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SLC discusses academic and research plans set for the GFC meeting 

By Vama Saini, February 12 2024—

Last week’s Student Legislative Council (SLC) meeting took place on Feb 6. The main topic of discussion was the General Faculties Council (GFC) meeting.

VP Academic Sandra Amin began by addressing the GFC meeting and outlined the key action items to be discussed. The first was the approval of the Academic Innovation Plan. 

“Myself, as well as the president, were able to get an amendment in the academic plan to talk about academic resources and accessible academic resources so that it establishes that as an institutional priority for us as we move forward,” said Amin. 

“Advocating for textbooks and how costly they are but also, on the flipside, making sure that there is a high-quality education happening in the classroom and that the basis for that is high-quality and accessible academic resources,” she continued. 

The second action item was the approval of the Research and Innovation Plan. Amin outlined amendments focusing on undergraduate research, including recognizing existing initiatives like the College of Discovery, Creativity and Innovation (CDCI). 

“A part of the plan would be looking at some of the barriers undergraduate students face when they are pursuing research, prioritizing addressing those,” said Amin. 

The third item on the GFC agenda was the establishment of the 2024-25 GFC membership distribution.

Discussion items set for the GFC meeting include a national survey of student engagement, which is conducted every two years. Amin highlighted its importance in analyzing trends and evaluating institutional progress. 

“It’s a survey that gets administered to first-year students and fourth-year plus students. So in 2023, we had this survey administered and this a time when they’re going to break down all the data and see where the trends are and see whether we as an institution have moved forward or maybe not progressed as much in certain areas that the SU gave,” said Amin. 

VP Student Life Ermia Rezaei-Afsah made an announcement regarding a consultation meeting scheduled for Feb. 14. The meeting will focus on addressing concerns about residence issues raised by the SU and exploring the potential re-establishment of a Residence Students Association (RSA). 

“[The meeting’s] going to look into what happening on residence, some of the issues that the SU spoke about, and also moving that discussion to potentially talking about a re-establishment of a potential RSA, if students are interested in paying a fee again, if they’re interested in what type of RSA they’d like to see, how much they know about the RSA, a presentation on it,” said Rezaei-Afsah. 

Residents and representatives residing on campus were encouraged to attend and contribute to the discussion.

SU President Shaziah Jinnah Morsette emphasized the ongoing importance of the SU annual survey. Morsette encouraged faculty representatives to actively promote the survey, noting a record-breaking response from international students. 

“It gives us a great idea of their needs again and the unique needs they may have on campus, and I wanted to highlight that I do think that it is the result of a lot of the work we’ve done engaging with international students this year and advocating for them and really highlighting that as a priority,” said Morsette. 

Morsette expressed concern about historically low responses from professional faculties and urged representatives to increase outreach before the Feb. 16 deadline.

For agendas, minutes and upcoming meetings, visit the SU website.

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