I hope the start of your semester is going well, or at least as good as it can be during these strange times. SAMU has been working hard preparing for New Student Orientation, hosting welcome webinars, responding to students’ questions and concerns about fees, the U-Pass, online classes, and more.
Our services are up and running, and with students using the building as a quiet study space, it has been great to see more faces on campus (with masks and following safety precautions of course).
Behind these activities, though, a large part of my and my fellow executive committee members’ job is advocacy. Advocating on your behalf to MacEwan for long term change, addressing your concerns, and sharing the students perspective. In the winter term we posted some feedback forms on our site to get insight on your perspectives on convocation and how you wanted your grades to be calculated, as well as sending out our annual survey. The information we gathered through these forms was taken to MacEwan senior administration and used to inform our advocacy in our regular meetings with them. This ultimately informed their decisions, such as having actual grades at the end of the term and not going with pass/fail, which was in line with the responses we got from students.
As we head into this fall term, we want to be proactive in gathering your feedback on how your classes are progressing. We want to provide a space for you to share your concerns and views on how things are going as they happen, so that we can update MacEwan if certain issues or trends come up that need to be addressed before the end of the semester, at which point it may be too late to adjust your experience.
If you are having issues in your classes we encourage you to start a dialogue with your professor and then go from there. If you have specific questions and need support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to myself in the SAMU Advocacy Office. If you have general comments on your experience so far, whether that be in regards to your experience before the semester started, MacEwan’s responses and campus reopening, program response and outreach, specific class decisions, etc.
This online semester is a new experience for everyone, so please remember to be kind and exercise patience as we work things out and work to address your concerns. We hope our proactive approach can allow this semester to be a learning experience for us and an opportunity for the university and our advocacy to grow.
Alycia Stewart (she/her)
SAMU VP Academic