With 2018 behind us, it is time to look back at the biggest news stories of the year. From initiatives for reconciliation to a particularly tumultuous year for the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union to pot legalization, here are Usask’s news highlights for 2018.
Campus holds events to stand in solidarity with Justice for Colten
Around 300 students gathered outside of the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre on Feb. 13 to join the Justice For Colten Rally and March, following the not guilty verdict for the Gerald Stanley trial in the killing of Colten Boushie of Red Pheasant First Nation.
Indigenous Students’ Council calls for autonomous governing body, student council reacts
The Indigenous Students’ Council called for the creation of a U of S Indigenous Students’ Union in a public statement on Feb. 28. The ISC stated they felt “that USASK administration [was] benefiting from Indigenous student labour to consent and agree with the colonial paradigms of administration.”
At the University Students’ Council meeting, the motion to support the ISC’s proposal was tabled to allow more time to understand what the creation of such a union would mean for the USSU.
Louis’ Loft employees dissatisfied with management
After months of complaints to management, Louis’ Loft employees talked to the Sheaf about their health and safety concerns.Their main issue was with the alleged lack of proper ventilation, reportedly due to the space not being initially designed for its current purpose. One employee’s proposed solution was to change the menu items to include more cold sandwiches and soups to reduce the health and safety concerns for employees and customers.
USSU president D’Eon to refuse transition after incoming candidate accused of sexual assault
The 2018-2019 USSU executive elections were surrounded in controversy following a Facebook post accusing the unopposed presidential candidate Coden Nikbakht of sexual assault. All four outgoing executive members violated USSU bylaws to publicly support the unnamed survivors while the elections were still open.
USSU President Coden Nikbakht departs union
The 2018 fall term kicked off with the announcement that Nikbakht had left his position as USSU president. His departure was reportedly caused by issues regarding his status as a student due to uncompleted classes.
First meeting between FSIN youth representatives and Saskatoon police deemed ‘productive’
Darian Lonechild, a fourth-year Indigenous studies student and Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations youth representative, met with Saskatoon Police Chief Troy Cooper and his executive staff to discuss the implementation of officer-worn body cameras. This meeting followed Lonechild’s open letter in July, prompted by the death of Jordan Lafonde in 2016.
U of S unveils revised Smoking, Alcohol and Substances Policy days before cannabis legalization
In anticipation of the national legalization of cannabis on Oct. 17, the U of S released a revised Smoking, Alcohol and Substances Policy on Oct. 15. The main takeaway was that cannabis consumption is not allowed on campus except for medical purposes, in compliance with provincial laws.
U of S focuses on Indigenization with new university plan
The U of S unveiled a new university plan that will guide the university’s actions through to the year 2025. Entitled The University the World Needs, the proposal states that the institution’s new mission aims to focus campus efforts on reconciliation and Indigenization.
Meet your new USSU president
The USSU by-election ended on Oct. 18 with Rollin Baldhead as president-elect. The by-election had a condensed timeline with only one week between nominations and voting. The three main points of Baldhead’s platform were being available to the student body, creating a more holistic mental-health strategy and undertaking an internal assessment of the USSU.
Let the games begin: U of S hosts grand-opening weekend for Merlis Belsher Place
On Oct. 26 and 27, the U of S formally opened the $51-million facility. During the grand opening, event-goers watched the Huskies play the Regina Cougars and could try out sledge hockey and skate with Howler, the Huskies mascot. Merlis Belsher Place replaced the Rutherford Rink as home for Huskies hockey, and it is expected to both create student job opportunities and attract sports lovers from across the province.
Ana Cristina Camacho / Staff Writer
Photo: Riley Deacon / Photo Editor