At an open forum in Dunning Hall on Jan. 26, the ConEd Student Association (CESA)’s uncontested executive team revealed how their platform will address issues about the council’s budget and how they plan to increase student participation in the association.
One promise from Team CReaTe’s campaign is the reallocation of funds to bursaries and events to increase student participation and accessibility to education. When asked where in the CESA budget the team planned to find this money, Presidential candidate Tiffany Wong pointed to a $10,000 float that isn’t currently being used.
“We’re hoping to look into re-allocating [the $10,000 float] to make sure that we’re using student dollars wisely and with integrity,” Wong said. “We’re also hoping to create a policy that provides guidelines when determining who gets a bursary and how much.”
Team CReaTe’s platform wants to provide student leaders with the necessary training, support and resources to increase confidence in their roles. Current CESA President Liam Dowling pressed candidates about this at the forum and asked how they planned to overcome a lack of CESA council engagement at training events.
In response, Wong disclosed her plan to model student leader training after the current framework used by the ASUS President. In Arts and Science, the training is tailored to specific roles, as opposed to presenting training to a large group of students.
“I think because we are having difficulty encouraging [CESA students] to come out to these training events, we hope to provide only training that’s relevant to specific roles on council,” she said. “For example, we seek to only provide photography and marketing training for students who are in those photography and marketing roles.”
Another point of Team CReaTe’s platform is to break down social barriers. When asked how the candidates intend to create more avenues for student voice outside of CESA executive meetings, Vice-President (External) candidate Sarah Reddick said she hopes to make the ConEd student council less intimidating by allowing students to prepare for council meetings beforehand.
“We’re looking into sending out an agenda or infographics to students to let them know what discussion topics are happening within CESA council for a particular week,” she said.
There’s currently no financial record which keeps track of CESA bursary allocations. When asked if the team had any plans to create a tracking system — and whether students will be able to view it — Wong said her team plans to work with past treasurers to create an archive.
“We want to do our part in connecting with past treasurers and consulting with them about the CESA budget and working with them to create some kind of archive so we can figure out why there were changes made in the budget in the past and how we can be more financially sustainable and provide bursaries well into the future,” she said.
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