Report from Students' Council: January 6, 2011
This week’s meeting of University Student’s Council saw no new business, but a lively questions and comments period covered everything from student safety to buying books.
The University of Saskatchewan Student’s Union president Chris Stoicheff said that the executive is working to set up a system to contact undergraduate students. Currently, the executive can only send two blanket emails to the student body, and they want more contact with students.
Likely, they will set up a system that will allow students to subscribe through one of the two existing emails.
Vice president academic affairs Kelsey Topola is busy with the Be Book Smart campaign which runs Jan. 10 to 14.
“[Book Smart] promotes awareness of ways you can find textbooks cheaper,” explained Topola.
In addition to encouraging students to use consignment and library options, part of the campaign involves working with professors to create better options. These include using older editions and open access texts.
Wheelchair accessibility and awful water fountains
Vice president student affairs Leon Thompson committed to speaking with Disability Student Services about providing appropriate signage, after a student complaint was brought to council. While all areas of the Engineering Building are wheelchair accessible, the student had to go through a door marked as alarmed to get to her class, with no signs directing her to the route.
The decrepit state of the water fountains in the Education Building was another issue, and Stoicheff agreed with the need for an upgrade.
“Even as a music major you can’t find decent water anywhere,” added Stoicheff, who spent years practicing as a Greystone singer in the building.
Mugging outside biology: Safety concerns
Arts and science councillor Katie Salmers brought up the continuing concern about safety on campus. A student who was mugged outside the Biology Building expressed concerns about the long-dysfunctional safety phones, the number of security guards and lighting.
Council formally gave its support to the Campus Safety package on safety phones, which was presented in an October USC meeting. The package targets necessary improvements to the phones.
At the same meeting in October, they pledged support for increased lighting of pathways on campus.
As for guards, Thompson assured council that Campus Safety has not removed personnel but they do “change routes according to what they determine to be high risk areas.”
Next week, council will have a presentation by the director of Campus Safety, Bob Ferguson, which will hopefully bring more light to the issue.