The Student Union has seen turnover in a number of roles during the school year so far.
On the executive team, there has been turnover in four Vice President positions. The VPs of Advocacy, Internal, Communications, and Finance have all seen new people come into the roles.
Further, the Chair, Secretary, and Townhouse Coordinator, along with two student senator positions, have all seen people leave the roles.
President Kordell Walsh is confident that the Union is still functioning well.
“The turnover in support staff roles is largely a result of them stepping into other roles within the Union,” said Walsh.
Indeed, the former Secretary moved into the VP Internal role while the former Townhouse Coordinator moved into the VP Advocacy role.
As for the other roles, Walsh cannot point to a singular reason. “It is important to be mindful of the fact that this year has been incredibly difficult on everybody.”
However, VP of Finance, Katelynn Pickel-MacDonald, points to one possible reason.
Many of the turnover positions are in elected positions. This means that these individuals are joining the union without going through a typical hiring process.
While elections allow the student body to have their own voice, it can also lead to a disjointed work force as candidates are not vetted by a singular hiring body.
Regardless of the reasons for turnover, Walsh is focused on creating a work environment that is conducive to success and employee satisfaction.
“We’ve sat down and had conversations about boundaries and expectations as a team, we’ve done team bonding, we’ve been supportive of executives pursuing passion projects, and we maintain open and honest communication.”
Despite all the challenges this strange year has brought, Walsh points to a number of accomplishments aimed at improving student life.
“Some great wins have been the retrofitting of a SafeRide van to be wheelchair accessible, which has major implications on accessibility for students; our inclusion of the Student Assistance Program to our Health and Dental Coverage is a major win and a great resource for students that did not come at an additional cost directly to students; we’ve had extended library hours brought back; we hosted a concert in September that was super successful; we’re making great progress towards tackling food insecurity on campus through our partnership with Greener Village; and we’re building strong relationships with the administration and making progress on a variety of proposals.”
With COVID cases rising in the province and new restrictions being pondered, it is the hope of Walsh and others at the Student Union that there will be no further interruptions to student life.