Wolfville, Acadia, and Students' Union renew Memorandum of Understanding for mutual success
The Town of Wolfville, Acadia University, and the Acadia Students' Union (ASU) have extended their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which aims to support the development of a model unparalleled in Canada.
The MOU, signed by Acadia's President, the Mayor of the Town of Wolfville Council, and the Vice-President Academic and External for the Acadia Student’s Union on June 16, 2023, recognizes that stronger together, the partners wish to transcend the traditional town and gown framework to create a unified university-town model to support their collective goal of becoming an integrated community in which to live, work, and study.
The MOU describes a framework that mobilizes efforts to ensure the partners meet the needs of the comprehensive community and respective institutions.
"We are excited to build on our existing partnerships and work collaboratively with the Town of Wolfville and the Acadia Students' Union to create a more integrated community," said Dr. Peter Ricketts, President and Vice-Chancellor of Acadia University.
Acknowledging Mi'kma'ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi'kmaq, the partners pledge to embrace the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and sustainability in their collaborative work to optimize the academic, research, cultural, athletic, recreational, business, economic, and entertainment opportunities.
The MOU outlines a joint responsibility to commit to a high standard of community livability for all, emphasizing that residents deserve to live in a town that is attractive, safe, healthy, and affordable where neighbours appreciate, support, and respect one another.
According to Mayor Wendy Donovan of Wolfville, the agreement provides a structure to build upon a spirit of cooperation and strengthen the partnership. "This renewed memorandum of understanding is a testament to our commitment to each other and the communities we serve. We must consider one another when making decisions that could impact the community."
The partners will work to address the challenges posed by food insecurity, poor or inadequate housing, and behaviours that are incompatible with the objectives of community well-being to ensure any issue is addressed promptly, through collaboration and with sensitivity to all parties.
The MOU involves the appointment of representatives from each party to the Wolfville and Acadia Town and Gown Committee, including the President and Vice-Chancellor of Acadia University, the President of the Acadia Students’ Union, the Mayor of the Town of Wolfville, and representatives from the Board of Governors or Senate, Students' Representative Council, and Town Council. The Committee receives applications from interested residents of the Town of Wolfville and will appoint a representative resident to serve a two-year term.
"The signing of this MOU demonstrates our commitment to working together to ensure the success of all Acadia students while promoting community well-being and sustainable development," said ASU President Sadie McAlear. “Living in Wolfville and learning at Acadia is encouraging because students here are respected and part of the governance structure.”
Additionally, the agreement commits the parties to engage with entities such as Events Acadia, the Wolfville Farmers Market, and the Valley Regional Enterprise Network to benefit the Town, University, and ASU mutually. The parties will also collaborate to manage and promote facilities and infrastructure in an environmentally sustainable manner and encourage engagement and interaction among all members of the community.
An electronic copy of the signed MOU can be found here.