ASUS executive open forum recap

Team Alyth and Brandon on collaboration, accessibility, and student engagement  

The open forum happened Friday night over Zoom.

Team Alyth and Brandon kicked off the ASUS executive open forum Friday, Feb. 5. 

While uncontested, the team began their opening statement by presenting the five pillars of their platform: equity and representation, academic advocacy, engagement, financial accountability and transparency, and operational reform. 

Presidential candidate Alyth Roos, ArtSci ’22, said the team’s priority is to ensure advocacy work is embedded within the curriculum so student groups can host constant conversations and be involved in equity work on campus. 

“We have academic advocacy, which is a large challenge given the remote semester, and we’re committing ourselves to taking quantifiable data to the faculty and ensuring transparency of the policies of the upcoming semester,” Roos said. 

The open forum was followed by a series of prepared questions from the election team and the audience.

Sustainability Policy and Advocacy 

In a question about sustainability policy and advocacy, the team said they had multiple consultations with students on campus and are very focused on collaborations. 

“Some of the things we want to achieve are obviously increased collaboration, and working with the sustainability director,” Vice-Presidential candidate Brandon Aldworth, ArtSci ’23, said. 

According to Roos and Aldworth, the team has hosted over 40 consultations, including meetings with student groups like Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change to ensure the conversation on sustainability is an “ongoing focus.” 

READ MORE: ASUS Election runs uncontested this year

Another project the team wants to implement is a five-year plan for assets, Aldworth added. 

“We think this would be really tangible way to ensure there’s accountability for assets in terms of sustainability,” he said. 

Remote Learning

The open forum also placed an emphasis on remote learning and the steps the team would take in preparation for the next school year. One thing the current ASUS executives did this year was implement academic advocacy, Roos said. 

“We recognize that learning experience [this year] has been incredibly different and challenging,” Roos said. “I think an area of improvement we’re kind of looking to maybe talk a little bit differently [about] would be a question of remote engagement and ensuring students are feeling engaged.” 

Roos added it’s important to ensure all experiences are relevant to students. 

“For example, we’re really looking to leverage the DSCs and ensure DSCs feel empowered to go to their faculty, go to the departments, and really collaborate to enhance the academic experience with students,” she said. 

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To ensure student interests are accurately advocated for, Roos said a lot of the effort goes back to having tangible metrics for data and surveys. 

Student Engagement 

When asked about policy pertaining to the student experience, the team said they need to tackle the lack of general engagement in ASUS by promoting better accessibility for students. 

“I will strive to, especially when it comes to assembly and policy process, increase its accessibility,” Aldworth said. “I think there are definitely rooms to make it more relevant and more appropriate for the average student.”

Aldworth said sometimes assembly’s processes can be seen as a “scary policy” for students who haven’t experienced them before. 

“One of the concrete [things] we hope to do is implement a Q&A style session and assembly,” he added. “Obviously there’s the discussion period during assembly […] we hope to just informalize that and open it in the hopes of increasing engagement.” 

By making the policies of ASUS more accessible, Aldworth said students will be encouraged to participate in ASUS. 

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