Welcome back, everyone!

After a vibrant start to the new school year, I hope you’ve all had the time to settle in, explore or re-discover our campus. Many of you have shared your concerns about affordability, and we hear you loud and clear. That’s why I am excited to share some updates on the projects and advocacy issues your UASU Exec team has been working on.

As always, do not hesitate to direct message, e-mail, call or chat with us for any questions or concerns you may have. 

Christian Fotang


Here’s what your Exec has been up to lately:
-We've partnered with the University to revamp the Moderate Standard of Living calculation for student bursary applications. Following last years’ student protest at the Board of Governors, we've shown how inflation is putting financial pressure on students, and thanks to our advocacy, the U of A is boosting bursary spending for 2023/2024 by around $1 million! More funds for students, especially those in need.

-Students can now get verification documents for free. As it should be! Simply request them online and pick them up in person at the University Student Service Centre within about 10 days.

-We're thrilled to announce the return of the UASU Pronoun Campaign for the third year, and this time, we've doubled the positive response from professors! This helps us create inclusive classrooms by equipping professors with pronoun literacy. Let's work to make every student feel safe and respected.

-We've been collaborating with the University to make forms and portals more accommodating for non-binary students. While there is still much work to be done on the affirmed name project, we’re hoping to align all the forms the University uses.

-September 18-22 was officially Consent Awareness Week. We teamed up with Possibility Seeds and The U of A Sexual Assault Centre to promote consent literacy and raise awareness on campus. From workshops to a declaration of acknowledgement from the Minister of Advanced Education and the Minister of Arts, Culture and Status of Women offices, we're making strides for consent education.
-We presented to the Minister of Advanced Education at this year’s Student Leaders’ Orientation with Council of Alberta Undergraduate Students (CAUS) and universities across Alberta, advocating for increased investments in the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence.

-Introducing the ZTCup! It's an award recognizing faculties' efforts to make courses more affordable for students by offering them with the Zero Textbook Cost program. Reach out if you want more details or information to share with instructors about the ZTC program.

-Introducing the long awaited Rutherford Family Corner! This brand-new space on campus offers parents and children a secluded area, complete with private lactation pods. Be the first to experience it during Rutherford Library operating hours. Access is easy with an approved OneCard—email dosdean@ualberta.ca to get yours. The space is open for student parents and will fully launch later in October!

-In the coming draft regarding academic integrity, there will be a better process to prevent instructors from reporting concerns long after they first have them. This provides stronger justification and reduces the risk of students facing sanctions months or even years down the line. Stay tuned for updates.

-An Indigenous Course requirement has also been approved for the Faculty of Science, to be implemented by Fall 2024. While we have more work ahead to further indigenize our programs at the University of Alberta, this is a significant step in the right direction. It follows years of advocacy from various VPAs emphasizing the importance of including Indigenous course content!

-We've initiated discussions to enhance students' access to various forms of academic and non-academic support. We've also begun conversations about centralizing research opportunities to make them more accessible and equitable for all our students. Stay tuned for updates on these exciting developments!

-Going zero waste at Campus Saint-Jean? We're on it! We’ll have more updates soon on our efforts to minimize waste on campus.

Other nice to knows:
-Exciting news on the provincial level! Alberta is taking a giant leap in tech innovation. Alberta’s tech sector is on the rise, and the government's newly announced $27.3 million investment in university research will boost AI, healthcare, clean energy, and more. Of that funding, $7 million will be allocated to U of A!

-Edmonton has secured a $5M provincial grant to boost transit safety! This grant will go towards upgrading more than 700+ doors/windows, the addition of 25 new security cameras, and more. This funding will also offer new opportunities for city workers and transit community safety teams to link vulnerable community members with vital resources.