Tyler Van Herzele works to increase transparency
At the most recent Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union board meeting, held on Nov. 25, Students’ Union president, Tyler Van Herzele, announced that he will be holding office hours on Friday afternoons to increase transparency and communication with the student population.
“Open office hours are going to be, I think factually, from 1:00 [p.m.] to 3:00 [p.m.] every Friday. And I’m going to try to carry that into the new year given my schedule [sic]. The purpose behind them is to give anybody who has a question, or just wants to learn more, or is curious about what we’re doing, or has a concern, to just come in and talk directly to me,” Van Herzele said.
“It’s something that I loved doing during the campaign. I love that instant feedback. I love that communication. And I want to get back to that. I want students to know that their president does listen. I know there are concerns right now, and the fact that we’ve been working on them for months, and I want to tell people that.”
Van Herzele explained that the majority of students are unaware of what he does on a daily basis.
The projects he works on and what he is advocating for are not published; that information is not made accessible.
“The idea behind it is to open up that communication gap, again, because I feel like it’s closed a lot since entering the job and getting a full calendar,” he said.
Van Herzele will also start using his Snapchat again, as he did during his campaign. Students can add him on Snapchat and use the app to ask him questions.
“The second that you’re actually president, people stop interacting with you the same way they did before. All those people that I would walk up to randomly in [for example,] the Science Atrium, and be like ‘hey, can I talk to you for a minute?’ If I did that now, it’s different. It’s weird. I don’t like that. So I want to try to get back with the Snapchat thing.”
Snapchat is also much more accessible than office hours, as students can use Snapchat to communicate with Van Herzele regardless of what campus they are on.
Van Herzele expressed how this increased levels of communication is not just restricted to those within the union.
“I also want people with ideas to come in and speak,” he said.
In addition to this, Van Herzele has plans for a physical events calendar to be posted somewhere on campus.
This is so that the Students’ Union can communicate with students outside of their immediate social media reach.
“We’ve talked about an events calendar — a physical events calendar — not just our digital one, to get imagery up in spaces. Because not everybody is going to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and know everything that’s going on. But if you’re walking through the Concourse and you see a big poster that says, ‘hey, events this week,’ that might do something.”
Van Herzele is hopeful that these new methods of communication will be successful and that students take advantage of it.
“17,000 is a really tough audience to reach.”