Strengths: Savva has made herself visible to the University of Ottawa community, frequently making the effort to engage with students and bridge the gap between the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) and both the U of O administration and students. The student survey launched earlier this month and the SFUO’s collaboration with the administration in selecting a food service provider for the new Vanier Hall building are good examples of this commitment.
Weaknesses: Like other SFUO presidents and executives before her, Savva’s high level of involvement with the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) has raised concerns over CFS initiatives trumping those of the student federation in importance.
Next steps: Savva has worked hard to foster good relations with students this year, but getting a high voter turnout in February will be a challenge—hopefully one she accepts. The organization and success of the Education is a Right campaign will also be something to watch for.
Strengths: Given the business finished in the red last year, the renovations to 1848 were a lofty but necessary project for King to take on—one that appears to have been relatively successful. The SFUO’s budget and a breakdown of student fees being online fulfils campaign promises of increased transparency of and accessibility to the federation’s finances. Creating financial incentives for the student associations to regularly submit their audits was a good initiative for the vp finance to undertake given how prevalent issues with audit completion have been in the past.
Weaknesses: Social media, among other things, needs to be used more effectively in order to promote the SFUO businesses. The budget and breakdown of student fees—among other things—needs to be more easily accessible online.
Next steps: In order to maintain her commitment to transparency, King should give financial updates at the monthly Board of Administration meetings so students have a better idea of how their money is being spent throughout the year—not just when next year’s budget is presented. That said, watching those numbers—primarily the lines on the SFUO businesses—should be at the top of King’s priority list, as two out of four businesses finished in the red last year.
Strengths: Galette handled the hacking of the SFUO website efficiently, and at the end of the summer, the SFUO launched its new website—a marked improvement from the previous one. The SFUO’s calendar of events was also completed this fall, and is regularly updated with various events on campus. Events, especially those put on by the services, and SFUO campaigns and initiatives have been well publicized through mediums such as student press (check out p. 4 for their weekly advertorial), social media, poster campaigns, and the SFUO’s new site.
Weaknesses: Complaints surrounding communication between the vp communications and various groups on campus have always been a problem for the SFUO—Galette is no exception. The town hall meetings she proposed during her campaign—though well received—have not happened yet this year.
Next steps: Galette should use the platforms she has already developed—the website, Twitter, etc.—to reach out to the student body, giving them all the information they need to both participate in and actively engage with campus life.
Strengths: Kessler responded quickly to the problems with the U-Pass distribution, and it was ultimately carried out in a timely fashion. She has been active in talks with the student association of Carleton University and the city about the proposed price hike for the U-Pass. She has also been a very visible part of the SFUO’s various campaigns, such as Education is a Right.
Weaknesses: The distribution of the U-Pass this year was a disaster, and most of the issues can be attributed to poor management and miscommunication with students. The behind-the-scenes work she does with respect to relaying the concerns of students to the administration are not well publicized to or known by most students.
Next steps: The biggest challenge for Kessler will be keeping the U-Pass alive as the continuation of the project will be put to a referendum in February.
Strengths: The SFUO services have been more visible this year, especially through various events they have held that are well publicized to the student body through the SFUO website and social media.
Weaknesses: The websites of the SFUO services are poorly managed. Some of the information on the websites is over two years old, forcing students to rely on Facebook or the SFUO website to find out what events the services are planning. Considering the volume of seminars, workshops, and awareness weeks the services organize, the access to this information needs to be made available to all students—not just those with Facebook. Similar to the position of vp university affairs, the ways in which the vp student affairs works with different communities on campus is not very visible to the student population.
Next steps: Hammett needs to build on the momentum of the success and growth of the services in the first semester, while also increasing the visibility of the vp student affairs for student body at large.
Marie-Claude Noel | VP Social
Strengths: 101 Week was a success this year, appearing problem-free compared to the issues faced by other vp socials in previous years.
Weaknesses: The majority of the events happening on campus have been organized by the SFUO services, student associations, or various clubs and student groups on campus—at least, the ones we’ve heard of. The actions and presence of the vp social have not been as prominent as other members of the SFUO executive.
Next steps: Her campaign focused on reaching out to various groups on campus in order to increase participation in events on campus; however, Noël should work to build a stronger presence that isn’t overshadowed by what other groups at the U of O are doing. More campus-wide events hosted by the SFUO are needed.