BY BETH CROUSE
Students may soon be able to meet regularly with their student representatives over coffee.
At Conestoga Students Inc.’s first board of directors meeting of the new school year on Sept. 29, a Coffee Hour was discussed, which would allow board members to connect with students on all campuses through a one-hour free coffee and discussion session.
These forums would provide CSI directors with the chance to quickly present services provided and then open the forum to a question and answer session.
Board members Katie Turriff and Colin Gaudet proposed this idea which would cost $10,000. However, each session would not exceed $150. They suggested outsourcing all materials needed, such as coffee, but it was pointed out that would be costly. In the interest of saving money, it was suggested a trial run of Coffee Hour be held, after which CSI could look into purchasing the equipment needed to hold these sessions.
“We each have 20 hours we need to connect with students so we can go proactively to students, not just those at Doon campus,” Turriff said.
“It gives us an excuse to show up at any campus,” Gaudet added.
Sheena Witzel, assistant general manager for CSI, said this project is what connection hours are supposed to be all about.
A trial run of Coffee Hour was approved which will allow CSI directors to see how many students they reach and assess the cost.
“A pilot project will give us the numbers we need,” Turriff said.
In other business, members were told CSI has begun planning for the 2014 Yellow Umbrella Project run. With $30,000 allocated for mental health projects, CSI, as a member of the College Student Alliance (CSA), is working toward eliminating the stigma around mental health.
The CSA is a provincial student advocacy organization which represents over 70 per cent of all Ontario college students. More information about the run will be released at a later date.
Jeff Scherer, CSI president, told board members about two expense items. The first was the cost of CSI paying for staff parking. He said there had been discussion about stopping these payments in order to save money, however, due to stipulations in employees’ contracts payments will still have to be made.
He said CSI also looked at the cost of continuing to pay for all staff cellphones..
“Cellphones have been restricted. Only four staff cellphones are now being paid for instead of all staff,” Scherer said.