LUSU Centre Directors and Commissioners step up, justify pay checks

Erin Collins
News Editor

Thursday found the LUSU Board room more crowded than usual; Directors Mason Ainsworth and Michael Bolliger from Orillia provided a physical presence at the weekly meeting.

Their purpose for travel was to complete the vigorous training required of all Board newbies. Though training was postponed, Ainsworth and Bolliger had the opportunity to mingle with many LUSU affiliates. Among these were the Thunder Bay Centre Directors and Committee Commissioners, who were called upon to deliver reports of their progress to date.

First up was Commissioner Ian Kaufman, who provided an overview of the recent achievements and future prospects of the Sustainability Initiative.

In particular, Kaufman addressed last year’s successful online referendum to phase out bottled water on campus, October’s student vote in favour of a fee increase to further Lakehead sustainability initiatives, and the Winter Green Team of volunteer, who will soon be endeavouring to grow herbs and greens in the campus greenhouses.

Kaufman also spoke on the Campus Market, an effort to make locally made goodies and products available for Lakehead student and staff consumption. The market runs 11 am to 2 pm in the Agora on Wednesdays.

Ange Leishman from the LUSU Events Committee talked about the Christmas Miracle, Winter Carnival, and other recent projects.  Leishman also mentioned the upcoming Amazing Food Race, through which student teams will raise awareness and will collect non-perishable food items for the Food Bank.

Following Leishman, Aboriginal Awareness Centre Director Brent Kelso spoke of his recent developments to improve on-campus cultural awareness. These included a partnership with Lakehead Metis Student Support Facilitator Janine Landry, which is hoped to strengthen the university’s relationship with the Metis community. In addition, Kelso is aspiring to produce an “Aboriginal Awareness Handbook.”

“The handbook [will be] made for students so we can understand some of the protocols, sensitivities, and different cultural aspects of the populations we’re working with,” Kelso said. He adds that this handbook would be the first of its kind to be produced by the student union.

GIC Director Emily Lauzon presented on last semester’s projects. These included “Screw Smart,” Walk a Mile in her Shoes, and a silk screening workshop to commemorate Women’s History Month. Lauzon also spoke about “Driving it Home,” a series of talks the GIC had with students in residence to “navigate the road to safe, consensual, and better sex.” Finally, Lauzon touched briefly on Lakehead’s future role as a pilot campus for the “I know someone campaign,” a new initiative to inform students about sexual violence.

The Board agreed to sponsor the 29th annual RBC Alumni Scholarship Golf Classic for the second year.  While acknowledging the financial support the scholarship offers to students, LUSU President Mike Snoddon adds,“[there are] benefits of having our name out in the community. We gain business partners and we show that students are giving back.”

After the approval of the South Asian Student Association and the Culture of India Club, a motion was passed to open up an existing Board vacancy to the Lakehead student body. Prompt, passionate, and politically-inclined students are encouraged to apply.