Alexandra Medalsy - 2018-2019 SRC President

Hey Gaiters,

Welcome or welcome back! I hope you all enjoyed amazing adventures during the summer and that you’re ready for another great year at BU!

While you all had different summer activities, your SRC Executive members have stayed in beautiful Lenoxville getting ready for the coming year. With any new challenge and team, there is always a learning curve and this is how we spent our summer: learning about the job and getting to know each other. This summer I worked hand in hand with the Orientation Week coordinators to make this year’s Orientation Week a welcoming and memorable one. But my daily concerns didn’t stop at O Week;  I also focused my efforts on some new initiatives for international students, planning a few activities for ASAP. ASAP is the academic success archway program that is held for four days before the start of school to help students with the transition from high school and CEGEP. I also spent some time on the launch of a new club, alongside Jessica Caputo and Sydney Brennen, called The Learning Curve club, more details to come soon.  Although this latest club is just in the first phases we hope to get it up and rolling within the year.

I also attended some conferences, the Sexual Violence Symposium in Montreal and Leaders Hall in Niagara Falls. The sexual violence symposium was eye opener and gave me a lot of perspective on certain issues. It made me question further how and what we are doing on policy and prevention and the importance of delivering our Policy sooner than later. From this experience Sydney Brennen and myself have decided to work together on making some changes around campus. We do have a sexual violence policy in the works of being made, but we need more.

Leaders Hall in Niagara Falls gave us the opportunities to meet with other student unions and hear about their projects. We met with schools that have approximately the same number of students to come together and see how we are doing things differently and the same. To share our processes and guide each other in new projects and answer questions that sometimes only people in the same situation as you can answer. Mental health was also at the forefront of our discussions during the conference and brought forward some new ideas. I am excited to bring those new ideas to student services and work together on improving our services.

I have also been involved with the SUB renovations, contributing some input with the architects and the stakeholders involved. Just to list a few more of my summer projects, I sat on the steering committee for the English Speaking Forum, worked with Student-Care on our insurance coverage for the year, participated on the Donald Lecture Series selection committee, worked on an Orientation Week survey, as well participated on a hiring committee for the director of communications for the University. I also had the privilege of attending the Bishops University’s Board of Governor’s retreat and chaired the Board of student representatives retreat.

But mainly I have been lucky to work alongside the amazing executive team and support all their projects and endeavours.

But fear not! My summer wasn’t all work. As we were a new group of leaders coming in, and not knowing each other, we took a day to learn more about each other and work on our team bonding. WE also did a sun rise hike up Pinnacle just to realize, once there, that the sun rose on the other side of the mountain. Finally we also spent some time getting to know the QSU (Quebec student union), and I can truly say that they are an amazing group of people.

On that note I wish you all the best of luck with your semester and remember my door is always open for you! If only to tell me a joke!

Jessica Caputo - 2018-2019 VP Academic Affairs

Hi everyone! Jess, your Vice President of Academic Affairs here! I hope you all had an incredible summer!

I wanted to take a moment and catch you all up on a few really exciting projects that I worked on over the summer. The incredible team and I got the chance to attend a wonderful leadership conference in Niagara Falls. We interacted with so many different student council executives from other universities across Canada. It was such an incredible experience to discuss strategies and potential collaboration partnerships that can better help the student body.

Upon our return, I started to piece together a few other projects, below is a bullet point of a few projects that I started and completed.

Projects:

- Gathered research to propose changing the Professor Evaluation form

- Developed a crash course review session to be in full swing for Midterms and Finals
- Taking over and revamping the Peer Mentor program
- Created a Student Success Center committee to help provide resources for the Mentor program
- Beta testing a live platform called “ acad talks” where students can receive information on academic events, policies, how toos, snap take overs, motivational talks
- Providing the right resources for students who are trying to write an appeal letter
- Completed Athletic Orientation
- Orchestrating O week Acad workshops and tour
- Academic Fair ( ex, science fair )
- Working with Dobson Legasse to create a networking liaison to provide students with internships and job opportunities
- Working with key faculty members to provide additional academic events on campus
- Collaborating with StartUp fest and Princeton Review to provide networking opportunities to the students and help build their resumes while attending BU ( We’ve already managed to get students jobs!)
- Edit the professor expectation document
- Provide resources from TLC
Team collaboration on a new committee called The Learning Curve

Events to look forward to:
1. “A day in the life of…” I will be hosting an event in the gait where many different professionals will be invited to come and give a brief talk and just have a wine and cheese/casual chat with the students from all departments

2. Organize Bishops speaks
3. Host a Failure panel
4. Host Academic completion, Academic Debate
5. We hosted How to School workshops during Orientation week
6. Having monthly gatherings to give students a chance to bring up academic concerns so that we can work together to enhance the current procedures
7. Plan the Wine and Cheese events
8. Provide support for all of my senators and peer mentors on their incredible projects and goals

Sydney Brennen - 2018-2019 VP Student Life

Hi Gaiters! Welcome back, I hope that everyone is settling back into the Bishop’s community!

