Universities and student unions partner to host Sustainable Development Goals Youth Training this fall

September 12, 2017

FREDERICTON, N.B. – Student unions at St. Thomas University and the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton), along with faculty and staff from both universities, are partnering with the United Nations accredited Foundation for Environmental Stewardship (FES) to host a unique training opportunity for youth in Fredericton this fall.

In celebration of Canada 150, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Youth Training Canada aims to mobilize 10,000 Canadian youth to implement the Sustainable Development Goals through 100 local actions and 50 trainings in colleges and universities across Canada.

“Learning opportunities like these are invaluable to students who not only care about making a difference in the world but are looking for something to set them apart in an increasingly competitive job market,” said Jimy Beltran, STUSU, Vice-President Student Life and Event Organizer.

On October 21, local high school and postsecondary students will attend a day of training focused on empowering them to implement the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) created by the United Nations. The training will allow students to interact with UN and FES officials, policymakers, faculty members and community activists, as they receive training in skills related to reaching these goals. Participants will be provided with lunch and receive a certificate acknowledging their training.

"The Student Union is incredibly excited to partner and support the UN-SDG initiative this year,” said Herbert Bempah, President, UNBSU. “As students, it is in our best interest to contribute to the conversation about solutions to world issues such as climate change, economic inequality, sustainable consumption, peace and justice."

The organizers of the event are grateful to the sponsors and partners who have supported to make the sustainable goals more accessible. These sponsors include: NB Power, STU Students’ Union, STU Office of Experiential and Community based Learning, UNB Faculty of Arts and UNB Students’ Union.

Tickets are $20 and cover the day-long training, certificate and lunch. To purchase tickets, see http://bit.ly/2w10aAa.

For more information, visit www.unsdgfredericton.com or contact Jimy Beltran at frederictonsdg@gmail.com.

Media Contact: Emily DesRoches, Communications Coordinator, Fredericton SDG, frederictonsdg@gmail.com. 

STUSU Vice-President Administration elected Campus Trust Chair

June 23, 2017

FREDERICTON, N.B. – This week, at the Campus Trust’s annual Assembly of Participating Organizations, STUSU’s Vice-President Administration, Matt LeBlanc, was elected Student Chair of the Campus Trust.

The Campus Trust operates with a Board of Governors comprised of 10 people – both student and management representatives – from the various member student organizations. The Campus Trust represents 40,000 students from 13 member student organizations in Canada.

LeBlanc is the first student leader from New Brunswick to hold the Student Chair position since the formation of the organization in 1998.

“It is a profound honour to be elected Student Chair of the Campus Trust. There is no issue more critical than maintaining and improving the quality and affordability of student health coverage. The Campus Trust is the bedrock for producing fair and empowered student health plans,” said Matt LeBlanc, Vice-President Administration, STUSU. “I’m itching to help lead the Trust into its promising future.”

This is the fourth year the STUSU has been working with Campus Trust to provide high quality health and dental coverage to its members at the lowest prices possible.

“We have a very involved group this year so it’s going to be a chance for real internal change,” said LeBlanc. “This is a big year for the Trust and it seems like we’re putting a lot more control into the hands of students.”

In his role as Student Chair, LeBlanc will work closely with the newly elected Management Chair, Candace Heigh of the University of Prince Edward Island Students’ Union (UPEISU), to provide a structural framework to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Campus Trust next year.

LeBlanc will also be closely communicating and engaging with the entire Campus Trust membership throughout the summer and academic year.

Media Contact: Brianna Workman, Vice-President Education, STUSU, su_vped@stu.ca, 506-452-0627.

Editorial got it wrong

Letter to the editor, The Daily Gleaner

Published: June 15, 2017

The June 3 editorial, headlined "Sliding scale solves issue", called for a sliding scale to the Tuition Access Bursary (TAB) that the government first announced in April 2016. 

However, in February 2017 the government introduced the Tuition Relief for the Middle Class (TRMC), which the Gleaner covered on the front page of their February 24 edition. The TRMC is, in fact, the sliding scale for which the editorial called. 

That this editorial could be published without due diligence to proper research and fact-checking is entire irresponsible of the Daily Gleaner. It is also a perfect example of why New Brunswick media needs journalists who are well-informed and up-to-date on postsecondary education issues in the province. Postsecondary education is one of the largest budgets for the provincial government and a key driver in the economy. This sector, and the more than 10,000 college and university students in the City of Fredericton, deserve consistent and correct coverage by local media. 

