President: Third time’s the charm?

Adelle Vickery - President
Posted on: November 6, 2016

Hello everyone, and welcome to my second-last article. I would like to follow the lead of my two predecessors, David Birnbaum and Leila Meema-Coleman, and use this issue to talk about my failures as President. This is a difficult article to write, but I believe it is going to be the most important. I was elected on a specific set of ideas, along with the rest of my team, and in the spirit of accountability, I strongly believe that it is important for the student body to be aware of the failures of its Executive team. I hope this trend of outlining shortcomings continues into the future, especially for those involved in student advocacy.

I do want to start with some accomplishments that I am proud of. First off, I believe I have further improved our relationship with the Faculty. This includes making sure that the President is included in more discussions and decisions at the Faculty level. For example, going forward the EngSoc President is going to have more of an active role in Orientation Week, such as having a voice in the selection of FOC and a more active role during the week. On the topic of relationships, I honestly believe that I have begun to rebuild the bridge between us and Feds; in the Winter, we signed the Societies Agreement that was in the works for 2 years and have since developed a well-established relationship based on mutual support. The last major section is Council; the year before I was in office, Council was governed by the Executive and there was hardly ever any discussion on motions. During the last two terms, we have seen numerous mandates put forward by class reps and some very good discussion. I also succeeded in implementing remote attendance for JAGM, with the help of Jeff Gulbronson, to allow students on co-op to attend and voice their opinions.

Now, onto what I wasn’t able to accomplish. Some items on my platform weren’t completed due to infeasibility, so I’m not going to touch on those, but others weren’t completed because I didn’t put the necessary work into them. First on this list is a Council restructure. When I was elected President, I was tasked with running the Council Review Committee, which was in charge of proposing a new structure for Council. This Committee worked hard for a year, before preventing its report at JAGM. I’d really like to thank Hannah Gautreau, Brian Howe, Theresa Decola, Simon Grigg, and Melissa Ferguson for all of their hard work over that year. Unfortunately, the way we were set up to propose change, it was an ‘all-or-nothing’ situation, and the proposal failed. I do hope some of the aspects of the proposal are incorporated in the future. Next is relations with B-Society. Over the first year of my Presidency, the relation was fairly rocky. I strongly believe this is because our teams were elected on different platforms and ideas; this is inherent in our structure and isn’t going to disappear. However, I could have done more to foster good relationships and compromised on various issues so we could work better together. I think with the new B-Society team, this has improved and I’m happy to see some of our initiatives being integrated into BSoc and the incoming ASoc executive continuing BSoc initiatives. Lastly, I wanted to integrate more services for graduating services, and I’m sorry to say that I didn’t work towards that implementation at all.

There are definitely other areas in which I failed. If you would like to talk to me about these points, feel free to reach out! I can usually be found in the Orifice (CPH 1327) and can be reached by email at president.a@engsoc.uwaterloo.ca.