VP’s hired for 2016-17 Students’ Union exec team


Photos by Will Huang or Contributed Images
Photos by Will Huang or Contributed Images

Vice-presidents for the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union executive team for 2016-17 were announced on February 12.

The hiring process began on February 5, giving president-elect Tyler Van Herzele less than a day following his win to prepare for the task.

“When I was looking for the VP team, I was looking for some very specific things when it came to personality and goals and vision. I want them to understand that they are here to help students achieve what they want to achieve through their own set of goals and values,” said Van Herzele.

“I was looking for people that show their passion for change and are willing to work collaboratively as well, amongst themselves and with the exec board.”

Returning to the executive team following his term as chair of the board of directors and chief governance officer is Colin Aitchison, who was hired as vice-president: university affairs.

The university affairs department is responsible for student advocacy at the municipal, provincial and federal level, as well as work often involving policy and politics.

“I do want to do a lot of collaboration provincially; I want to work with my counterparts at other institutions, including federally as well,” said Aitchison.

“Ideally I’d like to start pushing the federal government to start implementing some of their promises that they made surrounding post-secondary education, I’d like to see that in the next budget.”

Hired as the future vice-president of finance and administration, a position which is involved both with hiring and budgets, is Marley Wildish, who brings two years of experience to the role.

“I started off in general in hiring and recruitment in Waterloo, then I became an executive this past year, which kind of helped me develop a passion for the department and the Students’ Union,” said Wildish.

Kelsey Jenkins was hired for the position of vice-president of clubs and associations, one which requires running the behind-the-scenes operations of the campus clubs and faculty associations, including budget allocation, marketing, policy work and collaboration with faculty association presidents.

“It reaches the most students out of all of our programming on campus and I just think it gives such diverse opportunities for student experience,” said Jenkins. “That’s been really important to me in my own experience this year, and I wanted to provide that to other people in a bigger way.”

On the Brantford campus, Carina Gerlings has been appointed as vice-president of programming and services, who oversees Students’ Union committees such as Food Bank and EcoHawks and is responsible for Orientation Week.

“I want to not only make partnerships within the programming and services department, I want to expand that to university affairs, finances and administration, as well as with clubs and associations,” said Gerlings.

“I think it’s a great way to get people involved in different areas of the students’ union to all work together and get to know each other.”

The vice-presidents are rounded off with Kimberly Hutchings, vice-president of programming and services for the Waterloo campus, whose passion for the position comes from her personal experiences working with the Students’ Union.

“I’ve spent the past three years volunteering with the students’ union and it’s provided me with a ton of opportunities, not just to build my own leadership skills but also to make friendships that will last a really long time,” said Hutchings.

“For me working in this department is to kind of be able to give back to the organization that kind of made my university experience what it is.”

The newly hired vice-presidents are currently in the process of hiring their assistant vice-presidents as well as shadowing their predecessors in preparation for commencing their roles on May 1.

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