These past few months, your SRC has been hard at work preparing for the upcoming school year. We've all collectively been getting a head start on this year's projects in order to ensure that everything runs smoothly when everyone is back at Bishop's and the fun really begins.
Chelsea McLellan - President
Working on SRC initiatives this summer wasn’t all sunshine and floating; in fact, it rained quite a bit. Needless to say, as I write this, only weeks away from the start of classes, I have an immense sense of pride and pleasure in the work that your student government accomplished this summer. I feel that, compared to previous years, we have already accomplished countless initiatives and are well positioned to enter the New Year better than we ever did before.
As President, I provide the vision and guidance to the SRC and am chiefly responsible for student advocacy and the day-to-day management of the Executive Cabinet and General Assembly. The President’s portfolio is quite immense and while it has a large focus on governance, internal and external advocacy, I believe the President should also be in the trenches with their team, and supporting representatives and executives where possible.
My vision for my team, and my guiding compass as I move forward in my position, is to have the SRC in a better position than it was when it was given to us – for executives and representatives to rarely face the number of procedural and constitutional challenges that the SRC had in the past. For that reason, I spent a large part of the summer researching and seeking legal guidance on developing a process for Constitutional and Electoral Review. Having completed my proposal, I understand the commitment and dedication necessary to pursue this task, but am confident that it will have a positive and lasting effect on the SRC and the student body.
This summer was spent leading my team through Governance Reform – critically looking at the way we strategically develop and hold ourselves accountable to our goals. I led the Executive Cabinet through a Strategic Planning Process, where we met once a week to establish and workshop our vision and goals for the year. I then represented these strategies in a comprehensive document that will be circulated to students in advance to the first General Assembly meeting. Every meeting after that, the Project Manager for each Goal and Tactic will report on the progress of each initiative to ensure necessary advancement.
Having an established Strategic Plan, a procedure for strengthening our governing documents and a reporting system in place are some of many new plans we are implementing to improve the SRC’s assembly and transparency to the greater student body. Financial transparency being a major one, I have been providing guidance and a vision for Andrew, our Director of Finance and Operations, as he creates a Budgetary Report and prepares for a Financial Town Hall for students in the fall.
There you have it, my three major summer accomplishments; however, it does extend beyond those three. I have served as a supporting and/or lead role in many other projects including, but not limited to, developing a University-wide E-mail Policy, ensuring that the university is financially transparent, providing guidance to the Orientation Week Coordinators, supporting the representatives as they embark on policy development and many more.
Our summer work is about to end, the quiet campus was relaxing while it lasted, but with your return establishes the start of much more. The stillness was nice, but the chaos and challenges are what we live for.
Morgan Gagnon - VP Academic
Oh my goodness, the prep work for academic orientation is all but done! The academic tours and presentations have been revamped– the tour schedules have been rearranged, and tours now lead into the presentation. These events have also been staggered, with business and education tours and presentation first, followed by the division of arts and sciences tours and presentation.
As you may know, we’ve created an Encore Week (in the spirit of our Music-themed OWeek) to address the information overload incoming students experience. We will have office hours around campus, and give out information packets in person and online, all of which has been prepped and planned in these past few months. We are also collaborating with Michele Murray to advertise Meet Your Chair day the following week.
Next up we have the Peer Academic Mentorship Program, which launches Monday September 12th. We have been busting our butts to have everything not only ready, but perfect. The office is all set up; it’s just waiting on a computer. All the computer documents have been created, informed by the work of Charlene Marion and Nicole Riley. With these documents, we are hoping to be able to measure gaps in academic support as well as the program’s effect on retention. We’re also in the midst of finalizing the training schedule and materials for the mentors. Hopefully this can be used in future years.
And last but not least are the academic wine and cheeses. We are planning to have them much earlier this year so we’ve jumped into planning. These are the first events tackled by our new Academic Events Coordinator, Maggie Veitch. She looks after all of the logistics while the student senators tackle communication and representation.
Heather Barlow - VP Student Life
Throughout the spring and summer as the Vice-President Student Life (VPSL), I have largely worked on preparing documents for the Event Coordinators including the General Events Coordinator and Philanthropy and Wellbeing Events Coordinator to ensure that they start their jobs off smoothly when the academic year starts.
