Presidential Perspectives

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Hi, Tartans. This week has been a pretty busy one for us as two big initiatives got underway. We focused a lot on elections reform and institutional memory. Here’s an update:

Elections Reform

Because of what happened with the past student body presidential elections, we decided to form an exploratory reform committee that would challenge the process as it happens today and figure out the best way to do things in the future. The committee is equally representative of both undergraduate and graduate students so we can bring both perspectives to the table. Our agenda is composed of four major action items: election rules/constitutional amendments, Elections Board composition and tenure, voter eligibility, and technical changes. We’ve given ourselves a fairly hard deadline of the beginning of December to come out with a concrete written set of recommendations for the Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly to put into practice.

Institutional Memory

It’s our view that many of the student organizations don’t have adequate knowledge transition processes in place — so when a leader leaves, there aren’t any guarantees that his or her successor will be able to build on the change that has already been created. Generally, even with good communication, bits and pieces of knowledge are lost from year to year, and are completely forgotten at the five-year point when the old generation has no direct connection with the new.

To tackle this, we hope to build a platform into our Org Tracker system for documentation and softer knowledge to be conveyed easily over time. We want to build this into Org Tracker to make sure that we have a custodian (Student Activities) to supervise the system’s upkeep and sustenance. This should make student organizations on this campus stronger and able to do more for their members and patrons.

Thursday, we held a meeting open to all student organization leaders to talk about our vision for this and compare it with what would actually be useful to those leaders. We established two task forces, one for the layout/design of the tool, and the other to tackle viable enforcement issues. Hopefully we’ll be able to put something together by the spring.

Hopefully your weekend was great and Bhangra-ful! As always, let us know if you have anything to say at