Want to know what your Feds executives are doing for you? Imprint met with the current Feds executives to follow-up on their campaign promises and discuss other projects they worked on during the spring term.
What have you been working on since spring?
The big thing I’ve been working on this term is the SLC/PAC expansion. We had a couple of feedback sessions in May where we got students in. They gave us valuable feedback on everything from the multi-faith facilities, the lounge space, the athletic centre. We’ve taken that feedback, and now we’re entering the detailed design phase. We’ve got a pretty good understanding where all the rooms are going to be on the floor plans and where everything is going to be located, and now it’s just figuring out the details of the designs … from the colours of the walls to the types of ceilings, the floors, the windows, all that stuff. It’s a long, pain-staking process, but I think we’re still on track for the February contract approval.
Have there been reworks on the sexual assault, Policy 42, since student council rejected it last meeting?
There has been, and there has been more prevention included in the policy. There hasn’t been a council meeting since then to bring it back to [student council]. But I’m hopeful that the inclusion of more prevention there would make council satisfied with the policy … [at] the next meeting I’ll bring it to council.
Do the other sexual policies (Policies 33 and 71) require changes to them?
33 for sure, and I’ve been sitting on the committee that is redrafting 33 for a while now. The tricky part is that there’s a lot of overlap between 33 and 42. Because 42, by law, has to be done in time for January 1, the university is kind of charging ahead with that one to get it done as quick as possible. 33 right now is mostly seeing how is 42 going to land, and then we’ll try to model 33 after 42 has been approved. 71 — there’s always issues with 71…. I’m hopeful that some of the, not necessarily the specifics that we see in 42 and 33 are going to be followed in 71, but just the highlighted ideas of someone who does the investigation is different than the person who decides the discipline, for example. Things like that, they’re just kind of philosophical, fundamental issues of how we do investigations, [that] I’m hopeful that eventually policy 71 can emulate.
What’s the progress on this year’s Feds budget and action plan?
The budget’s been approved, the action plan, we’ve meant to bring it to board at the last council meeting, but the agenda was already pretty packed on that meeting so it will be going to the next board meeting, and then it should be on the website after that. Board also passed a policy for future action plans in that they have to get approved and finalized by the end of June, and then brought to the board and made public soon after.
How would you rate your progress since the spring term?
I would say we’ve tried really hard to get stuff done, but a lot of surprises [have] come up, which have forced us to reprioritize our objectives.
Like the WPIRG referendum. We knew that was probably going to happen in the year, and we just didn’t know when it was going to happen, for example.
What’s being set up there in terms of getting the sides set up/what the question is going to be?
We have the question. Later, some time this week, there’s going to be a meeting to determine the keep and remove sides. Then we’ve got a debate scheduled for next week and then voting the week after. Pieces are in place, we’re just waiting for the campaign to start.
What have you been working on since spring?
My main points on my platform were relationships with societies and then expanding that [to] satellite campuses and colleges that are Affiliated Federated Institutes of Waterloo. I’ve mostly been laying the groundwork. In spring term, not everyone is super active, it’s been hard to connect with everyone…. For this term, everyone is active and everyone is in full force so I’m really excited to meet them.
[We’re] meeting with the societies/satellite campuses in Stratford, Cambridge, and Kitchener … We’re actually bringing a bus full of architecture students to campus tomorrow night for the carnival which will be really fun. We went to [the School of] Pharmacy yesterday morning and utilized a dispensary there to provide some pastries. On Friday, I’m visiting the GBDA campus, which only has first-year and third-year students on Fridays because their schedules are very messy … [we’ll] also be doing similar activities, bringing things, information on Feds, health care, all the stuff they care about.
Are there any other plans outside of Welcome Week to have shuttles between Stratford and main campus?