The summer months were comprised of plans for the academic year ahead, and many conferences. The latter included the annual Studentcare Stakeholder meeting in Montreal, the Canadian Symposium Sexual Violence in Post-Secondary Institutions, and the Leaders Hall conference held in Niagara Falls. Studentcare is the health insurance provider that Bishop’s makes available to it’s students.  The Leaders Hall conference focussed on skill-building, leadership develop and networking. It allowed for the opportunity to network with many student leaders from different institutions of higher learning from across the Canada. Our team attended a dinner hosted by the Quebec Student Union (UEQ). The UEQ represents seventeen (17) Quebecois universities, in partnership with CASA (Canadian Alliance Student Association). The Student Representative Council (SRC) Retreat at Jouvence recently took place and sought to prepare the General Councillors and the named representatives for their roles within the SRC. 

Over the summer, I remained very involved in the preparation and planning which ensured that Orientation Week was an inclusive and organized success. 

I strive to ensure that Student Life events remain positive and memorable for every member of the Bishop’s community. It is my goal to enhance the student experience for fellow Gaiters. My colleague Darcie Danesh (Director of Communications and Marketing) and I planned and executed a special happy hour at the Gait during the spring semester; which included pizza, popcorn, and frozen treats.  

Last weekend Bishop’s students travelled to watch the Montreal Alouettes take on the BC Lions in Montreal. This acted as an excellent opportunity for students to travel to Montreal and take part in an activity outside the ‘BUbble.’ 

I intend on encouraging, furthering, and advocating for dialogue to increase awareness and fostering support as it concerns mental health and wellness.  I am in the process of bringing a campaign called Keep It Social to Quebec. Keep It Social is an alcohol harms reduction campaign which focuses on social and non-social drinking habits. Furthermore, Alex Medalsy, Jessica Caputo and I are working on a bringing the Learning Curve Club  to Bishop’s. Its main objective will be to foster growth and encompass strengths in unity and diversity through open communication among members of the Bishop’s community and to make different resources available in order to do so. 

When I wasn’t working I returned home to the 6ix to spend time out with my sister and friends. We made a lot of great memories up North in Muskoka. I even made it to the Boots & Hearts festival and fell in love with Florida Georgia Line all over again with Bishop’s family by my side!

I hope you are all just as excited as I am for the start of a great Fall semester! We have a lot of big things planned!

Marilyn Hardy - 2018-2019 VP External Affairs

Returning for a second year but now in a different and brand new position, I am thrilled to share my spring and summer with you all.

I worked a lot on conference preparation which led to our first conference attendance; the Student Care Stakeholder Meeting followed by the Sexual Violence Symposium both taking place in Montreal. In June attended Leaders Hall in Niagara Falls which included many sessions, workshops and keynote speakers focused on developing our team into better leaders. 

Throughout the summer, I attended a multitude of Quebec Student Union (QSU) duties such as the mental health committee in order to create a province wide mental health survey and the back to school committee in order to prepare for the provincial elections and more. I attended two caucuses in which the main topics where research, international students, Mental Health and more.

Committees:

·       I then joined the Student Success Center Committee to develop our spot in the library.

·       I joined the Jarislowsky Advisory Council.

·       I joined the Maple League Committee.

Internally, I helped on the revamping of our alcohol policy, the development of the strategic plan, sat on the hiring committee for the VP Government Relations and Secretary General. I gave an off-campus information session during orientation week.  I then invited all candidates running in the provincial elections from the Saint-Francois riding to BU to have a booth day where students could get informed. I am now planning the November QSU caucus that will take place here.

For more information and details feel free to reach out by email at srcexternal@ubishops.ca or simply drop by during my office hours for a chat.

Joshua Metcalfe Hurst - 2018-2019 Director of Finance

Hey guys, I’m going to take you through my summer so that you all have an idea of what my time was spent doing!

