Letter of the Week: Dec. 2, 2009

This letter has been selected by the editor to offer a commentary on last Friday’s Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union board of directors meeting and the current state of the board.

The role of the board of directors is to set and evaluate the long-term strategic goals of WLUSU and ensure that all activities of management further these goals.  But instead, what has happened? 

This board has abandoned the work of last year’s board in redefining the vision of WLUSU, despite acknowledging the current plan is unclear, non-reportable and not reflective of student needs. 

They have also ignored mandates to pursue environmental sustainability policies, prevent campus clubs funding delays, monitor faculty association development, assess progress on the website project and move to online voting. They’ve approved reports that don’t fulfill even basic requirements, debated already-passed elections policies that have hundreds of pages of supporting evidence and watched movies at retreats instead of tackling major issues. This board doesn’t demand of themselves the proper training, knowledge and passion to represent students. 
They are so concerned with avoiding “fights” with management that they are paralyzed when it comes to setting policies on important issues. 

Where can I find WLUSU’s environmental sustainability policy?  WLUSU’s stance on class sizes?  Educational quality?  Textbooks?  Provincial and federal lobbying priorities?  What role will faculty associations play in the future?  What about balancing fiscal issues surrounding increased business revenues vs. unforgivable budgeting omissions? 

Oh, sorry, you’re right, it’s much more important to insult the work of your own committees and question the ability of fellow directors to read, then yell at them and tell them to “slow the fuck down”. I thought you were there to provide for the needs of students. 

Do something with the time you have left that makes the union aspire to a better future and leaves a legacy for those who follow you.  You owe at least that much to yourselves and the people that voted for you.

–Asif Bacchus, 2008-09 chair of the WLUSU board

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