I talked to the GBDA society presidents, and I asked them about what they thought about bringing a bus to and from … the situation in Stratford is interesting. I’m not sure how many GBDA friends you have, but all the ones I have have feelings about Stratford, and most of them want to live in Waterloo basically to connect with the school … so first- and second-year students basically live here, and then third- and fourth-year students are theoretically living there because they are in full-time class. But because of the situation of Stratford and the fact that Waterloo is way more of a university student town, so many of them commute or carpool…. So they said it would probably not be utilized well especially considering we would send the bus at [around 6 p.m.] … but they would only take it if it came at 3 p.m., because that’s when their classes end, and they would have found a way back to Waterloo by then if they wanted one, so I definitely asked them about it and they’re like ‘yeah it’s not going to make a ton of sense,’ … Me and Brian [Schwan] are meeting with Chris Read to talk about a potential shuttle system for upper-year Stratford students … and figuring out a system that makes it easier for third- and fourth-year students to connect with main campuses as well.
How will you set up student-run service reviews?
“My plan, along with the service manager, we wanted to look at the older services — the original six that we started off with, because it’s not really fair to review MATES, for example, which just launched this term. We’re going to do the original six, three this term and three next term. Utilizing the campus life advisory committee — which is a committee of council — to look at their mission statements, their goals, what their service is supposed to achieve, meet with the co-ordinator and the execs to figure out where they think they lie in that, finding the discrepancies, and figuring out [if] the mission needs to be updated to reflect the current situation or [if] what they’re doing needs to be changed.
Are you talking to any clubs to discuss space in the SLC/PAC expansion?
I know a lot of clubs that need a lot of space are usually dance clubs or physical clubs. With the SLC/PAC expansion I know that there is a lot of bookable space that is coming, and I know that there will be time to discuss clubs’ positions, because that building is still [being designed]…. Having it in agreement that clubs can book space before x groups or whatever to make sure that they have priority in some sense of it, and figuring out how they can utilize the space that is offered to students.
VP Operations and Finance
What have you been working on since spring?
I’ve been working on a lot of stuff, mainly what students will see is commercial service improvements and offerings. We’ve got ice cream now at Campus Bubble, soft serve ice cream, as well, we just launched Sept. 1 Tappy Twisters … they’re a McDonalds-esque Blizzard, but run out of Campus Bubble. So they’re really excited for that. We have done improvements with the Bomber menu, we added four new items, which is really exciting. We just got possession of the community kitchen in late summer, so we’re working on developing student bookings for that, student offerings, doing more things in-house. For example, we just brought Wasabi Sushi back in house and we’re doing it so we can offer lower prices.
And then, International News launched fair-trade tea, so all of our tea is now fair trade certified. The customer loyalty program for all of our commercial services that I talked about in my platform is currently underway, our new point of sale system is being launched in October, so when that gets launched it’s probably going to be a four-month delay until we work out all the kinks and make sure everything’s running for students.
What is your vision for the customer loyalty program?
My vision for it is — right now we’re working out the amount of points a customer would receive for what they purchase and how much they purchase. Similar to an Air Miles program, but it takes way less time to actually redeem things. So it’s not going to be ‘I’ve been redeeming since first year and now I’m in fourth year, I can finally get a redemption.’ It could be you buy nine meals from Bomber and you get one free, or you spend x amount of dollars and your next purchase is 25 per cent off at a commercial service…. I don’t have any specific details, but I will probably closer to the winter term.
How are Feds services reducing waste?
I started off primarily in the community kitchen with some of the orders that we processed recently. We did a lot of sandwich orders. We are using 100 per cent biodegradable paper plates, napkins, and cups. When we are providing service, we’re using the big Rubbermaid containers and if we are serving juice individually, we’re doing cans instead of bottles which minimizes the waste in landfills. In this fall term, we are switching over all of our Bomber takeout containers to biodegradable ones as well. Lastly, we are developing our partnership with the UW Campus Market Garden, and we’ll be doing a locally-sourced offering from the Bomber, a limited-time offer of a salad.
What are you doing in terms of reviewing training manuals?
I am working with all the units and the managers as well as the student managers to see what their current training practices are and we’re identifying any gaps. I’m personally going to be walking through all of the steps and being trained, per se, like a half-day training, and having that insight on what a student goes through when they’re being trained on that area. Through that, it could be developing checklists for each stage in the training process…. In addition, we’ll be working at the service end as well, so we’re going to be continuing the mystery shoppers and making sure that when we do launch these new training manuals and revamp the books since they haven’t been updated in a couple years … that the new training practices and procedures are now being put into place.
