The U of C’s SU is a devoted group of students who advocate on behalf of the student body. They sit on many decision-making and administrative groups at the university.
This year’s executive team have set out attainable goals, but with only four months left in their positions, time is slowly slipping away for them to finish what they set out to do.
Vice-president academic Kenya-Jade Pinto faced several challenges during 2012. She was tested in mid-August when the SU ombudsperson suddenly resigned. Pinto was forced to take the position until a replacement was found in October.
“I was tasked with assisting students in all of their students’ rights issues, which was essentially a full-time job on top of a full-time job,” said Pinto. “It was incredibly humbling to be able to act as that person on behalf of students and to be able to help students in a very meaningful and gratifying way, but it was also very difficult.”
Pinto received support from staff, administration and the SU for her proposed Arabic studies program. “We’ve done a lot of work in the fall and in the summer to be putting this together,” said Pinto. Courses are expected to begin in fall 2014, fulfilling her campaign promise.
She also followed through on her plans to make course materials more affordable.
“In terms of course material and affordability, I’ve been a part of the copyright committee,” said Pinto. “As part of that, I advocated at that committee to ensure that course packs were being printed at Bound and Copied again. I’m happy to see that they are as of September.”
Pinto has also been in talks with the new vice-provost of teaching and learning about increasing professor feedback. No concrete plans have yet been proposed.
Overall, Pinto has followed through on her campaign promises and worked through the unexpected challenges of the job while exploring new territory.