“As a Métis student on campus, a lot of the stuff that we see around campus is really troubling to me”

UMSU presidential candidate Jakob Sanderson discusses priorities

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Jakob Sanderson is hoping for one more year as UMSU president as part of the Your UMSU slate.

Sanderson said much of what he hopes to achieve should he be elected for another term as president revolves around improving on what he has already begun.

This includes the integration of open educational resources (OER) — which fosters the use of public domain resources instead of expensive textbooks — in classes.

“Open educational resources is something that I’ve worked on this year, it’s something that I’ve worked on to the extent that we’ve now got a promise and a policy from the university where whenever there’s a new course introduced, they have to consider an open educational resource before going to a traditional textbook,” he said.

“We want to take this to the next level by working with the administration to set up a working group with admin, faculty and students, discussing ways to integrate open educational resources into as many classes as possible, as well as lobbying to federal and provincial government to create start-up grants for OER content creators.”

Improving environmental sustainability on campus is another sector in which Sanderson said he will pour his efforts.

“This has been sort of my biggest passion — the creation of a campus composting program,” he said.

“Many other U15 universities — and even the University of Winnipeg — has a campus composting program.

It does not currently exist at the University of Manitoba and I think that is a mix of the city not showing a lot of leadership as well as the university.

So I’m extremely excited that this year we’ve been working with the new sustainability working group to adopt a number of proposals to the University of Manitoba sustainability plan that’s being drafted, as well as creating our own UMSU plan.”

Sanderson said his goal is to establish board of governors’ approval on a campus composting plan by the end of the year, and to regulate UMSU events under a guide to environmental sustainability.

When asked how he felt the executive could improve over the next year, he referenced using UMSU to “really make the University of Manitoba a destination for Indigenous education” and added the Your UMSU executive slate would be working on an Indigenous awareness month and an Indigenous scholar hiring fund, which would use UMSU’s endowment fund to collect and match donations from the university and the province to hire Indigenous scholars.

“I’ll be pretty honest about it, [the executive could improve] the relationship between UMSU and the University of Manitoba, and Indigenous peoples,” he said.

“As a Métis student on campus, a lot of the stuff that we see around campus is really troubling to me, much of it directed at us and much of it directed toward the university, and I think all of it very valid.”