The 2017-18 USSU executives prepare for the upcoming year

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On March 22, four students were selected to be executives for the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union, acting as a representative body for all undergraduate students in both academic and non-academic matters. Now that the 2017-18 academic year is finally here, the USSU executives are ready to implement their goals for the year and give a few tips to new students.

Jessica Quan
VP Academic Affairs
Crystal Lau
VP Student Affairs
David D’Eon
President
Deena Kapacila
VP Operations & Finance

“What was your platform and how is it progressing?”

David D’Eon, president

“Our vision is to increase [the] accessibility of the union in its operations. This means finding ways to empower students, as opposed to doing it ourselves, and being creative in the ways we are publishing information.”

Jessica Quan, vice-president academic affairs

“For my election, I ran on four campaign points: working on co-curricular transcripts, increasing the amount of open textbooks available, promoting the services that the university and the USSU offers and [hosting] a tuition commission.”

“Do you have any major projects or events you are planning on pursuing this year?”

Deena Kapacila, vice-president operations and finance

“I’m working on a student group survival guide. It has all of the information in one place for campus groups, including how to book space, apply for funding and the various services the USSU offers student groups. I’m also working on a community events page, which will feature all [of] the different events being held by student groups and the USSU. Lastly, I’m working on risk-management sessions, making students more aware of the non-academic misconduct policy.”

Crystal Lau, vice-president student affairs

“I am currently working on over 14 projects right now, and the main two things that I campaigned on and that I am working on that are all year long are: the [skating] rink in the Bowl… The second thing is the free menstrual products pilot project.”

“Do you have a focus for the year?”

D’Eon: “My overall focus is to empower the union to be more of a lobbying body for students. Part of that is the governance pieces, the coalition, but also beginning to put together research, both external and internal, that will strengthen our ability to negotiate with administration and all levels of government.”

Quan: “In the wake of the budget cuts that students are facing this year, I want to do [whatever] I possibly can within the university framework to maximize the availability, quality and awareness of services already provided. Although tuition costs are rising, I want to reduce expenses and offset financial costs in other areas.”

“Is there anything you wish you had known when you first started university?”

D’Eon: “In many other places in my life, I have been the nerd or the loner. That’s never the case in this university. There are so many people with different interests and experiences, and the culture that has developed is the greatest strength of this institution. Get involved with a campus club, volunteer, get involved in a sports team or just spend time doing what you want to do, and you will find your community.”

“What is your favourite part of Welcome Week?”

Kapacila: “Welcome Week is the perfect opportunity to hang out with people you’ve met at Orientation. Also free stuff — get all the free stuff and mini donuts!”

“Do you have any tips on how to prepare for lectures and exams?”

Quan: “As for preparing for lectures and exams, make sure to utilize the resources on campus. For instance, the USSU Help Centre has an exam file, which is helpful for studying, and the university library offers academic-related sessions throughout the year that cover a broad range of useful skills.”

“Do you have a favourite hang-out spot on campus to study and meet up with friends?”

Lau: “My first study spot would be those study rooms in St. Thomas More College across from the classroom 1001. As a matter of [a] hang out spot, I would change it to the piano in Arts, so I can jam with friends there.”

Lindsay Rose

Photos: Olivia Swerhone-Wick / Supplied