This was a big year in UNB news. From the uncertainties concerning the Sir Max Aitken Pool, the tuition reset proposal and exciting seasons for the Varsity Reds to racist posters on campus, there never seemed to be down time for our editors and reporters—a good thing for a newspaper! As a recap, The Brunswickan’s Editorial Board has compiled a list of people whom we have determined to be some of the major newsmakers of the year.
George MacLean: Vice-president academic and man with many hats
Anyone reading the Brunswickan this year might have seen vice-president academic George MacLean’s name come up a lot—which isn’t surprising since the man was doing a lot. He was chair of academic planning, indigenization, tuition review, not to mention the lead negotiator in a suspenseful back-and-forth with the city about the state of the Sir Max Aitken pool. MacLean has managed to handle the heat thrown at him in Senate—navigating a contentious crowd during their October 2017 meeting when they were up in arms about the academic planning process, and again in March 2017 when over 100 students showed up in protest about the recommendations made in their tuition review. In both cases, MacLean was the friendly neighbourhood negotiator, and facilitated new processes for both academic planning and tuition review that allow for more consultation.
Imelda Perley (Opolahsomuwehs): UNB’s Elder-in-Residence
Imelda Perley, UNB’s Elder-in-Residence, has been very busy this year. She helped develop UNB’s Truth and Reconciliation Strategic Action Plan, lent her voice to the first-ever Wolastoqey language app and helped lead and organize a unity round dance after white supremacist posters made there way back to campus for the second time this year. Alongside her husband David Perley, the director of the Mi’kmaq Wolastoqey Centre, she negotiated to get a sweat lodge on campus. These are only a few of the events Imelda helped make possible over the past few months. The university will be losing her and David to retirement in a couple of years, and to say that they will be sorely missed is an understatement.
Sarah Hilworth: Women’s hockey head coach
Talk about a busy year! After being hired last June to head up UNB’s recently reinstated varsity women’s hockey team, Hilworth has travelled coast-to-coast building an entire roster and coaching staff from scratch in a matter of months while also finding time to scout the opposition her team will face in the upcoming season. The re-built V-Reds will hit the ice for the first time next fall, more than a decade after the team played its final game before being abolished in a cost-cutting move.
Eddy Campbell: UNB president prepares to “graduate”
Eddy Campbell has served as the president of UNB for almost ten years and has adopted the term ‘graduating’ to describe the end of his contract and departure from the university in 2019. The president search committee was formed last semester to find someone to replace Campbell and this process could take anywhere from 18 months to two years. In recent reports to Senate, it was confirmed that Campbell is set to “graduate on time.” Although they fought to hold a voting position, student representatives from the Fredericton and Saint John campuses were given non-voting positions on the search committee.
Dean Martin: Ex-director of Residential Life
Dean Martin made headlines last November when he announced his resignation from the position of director of Residential Life. Martin, who came to UNB in 2015, was one of the key people behind this year’s controversial Res Life restructure, which removed residence dons and replaced them with three full-time Residential Life coordinators and lead proctors. While Res Life has committed to a full review of the system in two years time, Martin will not be at UNB for the time of this review.
Javon Masters: Record setting basketball star
Javon Masters has been central to the UNB men’s basketball program since his arrival in 2013, but never has he made headlines like he did this past season. Last November, Masters broke the AUS conference all-time career point record of 2,069 points, previously set in 1996. After passing this benchmark, he went on to pursue the national record of 2,282 points set in 2012. To break the national record, Masters needed 25 points in the Jan. 26 game against SMU. He scored 39. Masters finished the season with 2,407 career points, over 100 more than any other player in the Canadian university men’s game to date.
Matthew Sears: Professor by day, social justice warrior…also by day
Classics professor Matthew Sears sprang onto the social justice scene at the end of December with a Twitter post, that he later turned into a piece published in The Globe and Mail, about recognizing his privilege. When the racist posters appeared on campus in January, Sears used his platform to vocally denounce them, while the university administration offered only slight criticism about the posters. Outspoken about issues concerning social justice, Sears has gained media attention—local and national—for his thoughts on campus free speech debates, racism and Indigenous injustice.
Nadine Violette: Co-prez and co-founder of Qmunity led charge in the opening of The 203
Nadine Violette is a third-year Renaissance College student who has been at the forefront of the group of students paving the rainbow-brick road for queer students at UNB over past couple of years. Co-founder of Qmunity, UNB’s queer social club, Violette began seriously working on The 203, UNB’s new Resource Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, when she returned from her international internship in Greece at the end of summer 2017. Director of Counseling Services Rice Fuller facilitated her work through a work-study and other supports, and months later on Feb. 8, a crowd of over 100 people gathered in the SUB Ballroom to celebrate the opening of The 203.