New Term, New EngSoc

Abdullah Barakat - President
Posted on: May 20, 2017

Hey everyone! I hope the start of your term has been going well. In case you don’t know me, my name is Abdullah Barakat, and I am your EngSoc President for the Spring 2017 term! This term may only be about 3.5 weeks in, but it sure has been busy! My overall goal for this term is to put the focus back on the students, and make sure that you guys get the best undergrad experience that EngSoc has to offer.

This term, my Executive team and I have decided to create SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound), which will increase the transparency of the work that we are doing, and will allow us to be held more accountable to our council. For my goals for the term, I will be reaching out to the various Engineering departments across campus in order to gain information based on current industry trends and aim to improve upon the services we offer in order to better cater to the programs that may not benefit much from what we offer. I have also been working on improving the structure and overall way that our council operates, which so far has been a success! Furthermore, since mental health is an ongoing concern within Waterloo Engineering, I have been pushing and supporting the growth of MATES (Mentor Assistance Through Education and Support) within EngSoc, and will work to create a succession plan for future terms with our amazing MATES Commissioner Awn Duqoum.

I also plan on working with the Federation of Students (FEDS) on improving their procedures for the FEDS Council, as well as the Committee of Society Presidents (COPS), in order to allow for a better sharing of best practices and increased efficiency of their meetings. In addition to that, since Orientation Week is ever-changing and since the dynamics within the university are adapting to these changes, the role of EngSoc within O-Week has been growing. Therefore, I have been working with Rachel Malevich (the B-Society President) on a plan for EngSoc’s involvement in this coming O-Week in order to introduce the Engineering Society to the incoming students in the best way we can.

In terms of what I have been working thus far in the term, I have met with Jill Knight, the FEDS VP Internal, to discuss where we see the collaboration between the two Societies going, including a potential change in the Societies agreement that is shared between the two Societies. We are both very open to a lot of positive change, and so I see a lot of potential for us to better represent and serve our students. I have also been working with my counterpart on B-Soc, Rachel, and with Engineering Outreach to run a few workshops with some groups of high school students in order to further promote the Engineering Society to the broader community and to encourage interest within students prior to them starting at UW. I have also been asked to sit on a committee that is in charge of appointing the Dean of Engineering for the foreseeable future, and so that has taken up a significant amount of my time.

I will end my update by telling you that this term, we will see our beloved mascot, The Tool, turn 50 years old! We will be celebrating its birthday on June 16th in POETS, so be sure to make it out! With all the hype surrounding the Tool’s Birthday, we are running a term-long scavenger hunt (which you can find at bit.ly/SCUNT_S17), where you can win prizes like patches, shirts, and 1 of 5 rare PURPLE HARDHATS! The scavenger hunt will be going on from now until Engineering Day (July 14th), where the person who introduced the Tool to Waterloo, Jim Pike, will be attendance!

That’s all I have for this issue, catch you guys next time! :)