New name for SAMRU Student Life
Each new school year brings with it countless changes for students returning to classrooms. For one SAMRU representative, the start of this academic term has brought a subtle, yet important change to her job.
A statement released by SAMRU on Sept. 10 announced that, on Aug. 16, its Student Governing Board had approved a title change for its Vice-President Student Life, Shayla Breen.
Breen and those who will succeed her in the position in future years, will now be known as Vice-President Student Affairs.
The change was one recommended by Breen, who has been serving in this role since May 2018, in order to more accurately reflect the position and its responsibilities.
“When I first began my term, I spent time meeting with many different directors and administration from across the university. Through those meetings I was quickly discovering there was a disparity between what people thought I did and what I actually did,” Breen says. “Many people thought I planned events and created fun for students. While events can be an important part of advocacy, the reality of the work in this role is a lot of research, policy and committee work.”
Breen’s role involves advocating for non-academic student issues and working with university departments like Wellness Services, Residence Services and Campus Equity and Meaningful Inclusion. She took her most important partnership into consideration when deciding on a new title.
“The reason why I chose [the phrase] Student Affairs was to mirror the Vice-President Student Affairs and Campus Life at Mount Royal University, as I predominantly work with that area of the university,” she says.
With the Student Governing Board’s unanimous approval of Breen’s proposal, the position name change has passed in principle, and now that decision must be confirmed by a membership vote at SAMRU’s Annual General Meeting.
Moving on from her work on this proposal, Breen is now eagerly looking to her goals for the upcoming academic year as she hopes to continue to make the most of her time in office.
“I am feeling excited with a bit of nerves mixed in,” she says. “This year I am focusing on lobbying for cannabis consumption sites and harm reduction education, working on the university sexual violence policy, advocating for a more inclusive policy for our LGBTQ2S+ community and building accessible mental health services.”