Students’ Union elects vice president team for 2019-2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Photo by Eva Ou

Wilfrid Laurier University’s Students’ Union has officially hired their student management team for the 2019/2020 period as of Feb. 13, introducing five new team members to provide the foundation of services and operations for the Waterloo and Brantford campuses.

They will be assisting the incoming president & CEO, Zemar Hakim, as he sets out to actualize some of the goals and promises that he outlined during his campaign period.

The new hires include Twan Dieker, the incoming VP: programming & services for the Waterloo campus; Andre Thames, the incoming VP: programming & services for the Brantford campus; Kara McDowell, the incoming VP: clubs & associations; Shannon Leest, the incoming VP: finance & administration; and Shawn Cruz, the incoming VP: university affairs.

Dieker and Thames will be responsible for overseeing, supporting and managing the student-driven functions on the Waterloo and Brantford campuses.

“I’ll oversee the eight programs and services: the Food Bank, Foot Patrol, ERT [Emergency Response Team], as well as A-Team’s First Year Project, Peer Connect, Shinerama and Eco-Hawks — and then O-Week will also fall under my portfolio,” Dieker said.

Thames, in particular, is excited about the opportunity to develop the newly-found identity that is beginning to emerge at the Brantford campus.

“Because at the end of the day, we’re trying to make sure all of our members are empowered to achieve, as well as look up to their expectations and goals,” Thames said.

With numerous changes being made by the provincial government which will affect student governments and organizations as a whole, their team cohesion, perseverance and overall effectiveness as a student executive team will be put to the test in the next year.

McDowell will be taking over the implementation of The Perch as introduced by the former Students’ Union management team, assisting all the clubs and associations on both the Waterloo and Brantford campuses with their day-to-day operations.

“Of course, Sarah and the clubs and associations team are really looking to push it this year to get all the clubs and associations’ presidents making pages for clubs and then pushing it towards their general members and then getting people to use the website,” McDowell said.

Leest will be overseeing the hiring and recruitment committees on both campuses and will be assisting in the budgeting process for the Students’ Union committees in the upcoming fiscal year.

The incoming VP of University Affairs will be responsible for advocating to the provincial and federal government on behalf of Laurier undergraduate students. Cruz believes that students need to be made aware of the benefits they derive from being a part of the union.

This role will be especially relevant in the coming terms due to the changes in the new Student Choice Initiative, which will offer new and imposing challenges regarding what are considered essential services to the school.

“One of the things we’d like to look at is establishing landlord/tenants rights as an essential service. Right now, we’re in the early stages of seeing what that might look like; it might take the form of perhaps some sort of legal service that Laurier students can opt into, similar to what the University of Waterloo’s Federation of Students has recently implemented,” Cruz said.

With numerous changes being made by the provincial government which will affect student governments and organizations as a whole, their team cohesion, perseverance and overall effectiveness as a student executive team will be put to the test in the next year.

Leave a Reply