The monthly University Council meeting on Feb. 14 had a late start due to an absent speaker for the scheduled opening tribute. Once the meeting was underway, the conversation returned to the topics of the previous meeting: sustainability, international relations and transparency.
The first topic of the day was the university’s redaction of transcripts in a freedom of information request, discussed at length in the previous meeting. Chair Jay Wilson said the co-ordinating committee met in January to discuss the issue and was “satisfied with the response of the president” as they are waiting to see how the courts proceed on the matter.
University of Saskatchewan President Peter Stoicheff addressed a concern raised in the January council meeting regarding the university’s dealings with China, in light of the news of one Canadian being sentenced to death in China. Stoicheff says it is not necessary for the university to call attention to China in particular.
“There are 21 other countries that the Government of Canada has designated with a higher travel risk,” Stoicheff said. “If we start identifying which countries we want to have educational relationships and which we don’t, we’ll find in short order that we have very few countries left to work with.”
Stoicheff also continued the conversation from the previous meeting concerning the university’s sustainability target, explaining that some proposals are currently under investigation.
The biggest initiative mentioned was a $40-million cogenerational plant to generate steam and electricity from natural gas, which is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 40,000 tons of CO² yearly or 120 per cent of the university’s target. The university is hoping to get a federal grant to help finance it.
U of S Students’ Union President Rollin Baldhead gave an update on the union’s activities. He said that the Face-toFace initiative, through which the executive interacted with students in different programs, ended on Jan. 24. Baldhead says the new Elder-in-Residence initiative is “exceeding expectations in numbers but also with how comfortable students feel within that space.”
Baldhead also mentioned the joint efforts of the USSU, Saskatoon Transit and the university in using a chipbased U-Pass. Finally, Baldhead introduced the new USSU campaign InvestInUs, aimed at convincing the provincial government to support the university financially.
Baldhead finished his report with a call for the land acknowledgment to be given in Cree.
“When I stand up here, I miss my language,” Baldhead said. “I miss it so much — I would like to hear it in our land acknowledgment. That way, it actually feels like an acknowledgment.”
Ana Cristina Camacho / Staff Writer