WLUSU market research project will move union forward


Re: “Board failed students,” Unsigned editorial June 24, 2009

Throughout my time at Laurier the Cord has been invaluable in pointing out the disconnect in priorities between student representatives and the student body.

With this in mind I was thrilled to hear that the new WLUSU Board has taken the initiative to invest in market research that will ask students what they would like to see from their union, but I am shocked that the Cord Editorial Board derided this decision and concluded that directors failed “the most basic requirements of their position – commitment to and representation of students”.

The definition here of representation is beyond me. Reaching out to students and valuing their collective perspective is the first step towards the Board becoming truly representative of student interests.

Regarding the Cord’s hypersensitivity towards a deficit budget, since the latest publication date a video conferencing system that was going to cost WLUSU $40,000 and have little use for the average student was rejected by the Board.

The result is that despite the $25,000 market research amendment, the Board actually saved the union funds and revealed more interest in representing students than obtaining technological luxuries for WLUSU.

Besides, if the Cord Editorial Board believes that they are speaking in defense of students when they write that market research is a waste of money and not a student priority, shouldn’t that sentiment become evident in the research itself?

I’m pleased to see that the Board, though not the Cord, has started to think of the general student interest.

–Griffin Carpenter

I was sorely disappointed with your articles concerning my market research amendment. Most students I know have barely any idea what the student organization does for them.

This is a symptom of the fact that WLUSU’s current structure, in my opinion, fails many students at WLU.

WLUSU currently caters very well to the 20% of students who volunteer in Union committees. But what about students who just want to focus on academics? They pay the same fees and deserve the same value.

My budget amendment will go a long way to giving the academically focused student what they want for their money. Through a number of different research methods it will ask regular students what they expect and want from WLUSU.

I hope the information gathered will be a valuable resource to this year’s board when they chart a new course for the students of WLU by changing the ends. It will allow Directors to see past their own horizons and take into account the interests of the majority, not only the vocal minority many call the “WLUSU clique”. Whatever the students of WLU say, I hope the Board will listen to them carefully, regardless of the answer we receive.

Finally, if students just happen to want to drink more beer, like The Cord so callously suggested, perhaps that will be a signal that we should at least lower prices at Wilf’s and offer it as a service and not a business. Our purpose is to serve students after all.

–Andrew Fryer

Serving the Waterloo campus, The Cord seeks to provide students with relevant, up to date stories. We’re always interested in having more volunteer writers, photographers and graphic designers.