USC passes long-term plan

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Just before winter break, the University Students’ Council passed ‘“Built to Lead,” the long-term plan outlining the direction the USC will take in coming years. Now the USC’s focus has shifted to putting the plan into action.

“We’ve started the implementation process now,” said USC President Fab Dolan. “All the year-one objectives are on the go.

“We’ve started the hiring process for a human resources manager, proposed renovations to The Wave, have gone to council and the [new] microwaves are in the [University Community Centre].”

Dolan said the USC president will be completely involved in all the USC’s daily decisions for the first time.

“All the corporate changes within the USC have been done or are being done,” he added.

Also, Dolan said many of the smaller initiatives " for example, environmental improvements like double-sided printing " are already in effect.

During the last phases of revising the long-term plan, the merger of the VP-campus issues and the VP-student events portfolios was dropped.

Current VP-campus issues Pedro Lopes, who supported the merger, said he wasn’t upset the idea wasn’t included in the plan’s final version.

“A lot of changes need to take place in [the campus issues and student events portfolios],” Lopes said. “I think those changes are beginning to take place.”

Lopes said the campus issues portfolio is proceeding with numerous initiatives tied to the ideas behind ‘“Built to Lead.”

He said a concern is that campus issues programming isn’t reaching out to students at affiliate colleges or residences.

“First-year life might not involve walking through the UCC where most of the displays are,” Lopes said, adding he plans to send displays to residences and put on displays at affiliated colleges after they show up in the UCC atrium.

“In second semester I’m working to bridge the gap [between affiliates and main campus],” he said.

‘“Built to Lead” was put to a vote before council at a meeting Dec. 6. The plan passed with only one dissenting vote.

“It was a relief, not because something was over, [but] because I could get started on the bulk of the work,” Dolan said.

Before voting on the plan, some council members proposed the vote be moved to January so they could consider all the recent changes. The motion to delay the vote was defeated.

Zach Armstrong, a science councillor, cast the only dissenting vote.

“The only reason is because we got the final changes that afternoon right before council,” Armstrong said. “No one in the room had read it. I knew everything in the plan was good and positive for the USC, but I didn’t want to vote on something I hadn’t read.”

Armstrong said he would have voted for the plan had the vote been delayed.

“The concern at that meeting was solely based on the final changes to the plan not being sent out until the morning of the meeting,” Lopes said. “That was a valid concern, but [council members] weren’t asking any questions about the changes.”

“I was happy that we structured the plan so we could go ahead instead of dragging out the consultation process,” Dolan said.

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