This spring and summer, your UASU Execs have been busy advocating for changes to improve your campus experience ahead of the 2023-24 school year. From affordable student housing, to increased financial support for students, to laying the groundwork for a more inclusive campus and more, keep reading to learn more about your Execs and some of their summer projects.
Christian Fotang, UASU President
Christian (he/him) is a dedicated 6th-year Biology major at the University of Alberta. With an unyielding commitment, Christian forges government connections and advocates for accessible higher education, while also pursuing his passion for learning, research and engaging with student groups. Off-duty, he's a soccer fanatic.
This summer, Christian has been:
- Crafting our executive team's goals for the year, aiming high and setting the path for impactful achievements.
- Collaborating closely with our VP Operations and Finance on the Moderate Standard of Living Working Group, to address gaps in support for students facing rising financial pressures.
- Engaged with the new Minister of Advanced Education Rajan Sawhney to chart our course for the upcoming year.
- Began planning with our VP Operations and Finance and our Director of Business Operations to construct accessible all-gender washrooms in the main floor of Dewey’s. Making strides towards greater accessibility.
-Launched the Exceptional Tuition Increases Task Force, dedicated to promoting greater accountability and transparency in cases where Exceptional Tuition Increases (ETIs) were implemented in 2022. Holding Faculty Administrations to higher standards.
-Laying the groundwork for our new UASU strategic plan, ensuring a roadmap for our future goals.
Chris Beasley, UASU Vice President External
With six years dedicated to political science studies, Chris (he/they) has immersed himself in campus life. He is championing student interests, spearheading provincial advocacy through CAUS, and tackling crucial issues like mental health funding, gender-based violence support, and degree affordability. When not shaping governance, you'll find Chris looking for cats to pet.
Chris' projects this summer include:
-Spoke at City Council’s Urban Planning Committee regarding Zoning Bylaw Renewal in favor of affordable housing for students.
-Conducted over 70 meet and greets with our Alberta MLAs to advocate for pressing student concerns including: mental health, gender-based violence prevention, and affordability.
- Engaged with the new Minister of Advanced Education Rajan Sawhney to discuss the year ahead.
- Participated in the Canadian Alliance of Student Association (CASA) conference to set national priorities with student associations nationwide.
- Chosen as Chair of the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) to lead collaborative efforts among Alberta’s other post-secondary institutions (PSI) members.
Pedro Almeida, UASU Vice President Academic
Pedro (he/him) is a 4th year Immunology & Infection student. Originally from Brazil, he's had the honor of representing students in the University of Alberta Senate and engaging in volunteer experiences like the Peer-Assisted-Learning Program. Pedro is dedicated to enhancing the student experience by championing improved student support, affordability, and transparent policies. Beyond his role, he enjoys table tennis and soccer.
This summer, Pedro has:
- Worked with the Registrar's Office and the Library to amplify the Zero Textbook Cost program, aiming for a record-breaking year of ZTC courses. Discover ZTC courses on Bear Tracks!
- Initiated regular meetings with Student Representative Associations, to complement communication alongside the Council of Faculty Associations. Ensuring student leaders are in the loop about crucial academic matters.
- Championed student interest on the newest draft of the Academic Integrity Policy. Prioritizing fairness, transparency and restorative options for all.
- Begun conversations about how to improve flexibility in learning through an expansion of hybrid delivery.
- Kicked off planning for the Student Representative Association (SRA) Summit, an event to bring student leaders together to tackle the issues most important to students.
- Teamed up with UASU President to initiate data collection on faculty consultation practices with students and Faculty Associations to identify potential gaps and guide future advocacy.
Levi Flaman, UASU Vice President Operations & Finance
Levi (he/him) recently graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in East Asian Business Studies and minoring in Business Economics & Law with various certificates. His focus centers on affordability by collaborating with student associations to lower costs and enhancing non-student revenue streams for the UASU. Off-campus, Levi enjoys posting food photos to Instagram, gaming and East Asian multimedia.
This summer, Levi's projects include:
- Teamed up with VP Student Life and President on the Moderate Standard of Living Working Group to tackle the growing financial challenges students face. We want to establish benchmarks for a more respectable quality of life and student experience.
- Bringing in a local architectural firm to conduct a Schematic Design Report; the first step towards constructing new accessible and gender-neutral washrooms in Dewey’s.
- Initiating conversations with fellow student associations to explore the possibility of a collective purchasing organization to make student resources go further.
- Engaged in discussions with faculty associations about streamlining locker rentals campus-wide into a unified platform. Enhancing convenience for everyone.
Michael Griffiths, UASU Vice President Student Life
Michael (he/they) is entering their fifth year of a political science degree, with a minor in economics and a certificate in leadership. This year's focus includes enhancing safety, inclusivity, affordability, and sustainability at the University of Alberta, led by initiatives such as the new sexual and gender-based violence prevention policy and improved mental health support.
This summer, Michael has:
- Refined the Period Equity Initiative, creating a sustainable framework to offer free menstrual products for students while setting the stage for long-term scalability.
- Worked with the Registrar’s Office on the Moderate Standard of Living Working Group , spotlighting the growing financial challenges students face. Defining support thresholds for dignified life and student experience.
- Coordinated the exciting “Campus Clash” event in partnership with the Edmonton Elks for September 2023. An affordable chance for students to connect, win prizes, and support Student Representative Associations.
- Begun planning for World Mental Health Day in October to raise awareness and offer a platform for students to share and reflect on our wellbeing.
- Engaged in workshops on the Student Experience Action Plan, a strategic guide reflecting students’ priorities for our University experience. Launching this Fall, it will outline pathways for improving the student experience in vital areas ID’d by students.