PCP – EngSoc should reconfigure Executive Responsibilities – Point

Note: This article is hosted here for archival purposes only. It does not necessarily represent the values of the Iron Warrior or Waterloo Engineering Society in the present day.

Preamble: A “Special Committee” was recently formed in response to a motion put forth at the last EngSoc meeting on July 7th. This committee was mandated to discuss methods of redistributing certain roles and responsibilities currently listed in some EngSoc Executive portfolios. There have been two meetings of the “Special Committee” to discuss the options explained below and the committee currently plans on suggesting further investigation continue in relation to this matter.

The “Do Something” Option presented below was proposed because it is felt by some members of the engineering society that there are things within the normal operation of the society which need to be addressed. These include improving communication, addressing concerns with the overloaded VP Internal portfolio, and advertising of events and services. Currently, the VP Internal position is seen as being a very social executive position, which it is. However, there is a completely different side of the portfolio that involves administration work. These administrative tasks involve reviewing the constitution and ensuring that minutes are distributed to society members. An idea has been presented that the management of EngSoc class representatives become a more significant role within the society, which would likely lie somewhere under the VPI. On top of this, there is also a great deal more work for all executive positions than when the society was originally created. As EngSoc has grown, the roles of the VPs and President have grown. Currently, it is very difficult for executives to take on new initiatives due to the large work load on top of the normal course load that everyone else experiences.

Three options have been presented in the category. They will be described individually, listing their advantages.

1. Creating a new executive position:

A new executive position would be created entitled something along the lines of VP Internal Communication and the current VP Internal position would be renamed to VP Student Life. The VP Internal Communication would be in charge of ensuring that all classes have equal representation at council meetings, be responsible for the council meeting minutes, make sure that class reps relay information from council meetings to their respective classes, review the constitution and policy manual, and perhaps control the webmaster and/or speaker. The VP Internal would then be in charge of overseeing events, enhancing advertising, coordinating directors for events, and taking on new society initiatives. This would obviously distribute the work load among the exec and allot time for them to take on initiatives to improve the Engineering Society.

2. Shuffling duties between executive members:

An alternative idea would be to simply reconfigure the current executive responsibilities to more evenly distribute the current work load. It is the opinion of some that the VP Finance position currently allows for more leeway than the other roles, providing more time for new initiatives in this portfolio (ie. Novelties improvements). This reconfiguring could take two forms. Either the events aspect of VPI could be moved to the VPF portfolio, or the administrative aspects (policy manual/constitution/minutes) of the VPI role could be moved to the VPF role. The benefit of moving the events side to VPF would mean that budgets and events would be under one VP position, meaning that directors would only have to go through one exec for information. Moving the administration tasks to VPF, however, might lend itself better to the character of that role. Traditionally, VPF is a more managerial position in nature. In addition to these changes, there are suggestions to transfer several duties of the President to VPs. These details have not yet been thoroughly discussed.

3. Adding a new directorship:

It was also proposed that a new directorship simply be added to take on new tasks that are deemed important. For example, a new Class Rep Directorship could be created, as well as a directorship entirely devoted to advertising. There was even an idea to tier directorships in order to ensure accountability. Similar to the directorship structure of the Queen’s Engineering Society, our EngSoc directorships could be organized in such a way that certain positions hold more weight and accountability. These positions could be appointed by a committee, up for election, or be put through an interview process. This way, we can be completely sure that the people holding these senior directorship roles have the skills necessary to do their job effectively. This structure could also be applied to directorships that are already in place, such as Education Assistant, Speaker, POETS Managers, etc.

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