WLUSU restructures vice president positions

The Wilfrid Laurier University Students Union management team for 2012-2013 has been announced.

The following students will join president-elect Michael Onabolu to lead the Students’ Union for the 2012-2013 academic year on May 1, 2012.

Chris Walker will be vice president: university affairs; Tash Hatkoski will be vice president: finance and administration; Maggie Schaefer will be vice president: clubs and associations; Breanna Carnes will be vice president: campus experience (Brantford); and Josh Proksch will be vice president: campus experience (Waterloo).

Along with the newly restructured team, there will be a shuffle of current service EcoHawks and the Farmer’s Market club, along with Legal Resources.

The position of Brantford VP of campus experience, a new addition to the management team, will focus on advocacy, rules and policy while the assistant vice presidents (AVPs) will be instead in charge of execution and direct management of services.

As with all WLUSU vice president positions, the vp of campus experience will focus on visioning and providing services to students as well as working as part of the administration team to ensure cohesion of WLUSU’s mandate and the mandate of each department.

To ensure this compliance, EcoHawks and Legal Resources will be moved under the university affairs department. The reasoning for the change, according to Gibson, was that the department would better support the advocacy missive of the groups along with providing more resources than they would have found as services or clubs.

“It was a natural fit. The Farmer’s Market as a campus club had a lot of logistical issues. We saw an opportunity to provide for students, and under the Food Bank it aligned more with department resources,” said Gibson.

The Food Bank will remain a service, which will now be run under the Waterloo vp of campus experience.

“As for Legal Resources, the service cannot actually give legal advice without a lawyer, despite the enthusiasm, passion and support of its volunteers,” he added.

Legal Resources plans to hand over the direction of law school trips and mock LSATs to the Law Society campus club.

“There will be no more ‘formalized’ legal resources,” Walker said.

Walker added that the core function of Legal Resources, the ‘Know Your Rights’ campaign aimed at educating students on leases and tenancy agreements, will be absorbed into university affairs under the campaign education coordinator.

There will be some changes to the EcoHawks as well, with the service moving under the university affairs department.

“It’s an area of expertise that I don’t really have,” Walker said. “There’s a lot of things that EcoHawks brings to the table that I myself don’t know about, so I’m really excited to be working with them.”

The scope of EcoHawks will no longer be service-oriented but remain advocacy-oriented, allowing for the opportunity to work more in collaboration with the Sustainability Office. Walker explained that this re-visioning will help create a clear understanding of the advocacy needs of students.

“They will still be doing the same type of campaigns but they will be focusing more on actual advocacy projects, trying to bring in more sustainable practices within both the students union and on campus with the University,” he added.

EcoHawks will continue to participate in Orientation Week.

“A lot of people are excited about the change, specifically to move in an advocacy direction,” Walker said. “EcoHawks used to be in the university affairs department a ways back and then it was moved over to a service.”

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