Year In Review
As the 2011-2012 year comes to a close, the USSU Executive would like to highlight a couple of what we consider to be a few of our major accomplishments for the year.
First are the multiple changes that we made to the USSU Bylaw, in particular those surrounding the composition of University Students Council and the elections of Members to that council. Previous to this year, confusion existed over whom members of University Students’ Council (MSCs) represented. Some thought that they represented their student societies; some wanted nothing to do with their student societies. The changes we implemented to the bylaw clear up this representation debate: MSCs represent the students in their college, school, institution, or group and they need not take the same view as their student society.
The other change, which goes hand in hand with this clarity of representation, is that the USSU now runs the elections for all MSCs on top of the elections for USSU Executive positions. Rather than having MSC elections scattered throughout the year and being done based on different sets of rules varying from college society to college society, they are now run according to the USSU election rules, ensuring free, fair, and open elections for all MSCs.
Vice-President of Student Affairs Alex Ferwerda, working in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan Office of Sustainability and the Arts & Science Students’ Union, had a more concrete accomplishment in the fall. With the help of everyone involved, we were able to erect a “Bike-Tool-Repair-Stand,” which is now located in the bowl, between the Arts building and Thorvaldson. The Stand allows people to make minor repairs to their bikes, for instance repairing a flat tire, or tightening the brakes. This is an important part of a campus-wide sustainability initiative directed at encouraging people to use alternative modes of transportation instead of a car to get to and from campus.
Vice-President of Academic Affairs Kelsey Topola also ran a very successful iteration of the Experience in Excellence awards. This is an annual awards banquet held by the USSU to honour professors who have been nominated by their students for being excellent teachers and mentors. The awards also include those for U of S staff spirit, USSU staff spirit, and a number of awards for the best Volunteers at our USSU Centres, which would not be able to function without them.
Vice-President of Operations and Finance Reid Nystuen worked tirelessly in an attempt to return the USSU to a balanced budget, without cutting any of the many valuable services that the USSU provides to its students. In March, he tabled a budget that was very nearly balanced, with the exception of depreciation, which we all know is fake money anyway. He also got the ball rolling on a Summer U-PASS for students, which will be continued by the incoming executive and hopefully will be implemented in the coming years.
These are a few of the things that we are proud of, looking back on the year that was our term in Office, 2011-2012.