The final 2022-2023 Students’ Council general meeting discussed tuition hikes, a failed grant for fall, and SAMU’s trip to city hall.
Oct. 18 was the last meeting of the 2022-2023 iteration of the SAMU Students’ Council. Naturally, there were plenty of gratuities and farewells as councillors Freja Cartujano, Sasha Ryzhova, Rayya Sempala, and Jayden Depeel will not be returning to the council in the winter term. The rest was business as usual; here are some of the highlights:
SAMU at City Hall
Vice-president external Jakob Cardinal and multiple councillors brought up a successful city hall trip. Cardinal praised the councillors Uzor, Yusuf, Zidan, Poon, and Phan who all helped represent the student body to the municipal government — on rather short notice. Cardinal and SAMU president Gabriel Ambutong were set to take part in another municipal meeting with the mayor on Oct. 29 which coincided with the new Students’ Council training.
Councillor Cartujano brought up the issue of a possible upcoming tuition hike that might match the allotted capacity of 2 per cent set out by the provincial government. MacEwan has another meeting with SAMU to finalize a decision about the tuition increase.
Councillor Phan posed an interesting question about the futility of tuition deliberation, saying, “what’s the purpose of consultation if SAMU is repeating their stance?” President Ambutong says that consultation is mandatory and that SAMU is obliged to have “meaningful consultation.”
While SAMU has no veto power, Ambutong has voting rights as one of the 18 members who sit on the board of governors who also deliberate and vote on tuition.
$5000 falls through
Councillor Poon brought up that vice-president of Student Life, Cierra Jacobs, looked into how the Student Community Engagement Grant, worth $5000, had been cancelled for the fall term. Jacobs says she reached out to the interim associate vice-president of Students about this. Chandelle Rimmer was the chair member of that specific grant committee, before moving into the interim associate vice-president students position.
Jacobs says that it was an administration decision to move Rimmer into the position to take over for the departing Tim Tang. At some point, it was decided to drop the grant due to the administration shuffle.
Councillor of the Year:
A unique three-way tie awarded councillors Zidan, Phan, and Bekka as Councillor of the Year. Multiple congratulations and gratuities were made for every councillor and executive before the meeting was adjourned.