Tyler Van Herzele, the new Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union president and the Students’ Union staff team, officially took office as of May 1, 2016.
Van Herzele explained that in the first week, the Students’ Union had a chance to participate in an office orientation with both Brantford and Waterloo staff, organize administrative tasks and attend meetings, among many other things.
The second half of their first week was spent on a staff retreat — giving the staff team the opportunity to get to know one another and partake in team bonding exercises and activities.
“It’s been a really productive and enjoyable first week. As for what we’re doing, we’re just getting comfortable,” said Van Herzele.
Ensuring that each individual feels comfortable in their jobs is something that Van Herzele puts a large personal emphasis on. He believes that the success of the team often coincides with the presence of a strong, positive team atmosphere.
Van Herzele also explained how the next few months will be spent focusing on a variety of important aspects. Throughout the summer, a big focus for everyone will be on orientation week in September.
“A big focus of ours is how we can engage the students now that they’re back on campus — not only in first-year, but in upper years, too.”
As well, he plans to revamp and finalize many of the initiatives he brought forth during the campaign period.
Specifically, creating strong campus-partner relationships, along with Laurier’s community relationships.
“One of the biggest parts of my job would be communicating to the university the students’ voice. Making sure everyone’s being heard along the decision making process,” he said.
In regards to big changes, Van Herzele intends to continue building on the work the Students’ Union accomplished in the previous year.
“The natural progression of the Students’ Union calls for big changes; that’s sort of what we do.”
In addition, he plans on reaching out to the membership to ensure that students know why the Students’ Union is doing what they are doing.
“It’s a lot easier to understand the Students’ Union if you understand why we’re doing things.”
To attain this goal, Van Herzele hopes to implement more feedback mechanisms.
“How am I able to represent you, if I can’t hear you?” said Van Herzele, explaining his hopes to interact with the Laurier community on a daily basis.
This will also allow the membership to feel informed about the Students’ Union.
If a student is interested in reaching out to the Students’ Union, Van Herzele wants to ensure they have a clear path to voice their opinions.
“It’s going to be a number of weeks of prep, luckily we have the summer for that.Then, hopefully, when September rolls around, we’ll have our game plans in order.”