What’s happening with SLC 1116?
It’s actually going under construction shortly, and the Feds offices will be moving on those two levels, where they are currently on the upstairs level as well as the downstairs level…. It should be the majority of [the Feds offices]. The plan is to actually open up some of this office space [in the current Feds office] as bookable space for students, to improve the amount of space that students can book in the SLC, and then consolidate so that [Feds is] taking up less of a footprint.
What can you tell me about the new Feds website?
We’ve actually, over the years of everybody kind of having that in their platform, the creation is coming to life and I’m very, very excited. We’ve done some testing with students and feedback on how the menus are supposed to be laid out and where things should be located and what useful information do they want to see on the website. Through all of that, we are currently in the process of designing it, so we’re looking at a winter term launch.
What have you been working on since spring?
Some high-level things I’ve been working on: Sexual violence prevention is a big thing that I’m passionate about, personally and professionally, so I’ve been working with OUSA on writing a policy paper with recommendations for the provincial government on sexual violence and dealing with it on campuses. Also working on improving education and training at our own university and working with Chris Lolas on [Policy 42]. Housing is right now [the] number one priority. I have been working on this stuff with Icon and the other housing buildings, trying to get the provincial government to put in some laws that prevent them from being able to do this kind of stuff. Other things that are big, international students, working on a strategy for international tuition to make sure we’re ahead of the university’s budget.
Are there big initiatives at OUSA right now?
The big priorites for lobbying that OUSA are working on are sexual violence, work-integrated learning, which is basically co-op, and also looking at student services, mainly accessibility services, counselling services, and data.
Tuition costs, obviously, is always a big one that OUSA is working on, the ultimate goal for OUSA with that would be a tuition freeze, asking that they [don’t] increase tuition by any more. And then the Ontario student grant implementation, the tuition grants that are coming out that will give students from low-income housing almost free schooling, making sure that student voices are heard in the implementation of that.
Do you know what’s going on with Waterloo Works?
I do, yes. It was one of the things that I was working on with co-op, actually. Waterloo Works is scheduled to come out Jan. 1. It’s not going to have all of the bells and whistles yet, but it will be functional and better than JobMine. Then they will do updates to make it better. It will have one “no rank” option so that you cannot rank a job, which will be good and kind of alleviates a lot of problems students have with getting jobs they don’t want.
When you were campaigning, you mentioned your interest in making employer evaluation forms for co-op students.
That’s going to come out with Waterloo Works. I’m not sure if it’s going to be in the first release of Waterloo Works in January or if it will be in a later update, but it is coming. We sent out a survey a couple months ago that [gave] students the opportunity to have their input in what these evaluation forms would look like, and students gave their input. Basically, it’s going to be a very short survey that students are going to have the option to do when they finish a co-op term, that’s going to say “what did you think of the work environment?”, “what did you think of the employer?”, “were there learning opportunities?” questions like that.
On the topic of gender equity, what steps are you involved with in trying to mediate that, or are there areas where you think gender equity is a bigger issue than others?
Absolutely. Definitely the sexual violence side of things is my focus right now, as well as working with HeForShe, but I definitely think there are issues with gender equity on this campus that affect certain faculties more than others, certain departments more than others, and definitely different intersections of social locations more than others…. Gender equity kind of just infiltrates everything I do.
Are there policies or practices related to mental health that you think warrant more attention than others?
Absolutely, one of the big problems that I think needs to be addressed right now that doesn’t only affect mental health, but also students dealing with chronic illness, is the verification of illness forms process right now. It works if you are somebody who had the flu and doesn’t anymore and now you’re going to class. There’s not a lot of systems in place for students who are having to get a lot of Verification of Illness forms or students in situations where they can’t get to Health Services to get a form because of whatever circumstances they’re in. There is some kind of work going on at the associate dean’s level right now looking at that system and if there’s any way they can improve it, and I’m trying very hard to be a part of those conversations and trying to keep in the loop with that. I have been a little bit, but they’re kind of… yeah. I’m working on it.