Students’ Union develops summer initiatives to improve campus life
The Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union (WLUSU) has been continuing their efforts to improve the lives of current and future Golden Hawks as new president, Zemar Hakim and new chair of the board of directors, Owen Bourrie, lead their teams through the summer to prepare for the fall semester that includes events such as orientation week and homecoming.
Owen Bourrie, a returning member of the board of directors, aims to implement change in the board as he saw many aspects of last year’s board that were not desirable while residing in the role of vice chair.
“Over the past two months we have run several different training sessions, we’ve gone over the different policies, legislation, constitutions and the training manuals we’ve had five of those sessions and then we’ve also done two mock board meetings,” Bourrie said.
“They have been such a huge help to all, even to returning members. It gets kind of tough, it’s very intimidating to people when they first kind of walk in, but I didn’t want anyone to be deterred from coming to meetings and speaking out because they didn’t feel comfortable, so through this training.”
The WLUSU board of directors, elected by students at the same time as the presidential and faculty elections, oversees many different aspects of student life at Laurier regarding operational topics such as the president’s performance, the operational budget, how the students’ union is running as a whole and governance policies among others.
“Our first meeting we had full attendance except for a medical absence, but we had really engaged and interactive people at our first board meeting, so I was really happy with it,” Bourrie said.
“It’s a learning experience for me too, it’s nice to have the support of past chairs, those people have reached out to me and given me tips and tricks they’ve developed to pass on to me and I think it’s going extremely well.”
“My board is not only engaged but passionate, we have a lot of really smart people on this board, so they make doing my job really easy.”
As for new president Zemar Hakim, he is continuing to work on the platform points and ideas pitched to students when electing him president, some of which have already come to fruition shortly following his arrival.
There’s currently internal operation hiring going on and I am on committees for the school for hiring, as far as the platform goes, I am in discussions for the enhancement of services and 24 hour building access right now, plus campus to campus transportation was actually rolled out at Sean Kingston.
“There’s currently internal operation hiring going on and I am on committees for the school for hiring, as far as the platform goes, I am in discussions for the enhancement of services and 24 hour building access right now, plus campus to campus transportation was actually rolled out at Sean Kingston,” Hakim said.
WLUSU not only oversees 300 clubs and volunteer committees at Laurier but also heads the essential services at the school such as the emergency response team, foot patrol and the food bank.
The Students’ Union also organizes orientation week each year, hiring all of the head icebreakers as well as icebreaker teams that welcome freshman students to the school.
“We have our entire O-week team hired, they’ve been talking about things like teams, colour themes, their own partnerships and new campus partners,” Hakim said.
“We’re looking at patterning up with local organizations to help out with O-week which I’m really excited about.”
The Students’ Union is also looking into a more inclusive campus, Hakim says, as they have proposed to use the Student Life Levy to fund inclusive washrooms on campus, an initiative some schools have already rolled out.
“That’s one of my personal commitments that I’m working on right now, that’s a big one,” Hakim said.