I hope everyone had a good reading break! The SRC did not meet for a couple of weeks because there were no motions to pass; however, they resumed their weekly meetings last Wednesday. Here is what they discussed:
The first topic of discussion was centered around an audit which should close on December third (the statements will then be released). Of particular interest were the funds of the previous grad classes of Acadia (dating back around twenty years). Though Alumni Affairs has requested the possession of these funds on the basis of an alleged agreement, President Brendan MacNeil stated that no such contract has been recorded, so the funds will remain within the ASU. The logic behind this is that the reason the funds were initially paid to the ASU was so that the funds of previous students could be spent on current ones. MacNeil went on to explain that these funds would go into a capital fund and would likely be spent on a “large capital project”. When the funds are spent, recognition will be given to the grad classes who these funds came from.
Academic affairs reported a meeting had with students, largely in response to how their academic experiences were going this term. Overall, students are feeling overwhelmed, they lack motivation, and are just generally having a hard time. This most common feedback was that most professors are assigning a larger number of small assignments which results in more stress for students. Academic Affairs has compiled some possible recommendations they could bring forth to different bodies, such as providing a mental health “tool kit” that could be shared with students, having an evaluation during the term so profs can get real-time feedback and adjust accordingly, and finally extending the drop without F grade deadline until the end of the term.
Governance committee and the review board
These two bodies are both currently have enough missing seats to function at an appropriate level. The hope is that after the by-election, the issue can be re-visited and perhaps resolved. The SRC anticipates filling the rest of the governance committee positions after the by-election.
Student Consultation Day
Brendan MacNeil explained a new initiative he has recently planned where all the Deans, the Provost, and Peter Ricketts are given an opportunity to get feedback from their students and engage with them. MacNeil has recommended that senators find a way to share this information with the student in their discipline and encourage them to sign up for this opportunity on November 30th.
A short announcement was made by Lydia Houck regarding the “councillors to councillors” initiative. This involves connecting councillors from the SRC with councillors from the Town of Wolfville to promote the university to community relations and create valuable relationships. The plan as of the meeting is the resume this initiative after the results from the by-election come in.
Zach, the Theology Senator, is doing a Q&A to “ask a Theologian anything” in effort to help shine some light on the seemingly mysterious discipline of Theology (hint: it’s not the study of rocks). He will advertise this event via word of mouth and email. He, alongside his professor Steven, will discuss questions like: why study theology? How does theology apply to students outside of its discipline? And more. Questions can also be submitted beforehand or asked live!
Diversity and Inclusion representative Soyini Edwards is planning an event where students can “beat the hell” out of piñatas to help destress. Stay tuned!