Strategic plan under review

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The Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union’s  strategic plan will be coming to an end in May 2014.

Set out in 2011, the plan laid out a strategy comprised of goals according to which WLUSU would work to achieve the ends of the organization. These ends are directed at benefiting the owners, namely, the students. The next year will involve an intensive review of the current strategic plan in order to prepare and develop a new one in 2014.

Jon Pryce, chair of the board and chief governance officer, spoke to the shortcomings of the current plan: “What happened is that there hasn’t been a clear connect between our strategic plan and our ends.”

He explained that the strategy was designed to feed into the ends, but it has been difficult to tell whether this was being accomplished as there was no way to measure its progress.
Jordan Epstein, vice-chair for the board of directors, elaborated on this as he explained the difficulty the board has identifying whether or not the goals of the strategic plan are being achieved by the president.

“We can sort of ask the president what they’re doing and the direction they’re going, but we can’t tell where we were when we started the strategic plan because there aren’t any metrics,” he said.

Pryce explained that the planning process over the next year will involve creating “measurable, tangible goals that feed into [the] ends”.

In this way, the progress being made on goals can actually be measured.

Epstein is also the chair of the strategic plan review committee, which has been meeting since November to discuss overall structural changes to the plan.

From here a sub-committee of the board will be created to develop the more in-depth aspects of the plan. As well, feedback from students will be collected.

According to Pryce, one new aspect of the 2014 strategic plan will be an increased focus on multi-campus governance.

This past year WLUSU has been taking steps towards multi-campus governance, which was not part of the original 2011-14 plan.

Lynne Gulliver, a fourth-year concurrent education student at the Brantford campus, confirmed that she has noticed an increased presence of WLUSU members on campus.

“We’ve just woken up and said this needs to be a priority,” explained Pryce. “We need to make sure that all Brantford student needs are mixed together with Waterloo student needs so that we’re providing for a unified Laurier experience.”

Gulliver agreed, saying that she sees the need still for improvement.

“Until the students that attend Waterloo understand what Laurier Brantford is, it’s not going to happen,” she said. “But I do think there is potential and [WLUSU] is definitely making great steps to having a unified Laurier Brantford and Laurier Waterloo.”

Annie Constantinescu, president-elect for WLUSU, highlighted the fact that the strategic plan is “a student focused document.”

She explained that with the start of her term they will be sending out surveys to get student feedback to inform the development of the next plan. Her vision is to have the strategic plan be a “living document.”

“I love the ideas in it,” Constantinescu continued. “But how do we make it more tangible … so we can move forward with it.”

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