On the 18th and 19th of November, the SRC held a forum in the Student Union Building to encourage students to ask questions, make comments, and bring forward concerns about their Bishop's experience. In an effort to keep students informed about important issues, our President, our VP Social, and our VP Student Affairs have responded to some of their most frequently asked questions here. See Part 1: You Asked, We Answered for more questions and answers. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to contact us or drop by our offices in the SUB!
Comments: "Top people still quite bureaucratic - student needs not met" and "Stop being pawns of BU administrators, try representing our interests.
Our response: We are always looking to improve how we represent students, and focus our attention to meet student needs. We strongly encourage students to come and speak with us directly at our offices, or send an e-mail to anyone on the SRC for help. Everyone has been elected to support you, they would be happy to help!
In terms of being 'pawns' of the administration, we are fortunate that we are invited to work closely with our administration, but I understand that this can be perceived negatively. Our administration holds the opinions of students in high regard and ensure that there is student support before making major changes to our services and opportunities. Through representative roles on the University Senate, the Committee on Life at the University, and the Board of Governors, elected student representatives have not hesitated to bring forward changes, make suggestions, or be critical of operations. The administration of the university values our input and support of initiatives and we work collaboratively to find solutions to issues facing students. We always have students' interests in mind.
Comment: "More info on how to work BU Portal (during Orientation Week)" and "More info about myBU, Moodle, and LEAP, in the first week!"
Our response: These are all tools that students use on a daily basis and it is important that students understand how to use them. This is definitely something that we will be sure to include during information sessions as part of Orientation Week so students can familiarize themselves with these programs in order to do their work.
Comment: "De-fund varsity sports! Use savings to fund intramural sports and other activities"
Our response: While we appreciate that varsity sports are not for everyone, there are hundreds of students at Bishop's who would not have chosen Bishop's if we didn't have varsity athletics (whether they are even athletes or not!) Varsity athletics actually brings more students and funding to the university than is obvious at first glance. We can however work with our athletics and recreation departments to ensure that intramural sports continue to be offered.
Comment: "More information on how to run for elections! :)"
Our response: This is definitely something we are looking to improve, and more information will be posted on the SRC website and social media closer to elections in the Winter Semester. We are also working to have an information session at the beginning of the new semester. We will work with our Chief Returning Officer (the student responsible for elections operations) to ensure that adequate promotion is done and information provided!
Comments: "External/Inter-university VP" and "Does the Social position need to be elected? Often seems like a popularity contest for the same events to be hosted every year. A hired team could avoid this but keep the same # of people dedicated to social planning."
Our response: These suggestions will be taken into consideration by our Internal Review Committee who are meeting to discuss and brainstorm new governance structures to offer the best representation and services for our students. The SRC used to have a VP External before the role was combined under the responsibilities of the SRC President. While I have been interested in expanding the SRC's role beyond the 'bubble' it has proven difficult given the other variety of tasks within this role. A person dedicated to this may prove useful once again as we look to engage with our provincial, U4, and national counterparts.
Comment: More for psychology & psychiatric help
Our response: The VP Student Affairs and the SRC work closely with the Student Support Services Staff and advise the Dean of Student Affairs, Jackie Bailey about how student services money is spent within the student services budget. If you believe that more money in student services should be spent in a particular area and/or less money should be spent in another area, please contact Heather Barlow, VP Student Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jackie Bailey, Dean of Student Affairs at email@example.com with any concerns you may have about the student services budget and where money is allocated.
Comment: "Microwaves in the Library"
Response: The topic of having microwaves in the library has been explored multiple times and unfortunately it is not in the contract of the library staff to be responsible for the cleaning a microwave in the library. The other issue surrounding this is the fact that different foods heated up can cause unpleasant smells for many people and can be distracting. If you need to use a microwave there is one for your convenience at Doolittle's in the SUB, only a short walk away.'
Comment: "A food bank on campus"
Response: Heather Thomson, the Campus Minister currently gives out Provigo gift certificates for those students in financial need. The idea of a food bank on campus has been raised in the past and is unfortunately hard to run and be managed. Our Campus Minister has found that it makes more sense and is easier to give out gift cards so students have the freedom to choose and make the trip to the grocery store themselves. The SRC is very open to any feedback on this matter and if you would like to explore further the possibility of opening a food bank on campus please contact Heather Barlow, VP Student Affairs. In the meantime if you feel that you are in a situation where you need help and would benefit from a gift certificate, please contact Heather Thomson, Campus Minister at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her office on the second floor of the SUB (213).
Comment: "Change incense regulations in residences"
Response: As stated in the Residence Community Living Standards, incense is banned in residences as it is considered a fire hazard. Smoke detectors in residence are not able to distinguish between smoke and what is incense. It is also for the courtesy of all students living in residence who may be sensitive to different scents. If you have any questions about the Residence Community Living Standards and what is contained in this document, please contact Brenna Haydock, Residence Life Coordinator at email@example.com
Comment: "Please enforce rules or eliminate smoking on campus. The litter is gross and a smoke-free Quad would be amazing & get rid of smoking on campus or at least make it very inconvenient to do so."