I also attended the ASEQ Stakeholder Meeting in the spring which was a fantastic opportunity to network with other student union executives across Canada. At the conference I was able to get some ideas from other universities and contribute those towards the SRC Strategic Plan. Of the goals and tactics assigned to me in the Strategic Plan, I have begun establishing ideas for an inclusive/accessible Event Planning Checklist which will later be enforced by an adopted policy and will continue to work on these goals throughout the year. In addition to the progress I have made on the Strategic Plan I have also been working with the Student Safety Managers to establish a communication plan for the SafeWalk Program with the goal of getting more volunteers and making the service more known to the student body.
Lastly, Orientation Week has been another large project throughout the spring and summer in which I have been working on the Student Services and Academic Orientation, Life at Bishop’s Panel, Off-Campus Students Orientation, and the International and Exchange Student Orientation.
Jessica Goodsell - DCM
This summer, I have worked on bringing all of the information up to date on our website for the upcoming year. I’ve also been working with Dominque, the DHR to make sure our job opportunities over at busrc.com/jobs are clearer and up-to-date for the whole upcoming year.
We are also preparing to launch a trial period of a new web platform that I believe has a lot of potential in the areas our BUSRC app has fallen short on. For this year, we will be maintaining our BUSRC app and using our new web platform (as-of-yet unnamed) solely as a clubs management platform. As for our current app, I have made a few changes to its structure—now you can listen to Toast Radio on the go from your phone via the app!
My communications team for the year has been hired and I am so excited to begin work with each of them in order to capture, represent and publicize all aspects of student life at BU!
I’ve largely been designing promotional material to be used in the upcoming year, including an Organizational Chart that makes the structure of the SRC and the General Assembly clear and accessible. As a part of this, I have begun working with our President as well as the University Communications team in order to streamline communications in the university at large. Hopefully we will see a reduction in mass-emails sent out this year as a result (fingers crossed!)
I’m excited to see the initiatives I worked on over the summer come to fruition and for the campus to come back to life
Andrew Morton - DFO
This summer, I have been putting a lot of my focus into formulating the Annual Budget and a complimentary Budget Report. I have structured these reports in a way that can be read and understood by everyone to help improve transparency with our spending. Also, in the attempt to make these reports more transparent, I have been researching new revenue sources for the SRC which aim to improve and enhance our current revenues.
I have also been working very closely with the Orientation Coordinators and the rest of the Executive Team towards putting together our fall orientation week. Some of the jobs under my portfolio were ordering orientation week merchandise, recruiting sponsors and putting together Gaiter Gardens and our Concert night in the Quad!
In terms of our operations, both the Gait and Doolittles are gearing up for the year ahead. Our Gait Managers are planning for the year and they’re eager to open the front doors to kick this year off the only way we know how…Happy Hour! Our Doolittles Marketing Manager has brought a lot to the table already. She has helped streamline a lot of our processes and has lots of ideas for the store. We are confident our operations are headed in the right direction and that we have the best team for the job! Doolittles will resume its normal hours of operation as of Tuesday September 6th: Mon-Thurs 9:00am-9:00pm, Friday and Saturday 12:00pm-6:00pm, Sunday Closed.
I am really excited to continue working on the budget, enhancing our financial transparency, and bringing new ideas to our operations to make this year one for the books!
Dominique Lavoie - DHR
Let me start this blog post by saying the cheesy phrase that our uncle Jerry (we all have an uncle Jerry) says whenever September comes : Oh my! Did the summer go by! As a matter of fact, my summer does seem as if it went by at X1.5>> speed, potentially because I have been swamped with preparing the HR Department for the upcoming year.
As soon as I was hired, I made myself a “long term” and “short term” goals list, varying from writing contracts for every position under the SRC umbrella (do I hear someone say endless hours of fun?!), to creating a tailored performance appraisal and training for our team. I will quickly go over the most important things I have achieved so far. I started off by creating a structure for our organization; clear contracts for our Executive team, summer office hours, fall/winter office hours, vacation time and vacation tracking system. Once this one done, I organized a series of workshops with faculty members about feedback, conflict management, and a group exercise using the MBTi Assessment in order to get to know each other in the workplace. Jessica (DCM) and I worked on updating the SRC Organizational Chart, which is now hanging in the SUB hallway and looks pretty amazing.
Once the big picture was clear, I concentrated my efforts on updating all the job descriptions as well as rearranging the way jobs are advertised on our website (www.busrc.com/jobs). With the updated job descriptions posted, I worked on creating a Gantt chart with our entire hiring schedule for the year. I also took some time to make the srcjobs email account more efficient by creating rules for each job for which I will receive applications for in the upcoming year. As part of my honors thesis, I also put in place tailored performance appraisals, stress and conflict management assessments. That’s pretty much what I can think of right now!