Algonquin president Cheryl Jensen joined the first-year journalism students on Jan. 25, to share the steps set in place to make the college a better place for all.
Journalism students had a wide-range of questions to ask Jensen, mostly consisting of what Algonquin is doing to help the environment, mental health, gender equality and about her personal life.
“I’m happy to talk,” said Jensen before the questions.
When asked about what Algonquin is going to do to help with the environment, Jensen talked about how the college is becoming more innovative in their approach. To become more eco-friendly, Jensen is working with Siemens, which is the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe, in creating a cogeneration plant so that the college would be able to supply their own energy and even go off-grid if needed.
Jensen made it clear that “reducing carbon footprint is on ourselves.”
Further questions were asked about gender equality and what the college is doing to accommodate students. Jensen replied by pointing out that Algonquin has added its first pride centre on campus, a gender-neutral washroom, policies and codes of conduct for a respectable workplace.
“Diversity is important to me on the leadership team,” said Jensen when talking about having a good representation of men and women on her staff.
Mental health was a big question that was brought up as well. When Jensen was asked about what initiatives the college is taking to provide more staff, she referenced the University of Ottawa and how they have a larger campus and more staff, but despite all the resources, they are still finding it difficult to keep up.
Jensen was afterwards asked more personal questions. The students started off by asking about her busy schedule and what she does to relax and unwind. Jensen has two sisters, one of which is her twin. Keeping in touch with her family is very important.
She was also asked about her busy schedule and how is she able to sleep at night. Sometimes she’s unable to sleep, especially during the strike as she was worried about all the students — a reflection of how passionate she is about her job.
Near the end, Jensen had a question for the students: “Why do I tweet out so much?” Her answer? it was a way for her to show how connected she is to the students and faculty.