Much of my time starting off in the spring was spent understanding my role and sifting through documents and emails to find out what needed to be done for the upcoming year. I looked through a lot of Hunter’s past reports and overviews of events. I looked through his budgets and his suggestions for this year, which helped me build a strong foundation going forward.

I built a budget for Orientation Week so that our whole team had a guideline to follow in terms of money spent for our week-long fiesta in September. This was important in order to keep us all in check throughout the summer, and to have a plan of where we needed to allocate our funds. From there, I started reaching out to sponsors to get support for O-Week. This consisted of a lot of emails, phone calls and following up to establish which sponsorship option they were looking for. I came up with an official contract template and proposed a new sponsorship option, which we will look to use for the upcoming years. Much of my time was dedicated to communicating back and forth with sponsors throughout the summer to ensure their needs and our needs were met throughout the week.

I also worked quite rigorously with the O-Week Coordinators to plan many of the events that we hosted. The two big ones that I worked on were Gaiter Gardens and the Concert. I did the booking for the tent, the artists and sound company. I communicated a lot of the information of what we were planning with the Gait Managers, as well as any stakeholders. For such big events like these, many people have to be a part of the conversation, in order to get the go ahead and to make sure everything runs smoothly.

I sat on the stakeholders meetings for the upcoming SUB renovations. This included everyone who has a say in these renovations, but mostly meeting a lot with the engineers and design team. I pushed for a patio at the Gait, as well as much better spaces for our clubs. I’m really looking forward to see how it all comes together.

I also built an outline with Ashton and Gelsey in regards to what we want for events, entertainment and themes for this upcoming semester. We spent a good amount of time planning the two outdoor happy hours that just took place.

I just recently finished the annual budget and presented it at BSR this past Sunday. Overall, I have some great plans for this upcoming year and I’m looking forward to working closely with the Gait and Doolittle’s managers to bring it all together!

Darcie Danesh - 2018-2019 Director of Communications and Marketing

Once I was hired in May, I wasted no time. Jessica Goodsell, DCM from 2016-2018, left me some really awesome tips and tricks to kick off my first few months. A big project was the Agenda/ Handbooks. The first 80 (or 81) pages all needed to be updated, and any design aspects I wanted to included, also needed to get figured out. It had been a while since I last worked with indesign so, getting used to the application was like learning how to ride a bike after years without practice. I managed. But that was the easy part. The hard part was coordinating with everyone on their summer holidays to send me their information, and also make the cover! 

All it all it ended up looking fantastic and when the print editions came (just in time for the Orientation Week Packs!) everyone loved them. They’re currently on sale at Doolittle’s! 

For the following months, a lot of time was delegated to Orientation Week, planning social media campaigns and other fun things. Once Orientation Week hit, it was incredible. Seeing all the incoming students and returning students who made up the team of volunteers, out and about having fun with everything the O-Week coordinators had planned, enjoying events, and SHARING PICTURES, was just so cool. That was when I got the sense of just what I was part of and how even the small things, like handing out freezies/ Mr. Freezes at the end of Wild Things, impact people and make the Bishop’s Experience worth. 

During the summer, I also hired my Communications Team! We have an amazing team of people who will work hard to get you all the publication, social media, and pictures you need! I am so excited to work with these incredibly talented students. Can’t wait to see where Fall Semester takes us! You can meet the

In between those tasks, I was getting adjusted to a new role and learning literally everything I could. 

A couple of my big goals I established in these few months, to be worked on, and hopefully achieved, during my time as Director of Communication and Marketing are: 

- Transparency 

- Synergy 

Transparency refers to continuing to show you guys how your SRC works, how we do our jobs and, essentially, where the money comes from and where the money goes. A couple of things I have up my sleeves involve showing you guys what we do when we go on retreat (ITS ACTUALLY A LOT OF WORK), doing a couple of day’s in the life of the members of the SRC you might not get to see out and about everyday, and then a couple more cool things. 

Synergy refers to the act of making sure that YOU guys know about everything happening at this amazing university campus, as well as making sure that YOUR initiatives get the platform and recognition they deserve.

I did also have an amazeing summer vacation. My parents came down to Canada from Dubai, as well as my aunt and uncle (who just moved to Ottawa!). It was a great break from the Bishops Bubble but I’m happy to be back and working hard to get my goals sorted and represent you guys at the big game.