Jones sets the tone
In the next few weeks, The Reflector will feature profiles of new Students’ Association Executive Committee members on our website.
Robert Jones, the new SAMRC VP external, is a firm believer in John Lennon’s saying, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.”
The 24-year-old has many aspirations for his time as an SA executive, but admits society is ever-changing and one must be willing to adapt.
“You can plan something out but then circumstances change that are out of your control. I am focused on next year, I have given some thought to beyond that but the crystal ball is rather murky,” Jones said.
The fourth-year applied policy studies student sees three dominant topics on the minds of students at Mount Royal right now: the economy, sustainability and parking.
“The current economic situation is causing people to re-evaluate responsibility, it is causing people to re-evaluate what they value in their lives and I would really like to be a part of that transformation,” Jones said.
In terms of sustainability, Jones plans to work with incoming VP student life Eily Sweeney who has served as the president of Sustainable MRC.
“Through my role, I would want to reach out to other student bodies and find out what kind of hurdles and mistakes they have made, things they could have done better or sooner,” he said.
Jones admits the parking situation at Mount Royal has become extremely sensitive and a multi-faceted approach is needed.
“I definitely want to work with the community to see what we can do to remedy some of our short-term problems. It’s a very complex issue, we have maxed out on space and the college is expanding with more students coming in,” Jones said, noting that constructing a parkade is a long-term plan and does little to solve parking problems for students currently enrolled at the college.
Jones is not exactly a new face on the Mount Royal’s political scene — he helped with Travis McIntosh’s successful bid for president in last December’s byelection. Like McIntosh, Jones ran uncontested in the recent SAMRC election, receiving 472 votes in favour of his appointment and 77 against. He admitted to being surprised of the low voter turnout and lack of candidates
“Perhaps people feel burnt out because they are voting too much. I also think it may have been confusing to some people with the (SAMRC) byelection,” he said.
Jones will replace outgoing VP external Matt Koczkur, who has served nearly two full terms as an executive.
“I think he (Matt) did a lot of really great things — brought speakers here to campus, the only mayoral debate in the city was held here during the last municipal election. Those were really awesome initiatives as well as creating the Calgary student caucus to tackle issues on the municipal level,” he said.
Jones feels confident the new team of executives will work well together to improve quality of life for students at the college.
“We need to translate what goes on in the classrooms and relate it to the Students’ Association. Students need to be engaged in one-on-one dialogue and be informed about what the Students’ Association can offer them . . . if we can do that I think it will create a ripple effect that will last for years to come.”