The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) is a council composed of a body of students elected by their peers, who are in charge of running the Acadia Students’ Union. The Council meets bi-weekly on Tuesdays at 5:15 PM in the Beveridge Forum which is located off of the Michener Lounge in the old Students’ Union Building (SUB). Every meeting is open to the public and students are encouraged to attend the meetings to learn more about the decisions being made on their behalf.
On January 15th Council met to discuss the upcoming general and by-election, Acadia University tuition increase, and the resignation of Alyssa Hall. Mackenzie Branch, VP Academic and External, informed Council of the University Senate’s decision to change the GPA grading system as well as changes to the upcoming academic calendars. Numerous announcements were also made by George Philp, ASU President.
Upcoming General and By-elections
Sacha Russo, Chief Returning Officer, has called both a general and by-election. Based on Bylaw 3 which discusses SRC elections, positions that will be elected in the general election include: President, Vice President Academic & External, Vice President Events & Promotions, Vice President Finance & Operations, Vice President Student Life, and other non-executive positions. The nomination period will take place between January 22nd and February 1st with a mandatory all-candidates meeting on the following Monday. The voting period will last from February 10th – February 14th. There will be multiple polling stations set up around campus with the results sent out shortly after by email.
Acadia University Tuition Increase
The majority of today’s meeting was spent on a discussion regarding Acadia’s proposed tuition increase. As per the tuition consultation agreement between Acadia University and the ASU, a schedule of fees for the 2019/20 fiscal year must be sent from the University to the SRC where the fees will be discussed and sent back to the University.
The University is proposing a domestic and international tuition increase by 2-3%, most fees will stay at their current level. The income that goes towards the university from tuition will remain at 54% with the tuition increase in effect. The increase in tuition will go towards the Music Therapy practicum and English as a Second Language program. President George Philp noted that it is unlikely that the University will back off of the 2-3% tuition increase. President Philp noted he would like to see the University’s Equity Officer position increased from a two-day role to a three day a week job, an African Descent Student Advisor be hired, another person to be hired in Acadia Residence life, a full time position for a health and wellness educator, and probation fees to be waived from this tuition increase. Philp proposed that the SRC will support the 2-3% increase given that the University completes 3 of their 6 demands in the upcoming 2019-2020 fiscal year. The motion was unanimously accepted by Council.
On January 10th Councillor Alyssa Hall announced her resignation effective immediately. The SRC briefly discussed Hall’s resignation and unanimously agreed to accept the resignation. An election, discussed earlier, has already been called in order to fill her position.
University Senate Updates
VP Academic and External Mackenzie Branch announced to Council that the University Senate has announced that the timetable has now been planned out on a four-year planning process. Students can now view the yearly schedules up to four years in advance. Last semester, a survey was sent out to the student body questioning what kind of fall study break students prefer. Based on the survey a reading week that does not fall on thanksgiving Monday or Remembrance Day will be included in each fall semester shown on the four-year timetables.
The Senate also decided to change the grading system from a 4.0 GPA system to a 4.3 GPA system in effect for the 2019/20 fiscal year. The grades previously earned by students will not change to suit the new 4.3 GPA system and students who have grades under the 4.0 and 4.3 systems will be averaged regarding cumulative GPA at the end of their four/five years. Institutions receiving students’ transcripts will be made aware of the discrepancy.
President George Philp announced that an election panel will be taking place Wednesday January 16th from 5:00-6:00pm. It will be Q&A based where students will have an opportunity to ask current SRC members questions about their positions. Students are encouraged to come, participate and learn more.
Club Extravaganza Round 2 will take place a week from today on January 22nd 4:00-7:00pm. Club Extravaganza is recommended for any incoming or returning students looking to join a new club or find a hobby on the main level of the SUB.
The Campaign for mental health will be outside the Vaughan Memorial Library from January 30th – February 1st 10:00am-4:00pm every day. The campaign is to promote equal mental health support and will take place on 20 campuses across this country.
Rylie Moscato is a first year English student and Columnist for The Athenaeum