It’s been a few months since my last Conversations with the President, and since then, there have been a number of things that have happened. Congratulations to all APSA members who have been involved in SFU’s “return from COVID,” who have successfully implemented hybrid work arrangements, who made it through our financial year-end, and who were involved in SFU’s special May convocation. It's exciting to see APSA members working to re-invigorate our campus community and help the University slowly return to a new normal.
I’ve talked in the past about how as administrative professionals and as an employee association, one of the roles of APSA is to advocate on behalf of our members.
Unlike unions and other employee groups on campus, we don't engage in strike activity or rallies. It is extremely rare for us to formally present to the Board of Governors. In addition to the type of advocacy we do by representing individual APSA members on items of concern, we also advocate directly to the University administration. We have quarterly meetings with senior administration, including President Joy Johnson. We also have monthly liaison meetings – formerly with the VPFA and head of HR and, starting soon, with the new VPPEI, Yabome Gilpin-Jackson.
We often need your help to advocate on your behalf. While the president and VPPEI can hear from me and Andrew (our executive director) on APSA-wide issues, there is additional weight given to our concerns when those same issues are raised by individual APSA members. That opportunity has arisen with SFU: What’s Next? This is a cross-university collaboration co-led by SFU President Joy Johnson. Over the next year, the University will engage in community conversations with the goal of developing a framework that aligns efforts across the University for the next five years.
The first phase of that process, “Gathering Broad Input,” is now complete, and I hope that APSA members had a chance to contribute. The second phase, “Deepening the Conversation,” will start soon with round table discussions.
I strongly encourage all APSA members to keep their eyes out for the opportunity to participate, so that the University is hearing from us both, from the association level and the individual level. The more we participate, the more our concerns will be heard.
We will continue to provide feedback at the senior dministrative level and will be updating the APSA newsletter as we become aware of opportunities for you to have your voices heard. Stay tuned!