New hiring policy for icebreakers

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The hiring policies for icebreakers have changed again for the upcoming Orientation Week.

While the policy outlines some of the components of last year’s changes, it also added two significant requirements: a mandatory information session and a grade point average requirement.

“It provides great benefits to students,” said Josh Proksch, vice president of student experience. “We are adding processes to ensure that we do that the best candidates, and these are the people we trust to oversee our first year students.”

When asked by The Cord if the changes were brought on by the overwhelming feedback the union received for the changes to last year’s policy, Michael Onabolu, president and CEO of WLUSU, expressed that while there were challenges, Laurier had one of the best O-Weeks the schools has had in a long time, and the changes to the policy were not directly a result of last year’s change.

“We definitely thought there were some improvements that could be made,” Onabolu said.

They received feedback from the students who had participated in the hiring process, and as Tash Hatkoski, vice president of finance and administration at WLUSU explained that they, “listened to their concerns and adapted it accordingly.”

This year, the policy will include a mandatory information and training session where students who are interested in applying must attend. There are three available sessions and they are designed to not only introduce interested applicants to what they are applying for, but to hold students accountable.

“One of the biggest complaints [from last year] was that anyone could sit down at a computer and fill out an application,” explained Hatkoski.

She further elaborated on the idea that volunteers will have to show their face and show that they are committed to the application, by attending these sessions.

By taking hours out of their day, students are able to demonstrate that they are committed to the position.

“I think it’s a good idea,” stated Katerina Kodopulos, a fourth year student who has been an icebreaker in previous years. “I’m curious to see what the sessions will be about, [and] what will be explained.”

“O-week itself is such a fun privilege, it’s a privilege to be an icebreaker,” she continued.

Another change in the policy is the GPA requirement. Students are required to have a minimum GPA of 5.0.

“These new changes create a longer process, but it will be used to select only the most appropriate volunteers for the job,” said Allsion Sinclair, another fourth year student who has participated in icebreaking.

In regards to the application, the first two questions that were implemented last year were removed. Those questions included “Have you ever been involved in the Students’ Union,” and “have you ever been involved outside the Students’ Union.”

“It was not a good reflection of what we are trying to accomplish,” Hatkoski explained. “Those didn’t really help us judge the people that apply.”

In the event that the number of applicants exceeds the number of positions available, the students will be placed in a lottery. One lottery will include the veterans from previous years.

They will be evaluated on the performances and appraisals that were completed by their icebreaking partners, quad partners and head icebreakers.

25 per cent of those veterans will be selected, while the remaining students will be placed in the second lottery, which will randomly select the applicants to match the number of opportunities available.

“We are trying to make it accessible to as many people as possible,” said Onabolu.

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