The month of May has been quite eventful in many regards. The commitment was made at the inception of my term in office to follow through on my 15-point platform. I believe that transparency is imperative in gaining the trust of the public. Understanding what your elected official is doing on your behalf is paramount to realizing that your vote matters and there is a point. The student executive team has been working arduously with the directions provided to achieve our goals with fervor like none other.
May has seen the achievement of two significant platform points. Spearheaded by Sara Clark, VP of Clubs & Association, Jason Verhoeve, Director of Student Experience and I, the sports clubs program at Laurier Athletics & Recreation have received the promised support. What was the promise you may ask? The sports clubs program, supporting over 600 students, does a great job in facilitating the development of student leaders, passions and sports–based programming. The student demand has increased at such an unprecedented rate such that the level of funding available is no longer sufficient. We more than doubled the financial resources going to that program, renegotiated our memorandum of understanding and established dialogue for a greater degree of collaboration.
Secondly, students identified the need to have a central hub in which all clubs may be seamlessly found, events around campus can be apparent and contact can be easily made. The proposed solution was an app/software, which would have front face user interface support as well as back end management options. The Students’ Union recently signed an agreement with Campus Vibe. Students searching for a club will be able to log on , browse all the available active clubs, enrol virtually to receive updates/club news, and view a calendar with all the campus events happening per day. Presidents will be able to view all events historically done by their club, manage their team and communicate directly with the clubs department. A further goal is to actualize the possibility of doing reimbursements online and this we are working towards. For club executives, the new software will allow for streamlined processes and an easier connection with students to spend less time on paper work and more time on club activities. The roll out, will happen over the course of August and September. It will first be open to club presidents to create their club pages followed by all students to start getting involved. The introduction of this interface will benefit both the Brantford and Waterloo students.
The University Affairs (UA) Department led by Vice-President, University Affairs’ Shannon Kelly have been productively occupied in conversations with the Ontario University Student Alliance (OUSA) on priorities for the upcoming year, transition, and encouraging the post-secondary student population to vote. With the provincial election scheduled for June 7th 2018, the department has employed quite a few marketing strategies to increase awareness about the ongoing provincial process.
The Programming & Services Brantford (PSB) Department accomplished a significant goal in seeing the ascent of Shinerama from club to committee status. Vice President Programming & Services, Brantford Natalie Rigato and her team have been working on the infrastructure development of the cohort dedicated to raising awareness and support for cystotic fibrosis patients in the country. This status wise elevation will see the rise of a much more objective focus group with increased support and fundraising ability.
The Office of the Students’ Union President has been focused on the day to day management of the organization. This includes risk and liability mitigation, staff supervision, supporting departments (clubs, University Affairs, Programming & Services Brantford) and policy creation/review. Majority of my time has been geared towards meeting with campus and external parties to discuss and implement plans that will add value to the student experience. The job of the President & CEO is to advocate and represent you at different levels of the university and of which includes sitting on committees such as the Freedom of Expression Task Force. The mandate of the committee is to develop a statement surrounding freedom of expression which will function as the guiding principles for structuring an implementation plan. The University Senate recently approved the statement and the action plan phase is on the brink of commencement.
The journey have a 1000 miles begins with a single step. This is our step. Our executive team will continue to strive towards providing services that enhance the student experience. Stay tune for our June updates next month!
Always remember, our money, our union, our experience!
Students’ Union President & CEO