By: Alex Fuiten, Vice President Academic
Holy crap, what a whirlwind September has been! It’s amazing to see everyone’s smiling faces back on campus and the energy that y’all have brought back to the campus! In case you didn’t know what we have been up to here are some of the highlights.
New Student Orientation (NSO): We had the pleasure of meeting many of you and had the opportunity to introduce you to the many things we do on campus and for you. We gave out over 400 swag bags full of fun SA swag and our 2022/2023 Notebook. If you were not at NSO or haven’t been able to get your hands on our Notebook, please stop by our office!
RDP & SARDP Welcome BBQ: We kicked off the first day of classes with a Welcome BBQ hosted by RDP Senior Administration and SARDP.
Taco ‘Bout A Welcome: On September 6, we hosted our official welcome event in the Far Side Bar & Grill. We served you taco in a bag, pina colada’s, and strawberry daiquiri’s and welcomed a mariachi band and salsa dancers to campus.
Free Breakfast: Every Wednesday at 8am we provide you with free breakfast. We hand out items such as freshly baked muffins, fruit cups, granola bars, fresh fruit, juice boxes, and coffee. We are also excited to share that as of October 4, we will be adding Free Breakfast every other Tuesday!
If you haven’t noticed yet we like to have a good time! 🙂 Be sure to follow us on Instagram or check our Events Calendar often to stay up to date with our upcoming events! We have a variety of fun events and initiatives coming your way such as free yoga, 10-minute mindful meditations, wellness walks, a PUPPY ROOM, resuming building, feather painting, RISQUE BINGO, and free legal help…just to name a few 😉
Your Students’ Association oversees all the student groups on campus. In the next few weeks you will start to see them in the hallways hosting membership drives, so please take some time to stop by each of their tables and get to know them. If you don’t see a student group for you, consider starting a new group! Find out more information on student groups here: www.sardp.ca/get-involved/#groups
We work hard behind the scenes on a number of things that you probably aren’t aware of such as advocating the institution and provincial government on your behalf. It can be on things as simple as how to navigate the campus, understanding what resources are available to you, and even about matters within your classroom such as appeals and other concerns. Myself and the other Executive’s hold daily office hours to meet with students and to hear your concerns, we welcome any and all to come chat with us!
One concern we have heard repeatedly from our students (and students across the province) is the affordability of post-secondary education. One of the ways we have chosen to address this is our Alberta Textbook Broke campaign. In early September, you may have noticed us in the halls asking you how much money you have spent on textbooks this year and we were shocked by some of the amounts. While we were in the halls, we were also creating awareness around Open Educational Resources (OERs) and how they can benefit you, and how they can help save you some money if implemented by instructors. With the information you provided us, you have given us a clearer depiction of the cost of being a student at our institution and in Alberta – and it has certainly gotten more expensive! If you did not get a chance to participate and would like to share your experience, please complete the Alberta Textbook Broke survey.
The Alberta Textbook Broke campaign, among others, is part of a larger effort with our provincial lobby group, the Alberta Students Executive Council (ASEC). ASEC focusses on advocating for issues that directly impact students and their wellbeing to the provincial government. This summer, ASEC determined three (3) advocacy priorities for the upcoming year: Tuition regulation, we have seen a huge increase in tuition fees across the province and want to provide you with tuition relief, definitions and protections surrounding Work Integrated Learning (WIL) we believe that students should not be viewed as free labour and want to ensure you are getting the most out of your WIL experience, and creating protections in the Post-Secondary Learning Act for Students’ Associations/Unions, we would like to see more power given to students when it comes to approval of tuition, mandatory fee increases, and on other important issues.
Once a month, myself or another member of the Executive team will share an update on what ASEC is up to, so if you have any concerns about post-secondary learning in Alberta please come to our office or email us and share you concern with us! We want to ensure you have the best possible experience here at RDP and as a student in Alberta!
Keep being amazing!