WLUSU hopes for better multi-governance

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Despite many Wilfrid Laurier University students from the Brantford campus voicing their concerns last year regarding the multi-campus governance policy, the Wilfrid Laurier Student’s Union has been stating that their new system will in fact endorse a positive and holistic experience for all Laurier students.

“This year what we’re trying to accomplish is to ensure that both campuses work in unison, so we have one organization,” said Michael Onabolu, president and CEO of WLUSU. “I spent my time in both Brantford and Waterloo, on both campuses.”

Onabolu also explained that the new governance system for this year has a vice-president of campus experience for both the Waterloo and Brantford campuses to ensure that all issues are dealt with accordingly. The Brantford campus also has assistant vice-presidents that give further assistance.

While last year Brantford students were increasingly upset about their voice being lost, WLUSU is assuring that the new system will properly function this year for both campuses.

“We’re trying to grow the department on the Brantford campus,” explained Chris Walker, vice-president of university affairs at WLUSU. “It’s a matter of growing my department to utilize those students and communicate.”

He continued by stating that a number of volunteers will be hired in order to ensure that the Brantford campus remains a successful community, and promote positive advocacy for the campus as a whole.

Walker also emphasized that all programs carried out on the Waterloo campus — such as the new mental health initiatives — will also be followed up on the Brantford campus to ensure that all students have the same resources and opportunities available to them, and to provide equal programming across both campuses.

In order to do this, Onabolu stated that WLUSU is attempting to spend equal amounts of time on both campuses.

“What we’re trying to do is ensure that there’s face-time that’s spent there … and just co-ordinating different events,” Onabolu explained.

“Another thing that’s going on, for example from an operating standpoint, so things like the operating procedures between the Student’s Union and the Laurier Brantford campus, we’re trying to make that a holistic multi-campus document, so that it’s one document between Laurier and the Student’s Union.”

As of now, Laurier Brantford has its own separate document. However, according to Onabolu, bringing the documents together to form one will have many benefits.

“Seeing it all in one place will keep [it] in top of mind … so that everyone is aware that whenever we think about things on the Waterloo campus we also think about things on the Brantford campus as well,” Onabolu said.

“I think another thing that it does is that it reminds us that we do have both campuses to operate on, so we do spend our time on both campuses.”

Onabolu did express that lack of physical space does cause issues, as there is limited room for work to be done on the Brantford campus.

However, despite this barrier, he is hoping that the two campuses will be able to come together and work effectively.

Walker echoed Onabolu’s views, and stated that WLUSU will continue to work towards an effective system that will bring about positive results for students.

“Fundamentally, students are all after the same thing in terms of a high quality, holistic student experience, so regardless of where it is, or what faculty, or whatever, the Student’s Union is working with the university and working independently in some cases, to provide that to students as best we can,” he concluded.

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