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
While the Covid-19 pandemic has continued, advocacy has looked a bit different these past few months than previous years. We’ve spent our time in online meetings advocating for affordable tuition, safe and accessible transportation, and for students to have relevant, timely, and proactive communication from NAIT. We’ve been busy helping students navigate the changing mandates and connecting them to their instructors, chairs, and deans so they can understand what decisions are being made for their programs. Now, we are transitioning some students back to in person learning and ensuring they have access to programs and services from NAIT and NAITSA that will help their personal and professional success. We are thrilled to announce that our NAITSA office is reopening in person starting February 28th, 2022!
Another main highlight is the successful Executive Council Election that was held February 9th to 18th, 2022, and resulted in a full EC team. They are beginning their training this March and will officially start in May. Congratulations to Renata Medeiros on being elected for a second term as VP Academic!
(Behind the scenes picture of President Kotelniski and Executive Director Chelmick announcing the election and plebiscite results at the NAITSA Office.)
Regarding the mandatory non-instructional fee plebiscite for student learning services and classroom technology, a majority of students voted NO. Therefore, students will not pay this new fee starting in September 2022 and those services may be unavailable to students going forward.
Additionally, NAITSA proudly celebrated Black History Month this February. An Ookslife event that I had the pleasure of attending was Black Facts Trivia: an interactive game-show style event that focuses on Black History. It was an incredible learning experience and it explained how society has overlooked critical history from Black individuals who have shaped our lives today. NAITSA encourages you to raise awareness and educate yourself on these topics.
We are continuing to advocate for affordable tuition and student supports. If you have questions, you can email me at email@example.com!
Vice President Internal Jorgia Moore
The winter semester has been flying by for the campus life team! I know that this semester isn’t exactly what we pictured, but there has been no shortage of fun in the NAITSA community.
We have been preparing and hiring for our 2022/23 Campus Activities Board team! Our Campus Activities Board (aka CAB) is a team of students who help plan and promote a variety of events and initiatives on campus for NAIT students. As VP Internal, I chair the CAB meetings and provide support for their projects and promotions. It has been exciting to help form another awesome team for next year’s events, promotions, clubs, and volunteer opportunities. I actually started my time with NAITSA as an Events Coordinator on CAB. If you’re ever curious about the job opportunities available with NAITSA, you can check them out here.
One of my goals for this year has been to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion within our campus and this month I worked on NAITSA’s partnership with the CAPE clinic in Edmonton. This partnership removes barriers for individuals to access free contraceptive and sexual health in Edmonton. This includes, but is not limited to, the LGBTQ2S+, those with unstable housing, newcomers to Canada, and those using substances. You don’t need an address or a health card to access this! CAPE services can be accessed by all NAIT students and you can find more information here.
We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events, which you can always stay up-to-date with here on Ookslife.ca!
(Picture of VPI Moore from the CAPE Clinic front entryway)
If you have questions, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Vice President External Natalie Sarzynski
Summertime is just round the corner, and this academic year has certainly been quite the rollercoaster for students! More than ever, the NAITSA Executive Council has been working to ensure that all of your concerns are addressed. Our focus is to make sure that your post secondary experience is safe, inclusive, and rewarding.
This winter I have been busy advocating on behalf of all Alberta students with the Alberta Student Executive Council (ASEC). I’d love to share the progress I’ve made on my goals for the year!
Raising awareness about the lack of support for international students is at the forefront of my priorities. There’s a lot of work to be done to ensure that NAIT graduates remain in the province after they complete their education. Last semester, I was able to speak on behalf of international students to multiple ministers about the growing concerns. Upcoming is the Federal Advocacy week where student leaders will be discussing priorities on expedited PR pathways for international graduates. Stay tuned for any news from that!
Online Educational Resources have been making astronomical improvements to their platforms and delivery since this pandemic moved a majority of students to work from home. The NAIT Library has begun to offer some indispensable resources to educate students and instructors on the benefits of OER’s. Check it out at https://media.nait.ca/library/OER/#/.
Trades in Alberta are fundamental. Our province values these important skills and NAIT is a leading polytechnic in apprenticeship, certificate and diploma programming. In order to improve the educational experience for students attending our satellite campuses (Patricia, Souch, Insulator, and Spruce Grove) I have developed an ongoing survey, from January until April, for these students to contribute their opinions on how they think NAITSA can serve them better. The results of this survey will provide us with essential information so that we can be more inclusive of all students attending NAIT.
Finally, my team and I have been developing strategies to ensure that the leaders you elect into the council (https://elections.naitsa.ca/) are prepared to take over our roles with confidence! We are thrilled to be welcoming the new team and look forward to guiding them through everything we know about the role!
Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi engaging with students at an Edmonton Student Alliance event
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 email@example.com!
Vice President Academic Renata Medeiros
The last couple of months have been so busy and passing by so fast, I can’t believe it’s already March! With the constant changes in class delivery format, and, most recently, in the health measures, students have been both excited and concerned to come back to campus, but rest assured that we, your Executive Council and the whole NAITSA team, are working hard to help you make that transition as safely as possible.
As your VP Academic, a big part of my work is based on confidentiality, creating a safe space for students to share their concerns and find help, resources, and resolutions for issues that may impact their academic progression. Now more than ever, I have been in constant contact with NAIT’s Ombudsperson and Student Resolution Officers to help you feel heard and safe coming back to campus. And this is my call to you, student, reading this – if you or any student you know is feeling anxious, concerned, and would like help navigating this transition, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. NAIT and NAITSA have multiple services available to support you not only during the transition back to in-person classes, but throughout your whole time at NAIT, and I can help you learn about all the options you have.
One of my goals for this academic year was to increase awareness of the tutoring service available for you – Nimbus Learning. For that, we have created more opportunities for NAIT’s staff to learn about the platform, so they are able to pass the information to their students. For students’ awareness, we have recently launched the NAITSA Nimbus Ambassador program, where our awesome volunteers will share tips on how to use the platform and how tutoring can help you succeed while at NAIT – keep an eye at NAITSA’s social media to watch their videos!
We have also created more opportunities to make tutoring easily accessible, with a lot of credits giveaways happening during the year – one of those chance will be during the week of March 14-18, during the Study Party, where you’ll be able to have free tutoring sessions and enter for a chance to win Nimbus credits to book more sessions with your favourite tutors! You can find out more information about the event on Ookslife.ca!
I would also like to thank you all for voting in the NAITSA Executive Council elections and re-electing me as VP Academic! It has been a pleasure to work on helping you be successful during your time at NAIT, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue doing that for one more year!
If you would like to know what else I have been working on during this busy year, or have any other questions, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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 in your new semester!
Your NAITSA EC team,
President Jerilyn Kotelniski
VP Academic Renata Medeiros
VP External Natalie Sarzynski
VP Internal Jorgia Moore