Executive Council Update – Fall 2021

Nov 2, 2021 | Governance

Your NAITSA Executive Council (EC) members have been navigating the continually changing landscape during the pandemic. It’s been busy but we’re excited to share with you what we’ve been working on.

In the next couple of paragraphs, we’ll explore what each EC member has been up to!

President Jerilyn Kotelniski

These past few months have flown by! There’s been three major projects I’ve been working on that I’m excited to share the results of.

(Picture of President Kotelniski with a Campus Activities Board member, Aneep Brar, at the Pancake Breakfast event in September 2021.)

First, we’ve been working hard to support students throughout the changing Covid-19 health measures and new policies from NAIT. Recently, we helped to promote the vaccine clinic on campus as well as issued a statement in support of NAIT’s vaccine mandate which you can find here. A huge thank you to all the students and staff who got vaccinated! We look forward to having more students safely back on campus starting November 8th.

Second, we had an exciting announcement this fall with NAITSA unveiling its land acknowledgment after having meaningful consultations with various stakeholders including the Nîsôhkamâtotân Centre. It will be read at all NAITSA events including special events and Nest events on Thursdays so keep an ear out for it.

(Picture of the EC team in the NAITSA office with the land acknowledgement and Ookpik.)

Lastly, through my position as Vice Chair of the Edmonton Student Alliance, I had the opportunity to help plan a mayoral forum at the Students’ Association of MacEwan University in late September. We had 7 candidates attend and invited student leaders from across Edmonton to listen and ask questions focused on student issues. This year, we felt it was crucial to have students informed and ready to vote! Read the blog about it here.

We are continuing to advocate for affordable tuition and student supports. If you have questions, you can email me at sapresident@nait.ca!

Vice President Internal Jorgia Moore

It is crazy we are already over halfway through the fall semester! I know this semester isn’t what we hoped it would look like, but there has still been a lot of engagement and student opportunities.

(Picture of VP Internal Jorgia Moore at the Pancake Breakfast event.)

(Picture of students at the Pancake Breakfast event outside of the CAT building.)

We kicked off the semester with our annual free pancake breakfast for all students on campus, which was a huge hit and a great opportunity to introduce NAITSA to the campus. Since that time, we have had many more opportunities to meet the students. Events at our campus bar, The Nest, hallway promotions, virtual events, and our how-to series, just to name a few. A full list of our events can always be found on Ookslife.ca. Our events have an average rating of 4.6 stars (out of 5), which I think is pretty great.

I have had the wonderful opportunity of accepting applications for our new student campus life volunteer program, Ooks Crew! Ooks Crew gives students a chance to strengthen their resume, practice their skills, get involved on campus, and meet new friends. I have gotten to meet students from all different programs, and they continuously impress me with their skills and positive energy at events. Since September, our Ooks Crew has volunteered over 70 hours for different initiatives on campus!! We are still accepting students for Ooks Crew, if you or anyone you know is interested. Please apply on ookslife.ca by signing in and clicking the ‘forms’ tab, then choosing the Ooks Crew Sign-Up form.

If you have questions, you can email me at savpinternal@nait.ca!

Vice President External Natalie Sarzynski

Half the semester is over and what a term it’s been! I’d love to share all of the excitement that I’ve been working on to help support you as students at NAIT!

Two huge elections pushed us all off into the deep end. Scheduled less than a month apart, students were put in a position where they didn’t get the convenience of “vote anywhere polling booths” in the Federal election. I worked hard with the team at NAITSA to provide you with as much up to date information about the federal and municipal election with a Get out the Vote campaign (GOTV).

(Picture of VP External Natalie Sarzynski asking a question at the Mayoral Forum.)

On the provincial government level, I was voted as the Vice Chair of the Alberta Student Executive Council (ASEC) Board of Directors. So what that means for you is that I will be working closely with student leaders across the province to advocate for the priorities that were recognized as indispensable to be addressed to the government. Click here if you’re interested to learn more about what we do at ASEC.

I’m so excited to fill you in on the details of all of the advocacy work that we’ll be doing for the next month! Stay tuned!

If you have questions, you can email me at savpexternal@nait.ca!

Vice President Academic Renata Medeiros

With the last few months flying by, it feels like it was yesterday that we did our summer update and I said I was settling into my role. Since then, I have helped hundreds of students with unique situations find answers to their academic concerns and have worked hard to accomplish my goals.

(Picture of VP Academic Renata Medeiros from the Student Leader Summit.)

One of the goals I have set for this year was to increase Nimbus’ awareness and engagement – working alongside other NAITSA departments, we have created multiple Nimbus’ promotions on social media and onboarded many students and tutors on the platform. I have also been connecting with NAIT’s programs, asking them to encourage their students to sign up for Nimbus and helping recruit tutors for specific courses.

Another goal is to bring the Study Party back to NAIT, which will help students engage with different supports for their academic life while ensuring all students can be supported (whether they are studying on-campus or in a foreign country). Keep an eye on NAITSA’s social media and Ookslife.ca to know more about this event that will happen at the end of this year!

As mentioned in the summer update, I am one of the student representatives in NAIT’s Board of Governors. That means that, when I am preparing for and attending the meetings, I change my hat from VP Academic who thinks only about student needs to someone with the institution’s best interests at heart. The Board of Governors oversees all NAIT’s operations, and here are some updates from it:

  • The Board approved changes to the 2022/23 International Tuition, which will have different effects on students: 46 degrees, diplomas, and certificates will increase their tuition fee, 30 programs won’t see any changes, and 2 programs will reduce their international tuition.
  • Another change that the Board approved is on the Athletics and Recreation Mandatory Non-Instructional Fee (Rec Fee): it will be applied to students enrolled in 9+ credits who have an on-campus presence ($114/semester – fall and winter) and charge apprentices a prorated amount ($7.60/week). NAITSA advocated for the exclusion of fully online students in the payers’ list.

If you would like to know more about my role, what else I have been working on during this busy year, or have any other questions, you can email me at savpacademic@nait.ca!

Board of Governors Student-at-Large Representative Kaedee Fythe Torrino

NAIT’s Board of Governors is really an overlooking body for NAIT. Since NAIT’s Executives are on the floor and surface of the organization, the Board of Governors acts like a bird’s eye view of the whole system of the organization. As a student member, it’s fascinating to bring rich discussions on the table, one decision at a time.

(Zoom screenshot of the Board of Governors Retreat with Demetrios Nicolaides, Alberta’s Minister of Advanced Education.)

Now that you know what we’ve been up to, we’re curious what your thoughts are! All of us are interested in your feedback so tell us how we can improve and advocate for you. Our emails are found above or you can drop by the NAITSA office on Main Campus.

Wishing you the best of luck on all your midterms and projects!

Your NAITSA EC team,

President Jerilyn Kotelniski
VP Academic Renata Medeiros
VP External Natalie Sarzynski
VP Internal Jorgia Moore

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