Chair chosen for WLUSU board of directors

The newly elected directors for the 2011-12 Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union (WLUSU) met for the first time on the evening of Feb. 15.

The only item on the agenda was to elect a chair for the board. Those nominated included director-elects Sunny Chan, Chris Oberle and current vice-chair Chris Walker. All three nominees have had experience as directors on the board in past years.

After a lengthy question period, second-year director Walker emerged victorious.
All nominees centred their platforms around communication, training and accountability, though Walker’s focused the most on communication.

“I’ve made some strong ties with a lot of the university administration, a lot of the faculty, within the union,” Walker said after the results had been announced. “I’m pretty personable. I’m definitely not afraid of voicing my opinion when it comes to communicating with the directors.”

Walker was also passionate about student advocacy and lobbying on various student issues. “I think the board of directors needs to take a more proactive role in ownership linkage and advocacy,” he said. “Finding out what actually matters to students.”

“Whether it be Internet access or study space or anything like that – stuff that the union doesn’t have total control over, but … they have a voice at the table when it comes to changing the university’s mind on a few of those key decisions.”

Other questions posed to the chair candidates focused on training, policy governance, and strengthening relations with Brantford. While the candidates all presented relatively similar values, Walker continuously pushed communication as the key to success.

“Brantford is a key part of the students’ union,” Walker told The Cord, stating that in a year when no Brantford students sit on the board, representation is more important than ever.

“We can achieve this is by creating Brantford-specific monitoring reports to ensure that compliance within the organization is met there.”

Also present at the meeting were president-elect Nick Gibson and the newly hired WLUSU management team.

Gibson was pleased with the performance of all three candidates and looks forward to working closely with Walker. “He’ll be very interesting,” said Gibson. “He does have one term on the board. So far, he’s done a good job. He’s been a very vocal force on the board.”

Walker expressed a desire to work closely with the management team, which pleased Gibson. “I think he’ll facilitate a lot of communication between the board which is very, very key.”

Gibson was optimistic about the team of directors, who will meet next in March. “They were looking very eager tonight and ready to rock ‘n’ roll. I’m really pumped to work with everyone.”