director positions closed on May 20 when the CUS president, the two HSA co-chairs, and two students-at-large selected the directors.

While the role of each director has not been fully defined, Ayoub hopes that the summer will give them time to determine each director’s responsibilities.


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