Wrapping Up: Stephane Hamade, VP of Education

<strong>What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?</strong>

<strong>S: </strong>Implementing fall reading break for 2016. I think [working on it&rsquo;s] really been the better part of [my] two years in office... It&rsquo;s been really great for students to have had the break in fall term.&nbsp;

<strong>Was it a tough process to get that done?</strong>

<strong>S: </strong>It took a very long time; we&rsquo;ve been meeting since May 2014, very regularly with the university administration, different university communities [and] students. It&rsquo;s really been [one of] the bigger achievements in [my] portfolio in the past few years. It&rsquo;s taken quite a bit of time and now we&rsquo;re looking to make sure we&rsquo;re evaluating it through the trial period as well. [We&rsquo;re] starting to do that even though we haven&rsquo;t had our first one yet, but we will in [this fall term].&nbsp;

<strong>What projects do you hope to continue in your remaining time as VP of education?</strong>

<strong>S:</strong> I&rsquo;m hoping to still continue working on getting more around the Student Rights Charter. There&rsquo;s been good progress on working with the university towards getting an ombuds office, which I think will [be a] place of significant benefit. Recently we&rsquo;ve been able to successfully get OUSA on board with us to start advocating on tuition freeze which was a big part of my platform, and making sure that going towards the next tuition framework in 2017 that students&rsquo; voices can be heard by them.&nbsp;

<strong>What is the status of the formal agreement you were aiming to build with the university, faculty and students? What impact do these changes have on the student learning experiences?</strong>

<strong>S:</strong> Right now we&rsquo;re still in discussion with the university on the Student Rights Charter. It&rsquo;s something that we are hoping to probably push forward a little more on it once [the] Course Evaluation Task Force is finished its work. Course Evaluation Task Force being really improving how course evaluations are on campus &hellip; The two projects have quite a bit attached to each other. We are right now doing more research so we can publish it to students on what their rights are and what they&rsquo;re allowed and not allowed to do ... That&rsquo;s actually a project that&rsquo;s a little bit behind schedule and I think hopefully that some momentum will [be picked up].&nbsp;

<strong>What initiatives did you take to inform students about their academic rights?</strong>

<strong>S:</strong> One of the things that we did was to be a lot more active on social media, by tweeting about policies that mean a little bit more [to students]. It&rsquo;s something I think that very much does tie into the previous initiative- that we&rsquo;re going to deal with [such as] what are the [policies] that they can appeal, things like that.&nbsp;

<strong>Were you able to implement an ombudsperson role for student protection?</strong>

<strong>S: </strong>It&rsquo;s something that I think is very much underway. We&rsquo;ve gotten a lot of positive discussions with the university administration and I think the momentum is there. [I think] that it&rsquo;s a project that will be able to look into going forward and will eventually lead to the creation of an ombudsperson office. It&rsquo;s one of those things like the fall break initiative - it will take eventually more than just one year. This is changing something fairly major within the university and in the action plan it&rsquo;s really getting to the point of be hiring and maybe we&rsquo;ll get close to that but it&rsquo;s going to be still very much a process that will take a while. But the end goal is still there and I&rsquo;m think very much [that it&rsquo;s a] very achievable goal.&nbsp;

<strong>In your campaign you advocated for further regulating student tuition fee increases, but Feds fees were increased in the last year. How does that fit into your original plan of making tuition fees more manageable for students?</strong>

<strong>S: </strong>The tuition fee piece is something that we were talking about for 2017&hellip; And that was really on board to talk about recently and in a more timely manner&hellip; we&rsquo;ve had several meetings with the MPPs, we&rsquo;ve pulled OUSA around for lowering tuition and a tuition freeze as well as the campaign which included a letter signed to the premiere by the 3,000 students across some universities that are under OUSA and a lot of different coverage on the idea of a tuition freeze. I think this is something that&rsquo;s a process and a lot of that work [is] what we&rsquo;re hoping to have [being] paid off for the next year. I think it was clear in the platform that it was something that was groundwork [for 2017].&nbsp;

<strong>If you could rate your performance as VPED, what grade would you give yourself?</strong>

<strong>S: </strong>What I&rsquo;ve seen from other universities is that they grade [the execs] but&hellip; I&rsquo;m going with a B+ as well.&nbsp;


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.