Two staff members leave Students’ Union

Graphic by Joshua Awolade

Graphic by Joshua Awolade

Two members Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union staff have moved on to new positions, interim executive director Chris Turner explained.

Kat Lourenco, former director of marketing and communications, and Spiwe Mapuranga, former assistant controller, left the Union in early October to pursue new career opportunities.

Lourenco, who was with the Union as a student executive and in a marketing role for around seven years, is moving to help her friends in a marketing tech startup company in Toronto.

Mapuranga, who recently received her designation and finished her masters of business administration at Laurier, took a job in Alberta in the oil and gas industry.

“It’s great for the people, great opportunities and we’ve provided them the chance to learn and grow here to move on to bigger and better things,” Turner said.

“But [it’s] not so good for us because now we have to fill positions and find people as good as the ones leaving.”

Turner explained that Mapuranga’s position will need to be filled immediately, as she took care of the Union’s bills and did payroll for all of the staff, including the part-time staff that works at Wilf’s, Turret and the U-Desk.

A job posting was put on the Students’ Union website at the beginning of the week, changing the position from assistant controller to full-time staff accountant.

Accounting services administrator Ping Fu has also come on as a staff accountant in a full-time position.

“Now that we’ll have two full-time staff accountants, it will probably come in at the same cost [as the previous arrangement] or a little bit cheaper, and it gives me more flexibility,” Turner said.

“One of the challenges in a small organization, particularly with things like payroll, is you don’t really have the luxury of having two or three different people that know how to do it.”

Hiring a second full-time staff accountant will give the Union the flexibility of having both alternate with payroll on a weekly basis, and also take care of the issue of transition — if one of the individuals chooses to move on from the organization — as well as if one gets sick or takes an extended vacation.

Turner said it’s a benefit because they’ll have resources that “can step in and fill the gaps.”

For the time being, until that person is hired, Fu, Turner and external help will take care of payroll and the finances.

As for the director of marketing position, Turner explained that it will be “put on hold” until the new executive director has been hired.

The Union is currently through the first cut of applications for the position and will be starting interviews, hoping to hire someone for December or at the beginning of the winter term.

“And then that person, working closely with [president and CEO], Sam Lambert, will decide how they want to move forward on hiring that position.”

For the time being, the other three members of the marketing team will be taking on what Turner calls “extended roles.”

Marketing set out their goals and objectives ahead of time, so they will continue to work through projects that have already been set forth for the year.

“That’s probably the best way to handle that one because I don’t think we want to go out and hire a new person that would report directly to the executive director without their input,” Turner explained.

He continued that Lourenco has agreed to consult on a couple projects she started in the upcoming months, while Mapuranga is “just a phone call or e-mail away” if the Union needs help.

As for transition, Turner doesn’t see any major issues for the Students Union’s services or day-to-day operation.

“It’s more of a ‘maintenance mode’ in getting things done that need to be done and not as much strategic planning or forward thinking for new initiatives until those roles are filled and decided on,” he said.

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