Response: Our Security Team does the best that they can to enforce the rules around smoking on-campus. The Joint Health and Safety Committee of the University is currently looking into the different options in regards to our smoking policy and the best way to move forward. An anonymous feedback form was distributed through email about this matter a few weeks ago and if you have any further feedback about this matter please contact Heather Barlow, VP Student Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org so she can bring forward your questions and concerns to the committee.
Comment: "Somehow incorporating a week or a few days in First semester for mental health"
Response: During Orientation Week we do address the importance of mental health when beginning university and the importance of seeking help when you need it with the appropriate resources on our campus. While this is not in first semester, Mental Health and Wellness Week takes place every year in second semester, a week dedicated to mental health and different topics within it. The SRC Student Affairs Department sits on the Mental Health and Wellness Week Planning Committee and is always looking for more ways to address the topic of mental health. If you have any ideas going forward of what the SRC can do to better address mental health, please contact Heather Barlow, VP Student Affairs at email@example.com
Comment: "Doctors and nurses need to be more available and friendly"
Response: The current hours of the Health Clinic are 8:00 am - 11:45 am & 1:00 pm - 3:45 pm Monday to Friday. Our Health Clinic sees a numerous amount of students every day and does there best to serve you in the best way possible. Please contact Kendra Brock, Manager of Health Services at firstname.lastname@example.org with any concerns you may have. In addition, the SRC will be working with the Health Clinic to see how students can better submit their feedback after an appointment. If you do not wish to contact the Health Clinic, please contact Heather Barlow, VP Student Affairs at email@example.com with any concerns you may have.
Comment: "Our career centre is too hard for employers to contact. Therefore, no one comes here to recruit and students find it harder to find work."
Response: The SRC works closely with the Student Support Services on campus including our Career Counsellor and will address this issue of employers having difficulty finding our career website. The VP Student Affairs will bring up the issue to the Career Counsellor of bringing more employers to our campus. If you have any more concerns about this please contact Heather Barlow, VP Student Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment: "Student Safety Services needs better funding for supplies, we have difficulty refilling first aid packs."
Response: Student Safety does not fall under the SRC budget but rather Security. If you have concerns around Student Safety supplies please contact Simon Fortin who oversees Student Safety at email@example.com. If you have any concerns with the service itself they can be directed to Security or the SRC by contacting Heather Barlow, VP Student Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment: "More recycling bins"
Response: Our campus has numerous recycling bins. If there is a particular area of campus where you would like to see more recycling bins please contact Heather Barlow, VP Student Affairs at email@example.com who can contact Buildings and Grounds and request more recycling bins be put on campus.
Comment: "Longer gym hours"
Response: The Sports Centre is currently open from 6:30 am - 10:00 pm on Monday to Friday and 9:00 am - 5:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. During the exams the Sports Centre closes at 9:00 pm. These hours have been the same since the new Sports Centre was renovated and built. The SRC will be happy to look into the possibility of extending hours at the gym. In the meantime, we would love to hear specifically to what times you would like to have gym hours extended. If you have further concerns about the hours at the gym please feel free to contact the Director of Athletics and Recreation, Jean-Benoit Jubinville at firstname.lastname@example.org or the SRC VP Student Affairs, Heather Barlow at email@example.com
Comments: "Why does puppy day not have puppies?" and "An expansion of puppy day! (more dogs!!)"
Response: The Social Department works with the local animal shelter, "The Pet Connection" and the Pet Connection club to have the dogs visit for the day. Unfortunately for us, puppies are not usually put up for adoption in rescue homes so we cannot control if we can have puppies or dogs visit. In the future, we can request that a puppy comes from the shelter, and hopefully they will have one that is waiting to be adopted and would love to visit for the day just like this semester's puppy day. As for getting more dogs, since it's a shelter we can only have dogs waiting for adoption visit and they usually only have 2-4 dogs, sorry!
Comment: "There are not enough events that are inclusive and don't involve alcohol."
Response: Thank you for bringing this to our attention, we would love to organize some events that are inclusive for more people! If there is a specific event you may have had in mind, or even just an idea of what type of student you would like to create an event for, we would be more than happy to help bring your idea to life. Furthermore, the VP Social has a great team of dedicated students that would love to help as well. He is only an email away at: firstname.lastname@example.org to help you with any events.
Comment: "More info about leap."
Response: Detailed instructions about getting L.E.A.P. creadits can be found here on the uBishops website. If you are having trouble finding a club or volunteer event you were involved with, (for example: a Hema-Quebec blood drive volunteer would select, "Students' Representative Council, Hema Quebec Blood Drive, Volunteer" as the activity) feel free to send me an email at: email@example.com and I'm sure I can help you solve your problem in no time.
Comment: "More Formal/Semi-Formal events"
Response: I am guessing that you are maybe looking for more nights at the Gait with these dress codes. If that is the case, then Jared Murray, The Gait Events and Entertainment Manager, is the person to talk to and you can email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.