Associate News Editor
Â Â Â Â University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union President Chris Stoicheff sat down with the Sheaf to update us on his summer and what he plans to accomplish this upcoming school year.Â Making the university more accessible and inclusive are his top priorities.
Â Â Â Â A major concern for the last few years, Stoicheff is still working to fix the housing problems at the university.
Â Â Â Â “The main thing for me on the university front is that next phase of beds are created for residence students. [The new residence] will be done by fall of 2011 and I’m really excited because we are now in talks with the province and the university about building another 400 bed student residence.”
Â Â Â Â His summer, however, has mostly consisted of planning new programs that will hopefully come into effect in the upcoming school year.
Â Â Â Â “I’ve been working with the Saskatchewan Coalition for Community Living [trying to implement a] program called Campus for All, which would allow students with intellectual disabilities to take classes,” he said.
“We’ve also decided to fund the RAD program — the Rape and Aggression Defence class. It used to be offered here on campus and we’ve decided to reinstate the funding. We’re giving them $1,500.”
Â Â Â Â Stoicheff also pointed out his plans to change the Student Council meetings.
Â Â Â Â “Last year it was boring because there were no presentations given. This year I’ve got it all set up that until February we’ve got a presenter each meeting.”
Â Â Â He hopes that this new format to the meetings will not only attract general student interest but help fill the international and Aboriginal seats that were left empty last year.
Â Â Â Â “We will be helping the international students have an election in the next week or so,” said Stoicheff. “We would love to see [both those groups of] students come into our council. It’s a huge priority.”
Â Â Â Â In fact, they”ºve started an Aboriginal Inclusion and Engagement Committee, which brings together all the separate groups on campus targeted for Aboriginal students.
Â Â Â Â Â The USSU has also “been talking with the City of Saskatoon about a summer U-Pass, which is a huge issue for students,” Stoicheff mentioned.
Â Â Â Â Ultimately, however, the primary concern for Stoicheff this year is childcare.
Â Â Â Â “We’ve got the Childcare Rally coming up on Sept. 22. We’ve asked the university to set up a steering committee task force on childcare and they’ve done that, but we are hoping for university funding,” he said. “The reality is we have a waiting list of over 390 students on our daycare waitlist, and that’s about a two or three year wait, and the cost is $805 a month.”
Â Â Â Â “They’ve got College Quarter for the whole master plan. Right beside Griffith they are talking about building family houses and in with that there is a great opportunity to build a new daycare.”
The Check-in is a weekly column meant to make student politics less painfully boring. If you have an issue you would like us to discuss with the executive, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
image: Pete Yee