For New Brunswick students who may have been confused by this editorial, please note: the tuition grant programs do include a sliding scale—it's called the Tuition Relief for the Middle Class. 

Brianna Workman

Vice-President Education, St. Thomas University Students' Union

Media Contact: Brianna Workman, Vice-President Education, STUSU, su_vped@stu.ca, 506-452-0627.

STUSU and UNBSU support tri-campus sexual assault strategy

June 6, 2017

FREDERICTON, N.B. – Last Thursday at the Student Union Building, representatives from St. Thomas University (STU), the University of New Brunswick – Fredericton (UNB) and New Brunswick Community College (NBCC), signed a multi-year partnership agreement with the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre to develop a sexual assault strategy on all three campuses.

The reasoning behind this strategy is the acknowledgement that sexual assault is not contained to a single institution. STUSU and UNBSU acknowledge that because of this and due to the close proximity of the three schools, a strategy to combat sexual assault should not be restricted to one institution either.

“By collaborating with the other schools and the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre, they each improve the effectiveness of their response to sexual violence within the community,” says Philippe Ferland, President, STUSU. “This also facilities a clear and informed voice on the topic.”

The three-year commitment will cost a total of $240,000 – about $80,000 per year. This investment enhances the partnership with the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre to create progressive strategies surrounding the multi-faceted problem of sexual assault.

These strategies include: support and advocacy on behalf of complainants, promoting public awareness, and developing training for staff and student leaders. The plan includes four pillars which are the following: prevention, intervention and response, education, and research and evaluation.

“Our student unions will continue to partner with the university to create a campus where sexual violence is not tolerated, where the discussion of sexual assault is de-stigmatized and where students are educated about the resources available for sexual assault survivors,” said Herbert Bempah, President, UNBSU.

The new strategy also maintains Maggie Forsythe's full time position as the Campus Sexual Assault Support Advocate.

“The STUSU pleased to see the three neighboring institutions working together on this strategy to combat sexual assault on campus,” says Brianna Workman, Vice-President Education, STUSU. “This year Maggie was an invaluable resource on our campus and we our extremely happy that this strategy includes funding to maintain her position and presence on-campus.”

The strategy will be reviewed and assessed in two years. The STUSU and UNBSU look forward to working with their institutions on these initiatives and seeing the impact they will have on students on all three campuses. 

Media Contact: Brianna Workman, Vice-President Education, STUSU, su_vped@stu.ca, 506-452-0627.

Senate passes certificate in experiential learning and community engagement

May 9, 2017

Fredericton, N.B. –On May 4, St. Thomas University’s Senate passed a Certificate in Experiential Learning and Community Engagement. Expected for September 2017, STU students will be able to work towards this certificate during their degree.

The certificate will be recorded on a student’s transcript and students have their entire degree to complete the requirements for the certificate. The certificate incorporates both in-class learning and community service and according to the proposal submitted to Senate on the certificate it recognizes, “Both formal and informal off-campus, unpaid community engagement opportunities.”

The requirements for the certificate stipulate that a student must successfully complete the following two requirements. First, the student must complete nine credit hours from a list of courses approved by the Registrar, in which the student must meet the experiential learning and/or community engagement requirement in each course. Second, the student must gain 30 hours of community service, and complete the reflection and critical thinking exercises.

The proposal outlines the reasoning for having this certificate as follows, “Increasingly, students are seeking a university experience that affords them the opportunity to develop tangible skills. […] Experiential learning serves to compliment student skill acquisition and better prepare them for life after graduation.”

The proposal for the certificate also mentions how this certificate was created as a result of experiential learning being identified as a priority for both the university and the Province of New Brunswick.

The STUSU is pleased to see the university taking a step in the right direction with initiatives such as this that expand and recognize the work of students both inside and outside of the classroom. The tangible skills and experience gained through experiential learning opportunities are invaluable experiences for all students. The STUSU looks forward to continuing to work with the university on experiential learning projects and to promote this new certificate to students.

In addition, the STUSU looks forward to working towards expanding this certificate in order to reach a broader recognition from the university for the diverse experiential learning opportunities STU students engage in. 

Media Contact: Brianna Workman, Vice-President Education, STUSU, su_vped@stu.ca, 506-452-0627.