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SLC discusses trimester executive reports and protest against tuition hikes 

By Eula Mengullo, January 19 2022

The first Students’ Legislative Council (SLC) meeting of the year took place on January 11. The Students’ Union (SU) executives gave their second trimester reports and announced the upcoming protest against tuition hikes.

VP External Mateusz Salmassi announced that on January 20, the SU will be protesting in the Atrium at the Administration Building to oppose yet another attempt to increase tuition for the fourth consecutive year, which was approved by the Board of Governors. They are also pressuring the Board to delay tuition vote until March due to inadequate consultation with the SU.

The other main topic of discussion was centred around second trimester reports which gave updates on SU executive’s advocacy over the past four months. 

SU President Nicole Schmidt discussed her visit to Ottawa for the Canadian Alliance of Students Associations’ (CASA) advocacy week in November 2022, where she got to engage with Members of Parliament of different government agencies and representatives regarding federal student priorities. 

“We discussed several pressing federal level issues including tuition and affordability across the country, international student work and co-op requirements, student mental health concerns, tri-council fundings for graduate students as well as Indigenous priorities,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt also reported that some of her remaining goals include delving more into student employment opportunities on campus. 

VP Academic Shaziah Jinnah Morsette discussed her collaborative campaign on the Open Educational Resources (OER) as well as fundraising for the Undergraduate Research Symposium. She also noted a discussion between the subcommittee of Teaching and Learning at the Campus Mental Health Strategy about assessments being due during the term break. The subcommittee will deliver their recommendations to the January General Faculties Council (GFC) Teaching and Learning Committee. 

“It’s essential to note that a key recommendation from the Teaching and Learning subcommittee is that there should be no due dates permitted during term break and students should have an adequate amount of time to complete coursework during scheduled term days,” said Morsette.

VP Student Life Adrian Alcantara focused on building and re-building relationships with different offices across campus including the Active Living department, Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Indigenous Engagement. Specific to his portfolio, Alcantara has also been hosting a CJSW radio show which has received a lot of positive feedback. 

Salmassi reported that he, alongside Schmidt, has been advocating for the federal government to help international student issues including lifting the 20-hour workweek limitation on international students. 

“Also, bringing together some groups of clubs and other international student clubs where there are a lot of international students and international students individually to begin mobilizing around issues,” said Salmassi. “This includes assisting them and doing outreach to their peers, as well as in the longer term, discussing the creation of international students associations, which is a central organization they can go to.”

The SLC also voted unanimously on the approval of the SU’s position on the U of C’s tuition and fee proposals. Schmidt will be voting against the proposed increases at the next Board meeting.

For more details on the report documents, minutes, and upcoming meetings, visit the SLC website. 

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