WLUSU rearranges positions for next year

The Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union (WLUSU) will undergo some changes to the structure of their management group during hiring for next year in order to better serve the students it represents. These changes are mainly as a result of a market research study conducted during the 2009-10 school year.

In 2008, WLUSU underwent restructuring so that the vice-president structure reflected that of the university administration. Since then, the decision has been made to move away from this arrangement and to line up the VP positions with an internal, full-time support group within the students’ union.

Kyle Walker, president and CEO of WLUSU, explained that different committees made up of those in these new roles will increase WLUSU’s ability to cover more ground, especially in terms of activities and promotions.

“Now is the time for similar committees to move into that structure,” Walker explained. “They can be … supportive under there, they upgrade our flexibility. We need the institutional memory with each department.”

With the increase in focus on clubs and faculty associations, the VP clubs and activities position will be changed to the VP of programming.

The VP programming will be in charge solely of activities, which will promote the assistant vice president (AVP) clubs and faculty associations to a vice-president position, reporting directly to the president. Winter Carnival, the A-Team, Bar Promotions Team, WLUSU Liaison Team and Orientation Week as well as Shinerama will be handled by this position.

Burton Lee, the current VP of clubs and activities, believes that the workload will be lighter with two VPs. “It’s a little difficult to manage…. A lot of times, there’s seven, eight, nine, ten events going on in one week,” Lee said of the workload taken on by his position this year.

“One person doesn’t have to try and manage all those,” he reasoned. “You can have two people managing those and really make sure the experience is positive.”

Lee thinks that this change will allow the VPs to do more within their roles because they are managing fewer committees at once. “It will be a lot more hands-on, which I think is very positive,” he said.

The VP public affairs position is being declared redundant. According to Walker, the position has gone through many changes over the years and is no longer serving the duties it was created for.

Instead, a marketing and communications manager position is being created. The position will be a full-time, permanent position occupied by a non-student.
The marketing and communications manager will work closely with an IT coordinator and a digital media coordinator to diversify communication. Walker noted that there had been frequent changes surrounding the position from year to year. Pam Blomfield, the student who currently occupies the position, hopes that the change will be the last one to the position.

Blomfield also believes that the permanent position will provide more stable support for students and volunteers.

“Every year has a different strategy,” Blomfield said about the position. “Getting that full-time, consistent position in place will eliminate that uncertainty… the transition won’t be as rough going forward.” Another position being removed is the AVP of finance, also because it is no longer serving the purpose it was created to serve.

The AVP first-year experience position will be eliminated. Instead, a director of orientation will be hired.

The director of orientation will assume the duties of the AVP first-year experience, plus will take responsibility for Shinerama. The position is still a paid one, but duties will end at the end of September.

A number of student organizations will be shifted around as well. Fashion n’ Motion, Laurier University Charity Kouncil (L.U.C.K.) and Charity Ball will be moved to Campus Clubs, and Boar’s Head will become part of the Student Food Bank.

Because the board of directors has not met to discuss the shifting positions, Walker would not comment on the subject of financial implications, although there will be a cost decrease of approximately $25,000. The board will meet this Friday afternoon, Jan. 7 to go over the changes.

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