Many students feel that there has been a lack of communication from the UNBSU in terms of publicizing events and communicating opportunities for student interactions.
“UNBSU really isn’t doing much this year in terms of events for students – even small things to keep students connected, and in my opinion it’s almost more important now than before because everyone is super disconnected from one another with classes online,” said fourth-year Recreation and Sport studies student Grace Leblanc.
Most of the current first-year students at UNB have not yet had classes on campus, and the lack of activities adds to their feelings of exclusion.
First-year Bachelor of Arts student Bella MacNeil explained that she feels disconnected from the university.
“I haven’t gotten to know the people I’m surrounded by which I feel is detrimental to the academic experience,” MacNeil said.
Leblanc shares that lack of connection and feels that she is no longer a part of the UNB community. She feels that the current student union has missed an opportunity to prioritize virtual engagement.
“It feels like the SU isn’t passionate about helping their students this year,” Leblanc explained. “I used to love participating in events at the SUB, the Cellar, and other places on campus, and the UNBSU has done a poor job of replacing said events."
LeBlanc feels that her mental health has suffered a great deal with the online classes and the lack of student engagement, and the inability to interact with her peers has only made it worse.
While MacNeil understands the limitations on the number of activities available, she says that she would like more opportunities to be social with other students.
Leblanc feels that the SU could organize more virtual events for socializing with peers, as well as teaming up with local businesses to do giveaways or just promote what’s available in the city. Virtual trivia, crafts, and mental health exercises are just some of the events she feels the SU could offer for student engagement.
The UNBSU was unavailable for comment.