In August, the WUSA Board of Directors appointed Vice-President elect Stephanie Ye-Mowe as President. To address the new vacancy in the office of Vice-President, the officers of the Board were tasked with recommending a suitable candidate to support the Board in a full-time capacity until April 2023.
WUSA’s bylaw 9.08 empowers the Board to appoint any officers it deems necessary, and to decide what their duties and remuneration would be.
On Sept. 8, WUSA hired former McMaster Student Union (MSU) President, Denver Della-Vedova, as VP Governance and Stakeholder Affairs to fulfill the duties of the Vice-President.
When asked about her thoughts on the Board creating an office and appointing someone to take on what is otherwise supposed to be an elected role, Ye-Mowe said, “I definitely would have preferred to have a UW student run. Simultaneously though, I’m excited at the prospect of what we can learn from having someone from another student association be here and provide new ideas and to provide a different lens. Within the student association world, I think you’ll find, it’s very easy to look at the way that things are and think that that’s the way that things naturally are, or that’s the way that things are always supposed to be and different student associations have different organizational structures that are based on different values and it’s very normalized to them.”
“It’s interesting though, because I actually transferred from McMaster, so I worked for the MSU in my first year,” added Ye-Mowe . “ I did not know Denver [Della-Vedova] then. I think he started a year after I left there. I think it’s nice that for me I had two frames of references to draw upon and he knows even more about the other frame of reference. So I think when it comes to, you know, redesigning this new system and figuring [it] out, having someone who knew what it was like to be president and knows those intricacies, I think that’s going to be important knowledge to draw upon. I can understand if students were concerned about him not understanding the UWaterloo student background and I think that’s something that board is very aware of. So there’s some things when having a UWaterloo specific student perspective is important, where he’ll be working alongside another director, so he won’t be going in and alone. He’s also throwing himself into meeting with the student-run services, meeting with the societies, talking to students and understanding how the UWaterloo student culture is different than the McMaster student culture. And I think he’s been doing a great job at engaging [with students].”
Della-Vedova graduated from McMaster University with a bachelor of science in life science and minors in environmental sciences and psychology in 2021. At McMaster, he was part of the Student Representative Assembly, Provincial and Federal Affairs Committee, Internal Governance Committee, Interfaith Committee, Clubs Advisory Council and the MUSC Board of Management.
As of the publishing of this article, Imprint has not been able to get a comment from Della-Vedova.