TRUSU news briefs: Sept. 9

Summer is over and the TRU stu­dent government is back at work. Official stands on student issues, a new campaign to raise awareness of university underfunding and recruit­ment for the student caucus were discussed at the first TRUSU board of directors meeting on Sept. 9.

New stance on student issues

Nine new issues policies had TRUSU taking a stand on topics from student housing to curricu­lum content. In a show of unity, the board unanimously approved all nine points. These points in­cluded statements against regula­tion of student activity off-cam­pus, discrimination of students in the housing market and flat tui­tion fees.

“I think some of the new is­sues policies we adopted today are really great,” TRUSU president Dylan Robinson said.

In particular, Robinson pointed to the union’s new stance on curricu­lums, which encourages course con­tent that is more relatable to groups like women, ethnic groups, LGBTQ students and people with disabilities.

“Diversity is something that in­stitutions often have represented in their employees, in their student make-up and in their staff and in their faculty,” Robinson said. “But often times the curriculum of in­stitutions doesn’t really reflect that diversity … I think having a strong organizational stand that our di­verse campus community should be reflected in the curriculums that are taught here is really important.”

TRUSU’s official stance on tui­tion, financial assistance and univer­sity governance also got an overhaul. Amended policies now oppose tu­ition fees on internships, encour­age more flexible tuition payment, state that food and other necessities should be included when calculat­ing financial aid and argue that the minutes of faculty councils and sim­ilar organizations should be public knowledge.

Robinson later admitted that some of the new policies only re­flect TRUSU’s particular stance and have no direct action associated with them.

“There’s only so much work you can do day-to-day, and we’re hoping that maybe our successors down the line will be able to tackle those issues as they come up,” Robinson said.

Students short on voice

The TRU student caucus is short over 40 members, the board heard. Only about 10 of the 55 po­sitions have been filled so far, with the first official meeting coming up Oct. 1. Robinson admitted that the number of student represen­tatives still needed was high, and encouraged all board members to recruit anyone who might be in­terested.

According to TRUSU, the stu­dent caucus meets once a month and is meant to represent student interests in university governing decisions. Members of the caucus represent bodies such as the board of governors, university senate, faculty councils and advisory com­mittees. Last year, they tackled is­sues like parking, study spaces on campus and the admission process to bodies like the senate.

Applications are being accept­ed until Sept. 19 on the TRUSU website.

Fund the Future

TRUSU external vice-president, Leif Douglass, gave an update on Fund the Future, the union’s new awareness campaign on university underfunding. The campaign was launched earlier in September, with appearances at start-of-year events such as the Back-to-School BBQ. Douglass reported that the campaign was well-received, but admitted that the focus is mostly on education rather than action at this point.

The campaign is based on re­search done by TRUSU, which compared post-secondary institu­tions across B.C. in terms of ser­vices offered and per student fund­ing. According to Douglass, the study found that TRU was receiv­ing about $1,300 less per student from the province than the average post-secondary institution.

Anyone wanting more informa­tion on these points or other TRU­SU activities can visit trusu.ca.