By Arman Izadi
If you didn’t get the chance to attend the EUS Executive Committee Debates that happened this past Thursday, fret not! The Ledger had a chance to go and summarize some crucial points of the candidates responses. As the uncontested positions mainly consisted of their platforms, we skipped them, but read our condensed versions here.
Engineering Senator – Sarim Malik, Uncontested
Engineering Representative to SSMU – Kelly Ma, Uncontested
VP Academic – Niloufar Serajmehdizadeh and Milind Singh
Milind Singh was not able to attend the debate, instead he provided a short blurb that was read aloud. He wishes to give more students a voice, and rearrange EPTS hours to cater to more students.
Nilou’s platform also included EPTS however she aims to bring higher level courses to EPTS so that students aren’t forced to use external — and expensive — resources. She also talked about better informing students of their basic academic rights as well as how to file complaints against professors and TAs (something that not a lot of students are aware of nor are comfortable doing). The highlight of her debate regarded her goals of transparency with Engineering Undergraduate Support Fund (EUSF). Questions were asked as to why the EUSF is being collected if its not used, to which she responded that the fund has many uses that if properly allocated could benefit many people, but she still aims to decrease the fee by another $5.
VP Communications – Alexander Hale, Uncontested
VP External – James Halliday, Uncontested
VP Services *The only candidate in this position has since withdrawn their candidacy*
VP Student Life – Marion Olivier, Uncontested
VP Internal – Laurent Chenet and Katharine Callahan
As the second most contentious position, there were many questions regarding the Internal Portfolio:
Q: There is a lot of merchandise leftover after large events like E-Week and MERTW, how do you plan on making sure they don’t stack up and take up space as they did this year?
Katharine responded that she believed the solution was accurately predicting participant numbers beforehand and ordering responsibly, as well as looking into donating leftover shirts.
Laurent spoke about looking into donations, as well as plans to repurpose the merchandise for other events.
Q: What is your stance on associate members holding coordinator positions rather than regular members? (Associate members are EUS Members not in Engineering)
Laurent said that it is important to look at why each person is given associate member status. Are they given it for convenience due to their involvement or to satisfy a loophole, as this happens a lot with graduate engineering students who cannot be considered regular members anymore.
Katharine stated that associate members add a lot to our society as they are usually dedicated individuals that go above and beyond. When selecting people for coordinator positions it’s important to select the best available personnel to plan the highest quality events, regardless of their faculty, or them being a graduate.
Q: What are some concrete plans you have to make Frosh more inclusive?
Katharine responded that Frosh can be a huge sensory overload for many people and it is important to include content warnings preemptively when advertising events so that more students are prepared before going into them.
Laurent stated that he wants to continue making events all ages, as well as planning parallel, concurrent events, to cater to diverse crowds. For content warnings, he plans on making informative videos.
Q: With the addition of BUSS, is it still fair that the PPO gets two Blues Pubs every semester?
Katharine stated that, as she’s part of the Board of Governors, the Board is planning on drafting a memorandum of understanding with the PPO if they want to continue utilizing EUS resources.
Laurent had responded that it may be possible to move the PPO Blues Pubs to different dates that typically generate less revenue, and giving the last Blues Pub of the semester to a group that may need the money more. He would also consider only having one PPO blues per year since it’s for charity, and many groups use Blues Pub for revenue purposes.
Q: How would you improve interfaculty relations and engineering image?
Laurent stated that he planned on maintaining relationships at big events with the Interfaculty Coordinator, and having better collaboration to avoid clashing events like when Carnival and E-Week overlapped.
Katharine said that she wants to collaborate and learn from other faculties. She also mentioned that engineering is typically the champion of smaller faculties, and it is important to look out for them when planning events with other big faculties.
President – Tristan Renondin and Alex Scheffel
And for the main event, the Presidential debate:
Q: How would you push for more equity coords and members?
Tristan stated that he wants to improve the image of EUS Equity, so as to not be seen as the people going around policing students.
Alex would like to continue to bring Equity down to the department level, as can be too taxing of a job on one specific group of students.
Q: The Executive Administrative Assistant role has struggled, how do you plan on improving it?
Tristan responded that he would improve the recruitment process and have more rigorous selection criteria for a better fit with the office. He also stated that it’s difficult to fill the void that Dianne left, and to find someone that can do the job as well as her.
Alex said that he wants to clearly define the role so that the applicants knows what’s expected of them, as well as updating the contract and choosing someone that makes the office a friendly environment where all students feel welcome.
Q: How would you deal with an underperforming executive?
Alex stated that he would ask them if they need help, approaching them individually and not in a group setting. He also wants to have direct lines of communication so that problems are addressed before they get out of hand.
Tristan said that he would hold executives accountable for their actions, and keeping open discussions with the executive team in a healthy group dynamic so that everyone feels comfortable coming to him if they have a problem.
Q: How would you maintain a good working environment and dynamic amongst execs?
Alex stated that he wants to establish good communications immediately. He also wants to have a board in the office with team goals that everyone can reach to help all the portfolios maintain their goals and provide support where needed.
Tristan responded that he’s willing to accept new ideas and identify himself as a support resource. He also wants to be aware of executive “pressure points” and issues to be proactive about before they escalate as the year goes by.
Note that some positions lack a candidate (eg. ½ SSMU Rep positions and VP Services). In the case that no candidate runs for a position, a by-election will be held in March. If you are interested in running for an unfilled position, please email email@example.com.