The College of Arts and Science is the largest college on campus, containing nearly 45 per cent of the total student body at the University of Saskatchewan. As the organization tasked with representing the college, the Arts and Science Students Union serves the largest number of students after the U of S Students’ Union.
According to their website, the ASSU’s mission is to facilitate and improve student life in the College of Arts and Science. Throughout the year, they organize events that range from an annual talent show to board game nights to conversations about tuition rates with the dean of the college, allowing students to be involved in both the university’s social and academic spheres.
Olena Malko, president of the ASSU and third-year international studies student, says that the union is a good way to get involved in campus life.
“We organize events to bring students together and encourage them to socialize with each other,” Malko said. “It also gets you involved within the community. This year we are collaborating with other colleges to organize a food drive for Thanksgiving.”
Malko explains that joining the group also gives students a good platform through which to develop employable skills.
“It’s a good place for students to practice skills that are applicable in the workforce, like leadership in an organization,” Malko said. “There’s a lot of support in the union, and you feel encouraged to be a leader and voice your opinion.”
Although recent ASSU events have reportedly been underattended, Malko says that the union will try to increase their visibility this year, since engagement is necessary for the union to better represent students’ interests.
“We do the most we can [by] having more and more events and giveaways — we are trying to do better and better every year,” Malko said. “Hopefully, the word spreads. The most we can do is encourage people to come and try to represent them and their majors.
Malko was first acquainted with the ASSU after a friend invited her to attend a meeting last year. For Malko, joining the ASSU has positively changed her experience at the U of S.
“I was still kind of lost at what I was doing at university. I joined and ended up making lots of friends, and they all encouraged me to do what I wanted to do,” Malko said. “You make memories and friends that you otherwise wouldn’t have.”
Malko explains that, this year, the ASSU is looking to plan their activities with a focus on making more services and experiences accessible to students.
“[Tutors] cost a lot sometimes, and students can’t always afford [them] … and they just give up and don’t do anything,” Malko said. “We want to do that to encourage people to study and give them something that can benefit them in the long run.”
Malko encourages students who want to get involved in the ASSU to stop by their office in Arts 218 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during weekdays or reach out to them through their Facebook page.
“We are always looking for more students to join the union,” Malko said. “As long as you are an undergrad student, you are more than welcome to join and help represent your major.”
Ana Cristina Camacho / Staff Writer
Photo: Riley Deacon / Photo Editor