Opinions

Nothing says incompetency quite like asking others to do your work

Edits: Marta Kierkus

In all too predictable fashion, our student federation has decided that the best way to douse a flame is by pouring gasoline on it.

Ikram Hamoud, vice-president social of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO), came under fire last semester for mismanaging 101 Week funds and for planning noticeably few events for students—the main responsibility of her job.

In fact, criticism of Hamoud’s job performance has become so bad that according to the Facebook group SFUO Does Not Represent Me, a petition has begun circulating to impeach her.

Read more about the petition to impeach Hamoud

Spectacularly, Hamoud and her SFUO associates faced down this mobilized criticism with a “Best Event Idea Contest” that promises no reward for participants other than the pleasure of seeing an idea that “might just happen with the help of the SFUO!”

I feel like a kid left alone in a candy store: Where do I even begin with the sheer audacity and ignorance of this idea?

Well, let’s begin with the obvious: This contest is probably the worst way Hamoud could have responded to her critics.

The contest calls on students to come up with event ideas that are accessible, don’t exceed a $9,000 budget, and which would take place close to campus. In other words, Hamoud’s contest is asking students to complete a major part of her job description, a job she makes approximately $30,000 of student money per year to do. Not only is it illogical, it’s insulting to our intelligence that the SFUO brain trust thought this was an appropriate contest to market to students.

Don’t get me wrong, a large part of any manager’s job is delegation. Being able to distribute responsibility across a hierarchy plays a huge role in almost every organization’s success. And the SFUO will claim that this contest is the most direct way of giving students exactly what they want.

But a reasonable manager should know there’s a limit to how much of one’s job you can delegate to others. We vote for political figures based on their ability to represent our interests and to carry out these tasks on our behalf, based on an innate understanding of what the voters want.

At best, Hamoud’s search for event ideas is a well-meaning but poorly-timed attempt to democratize the student federation’s event planning. At worst, it’s a clear indicator that the charges behind her detractors’ calls for impeachment hold water. It’s hard to tell whether Hamoud and her ilk are fearless, ignorant, or both.

By now most students should clue in to the fact that the SFUO executives have more important things to do than plan student events or respond appropriately to criticism—they have elections to win.