2023 SU general election: President
The president is the leader of the Students’ Union (SU). They have the most flexible portfolio, but are generally in charge of setting the direction of the organization. They also maintain official relations with the university, oversee the work of the Students’ Legislative Council (SLC) and vote on the Board of Governors.
Mickail Hendi is a passionate advocate for students, and after serving as the vice-president operations and finance on the 79th SLC, he is eager to come back and face more responsibilities.
One of the main points on his platform is to advocate for students more “pointedly.” When asked to elaborate, Hendi explained that he wants to form better relationships with organizations that the SU can derive something mutually beneficial from, such as the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE), along with organizations that will always be at odds with SU, such as the university administration and the provincial government. Currently, the SU is pushing for more predictable tuition increases and affordability, but Hendi says he hates this idea and wants to push for a tuition freeze instead. While it’s unclear how this will be possible considering inflation and the state of our economy, Hendi is adamant on this and believes asking for a tuition freeze is totally reasonable as long as we go in with student solidarity.
Bringing more visibility to the SU and the work they’re already doing is also a major point for Hendi. He believes Quality Money — around $1.65 million in funding given to the SU each year to invest in projects for students — is greatly underappreciated. When a project gets funded by Quality Money, he wants there to be a bigger recognition of the SU’s involvement in those projects, so that students know where that money is coming from. Hendi also wants to create a better brand image for the SU, putting up the SU logo around campus more.
Hendi says bridging the gap between students and their representatives is probably his most important point. He wants students to be more familiar with their representatives and their roles, and let them know that they have their back. He believes meeting face-to-face more with students will help do this.
Overall, Hendi seems to care a lot about the needs of students. While it’s still a bit confusing as to how he’ll meet some of his goals, Hendi would for sure be a passionate leader.
SHAZIAH JINNAH MORSETTE
Shaziah Jinnah Morsette is another candidate running for the president position.
After serving as the previous vice-president academic, Morsette is determined to continue advocating for students by fighting against compounded tuition hikes, creating well-being-focused academics and an equitable SU.
Currently, the SU has a consultation guidelines document put forth to university administration as a tool for consulting with students about key issues including tuition. Morsette hopes to entrench this document in legislation so that students can better hold the administration accountable on all kinds of issues.
In addressing food security on campus, Morsette plans to ensure that the administration actually invests in the campus food security strategy. Morsette believes that it is ultimately the university’s responsibility to invest in establishing a security strategy, especially with the recent tuition increases and the university’s commitment that there will be more support towards food security on campus.
Morsette acknowledges that most of the work within the SU is done through committees. By having sat in these expert committees during her term as vice-president academic, she is informed of the necessary changes. Over the past year, Morsette recognized the need to change traditional examination forms by shifting towards equitable and accessible alternatives by utilizing the tools that were made available during the pandemic.
In further advocating for well-being, and student-centred academics, Morsette aims to diversify the counselling services provided through the Student Wellness Services as well as the physicians available on campus. While she recognizes that budget cuts have greatly impacted the Wellness Services, she argues that maximizing the current resources available is the key to accommodate student concerns.
Morsette is confident that she can represent the various needs of a diverse student population, especially after her consultation with students during her term as vice-president academic. In addition to her SU experience, her drive, passion and authenticity are qualities that equip her to effectively fight for students.
All undergraduate students may vote for one of the two candidates for PRESIDENT or ABSTAIN from voting.