Students’ Union unveils new vice presidents for the 2018/2019 school year

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With the winter academic term coming to an end, WIlfrid Laurier University’s Students’ Union has begun hiring and planning for next year.

Tarique Plummer, incoming president and CEO of the Students’ Union, has spent his time since elections conducting a thorough hiring process and has officially hired the new executive team for 2018/19.

Sara Clark (Contributed Image)

Those hired for the various vice-president positions include Natalie Rigato, vice-president of programming and services on Laurier’s Brantford campus; Shannon Kelly, vice-president of university affairs; Nikki Corless, vice-president of programming and services on Laurier’s Waterloo campus, Darshil Shah, vice-president of finance amd administration and Sarah Clark; vice-president of clubs and associations.

For Plummer, a large component of his job as Students’ Union president involves working closely with the executive team to fulfill his goals and visions for his tenure.

“The role of president is to be the chief lobbyist on behalf of students — you advocate for the rights of students and you try your best to provide resources for the students,” Plummer said.

“In addition to those, you try your best to utilize the funds and resources you have been given — that you are entrusted with — to give the students the ultimate student experience.”

“How the president does that is a major question,” he added.

Nikki Corless (Contributed Image)

Ensuring the executive team’s vision is strong going into the 2018/19 school year will ensure the Students’ Union is providing the undergraduate students with the best possible experience. During his tenure, Plummer intends on placing a large focus on management.

“The primary responsibility is management: the management of the vice-presidential team, the management of full time staff, the management of the AVP’s, the management essentially of the entire organization on a whole,” Plummer said.

“I will be giving them what I want them to actualize … seeing how best we can complete that overall vision or picture and then working to achieve those particular objectives. My vision for them is a vision that I have in my platform.”

For next year, both respective vice-presidents of programming and services aim to organize all programs and services that the Students’ Union offers.

“I look over basically all the programming and services that the Students’ Union puts on through the 10 different committees … so from the essential services to the programming department,” Corless said.

Shannon Kelly (Contributed Image)

“[The 10 committees are] the Activities Team, Eco-Hawks, Food Bank, Foot Patrol, ERT (the emergency response team), the Orientation Team, Winter Carnival, First Year Project, Peer Connect and SHINE.”

For Rigato, she hopes to be able to be the “go-to” contact for undergraduate students on the Brantford campus when Plummer is on the Waterloo campus.

“I’m kind of like the first person that people would come to on the Brantford campus if there were issues and concerns,” Rigato said.

“I am also in charge of running different committees that the president may put me on … at the Brantford campus more specifically than the Waterloo campus.”

Rigato also hopes to place a large focus on recruiting and retaining volunteers on the Brantford campus.

“My vision for volunteering and programming for the Brantford campus is basically … I want to work on retention and retaining volunteers because we have a big issue sometimes with volunteers continuing to do the same positions or new positions,” Rigato said.

“I want to show people how great it is to be a volunteer and what it means to be a volunteer.”

Natalie Rigato (Contributed Image)

Kelly, incoming vice-president of university affairs, has spent the past year as assistant vice-president of university of affairs.

For Kelly, continuing on advocating for various projects will be an opportunity to see ongoing initiatives be accomplished.

“Advocacy is kind of like a slow moving progress … it is really cool because you build off of other projects. To see things come into fruition is absolutely amazing.”

As for clubs and associations, Clark will be in charge of organizing the large amount of clubs and associations that exist at Laurier.

“Essentially in this role I will be overseeing all of our clubs that we have on both the Waterloo and Brantford campuses,” Clark said.

“Between both campuses we have just over 200 clubs and that includes our faculty association as well as all of our independent Students’ Union clubs.”

Darshil Shah (Contributed Image)

Darshil Shah, incoming vice-president of finance and administration detailed some of the responsibilities of his position.

“The main roles will be human resources, operational – there is lots of supervision. I have to deal with hiring some of the HR coordinators, deal with training, conduct issues, disciplinary procedures that arise on the job [and] training procedures,” Shah said.

“I will be hiring the HR coordinators and the AVP in Brantford.”

“Dealing with the coordinators and whatever issues they may have, whether its disciplinary issues, conduct issues and of course there is the financial aspect to the job.”

“I will be working the full time staff … I will be working with long term and short term goals we have for the organization and thats in coordination with the president’s platform,” Shah said.

This article was written with files from Nicholas Quintyn

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