The 2023-2024 Executive Team will see redistributed responsibilities among its six members, including the newly named Vice President Student Services role.
For Immediate Release
LONDON, Ontario, December 1, 2022 – Positions on the University Students’ Council (USC) Executive Team will undergo shifts in responsibilities for the 2023-24 term to better balance workloads and support students.
This decision was approved by the USC’s Executive Council and USC Council yesterday, based on consultations with past and current executives and USC staff. These changes will come into effect for Executive terms beginning in May 2023.
“The current Executive structure has been in place for three years, but this is the first year it’s been a truly in-person experience after COVID. What we’ve seen is an unequal distribution of responsibilities in some of our positions, with some being over-capacity and simply far too much for one individual to manage, while others are unfulfilled and eager to take on work connected more closely to our mission statement,” said Jeff Armour, USC Chief Operating Officer.
“The current Student Support and Programming portfolio is at maximum capacity with lots of large-scale projects that have short timelines, such as Orientation and monthly feature programming, so the person in the role isn’t able to effectively manage the student support piece as well,” said Ethan Gardner, USC President.
“On the other hand, the Governance and Finance portfolio takes care of a lot of small-scale projects with long timelines, and their skillset is under-utilized as a student leader. The current responsibilities of this role align with how we would like to see student support managed as well. We’re hoping that this restructure will also help us recruit qualified candidates who are excited about taking on these positions,” continued Gardner.
This introduces the Vice President (VP) Orientation and Programming, who will oversee all events and programming by the USC, manage programming by portfolios such as Early Outreach and EnviroUSC, and lead orientation planning and implementation. The name change from VP Student Support and Programming reflects the significance of orientation in this role, the continuation of programming management, and the removal of student services oversight.
These changes lead to the development of the VP Student Services, who will oversee all student supports and services, including but not limited to governance, clubs, Peer Support, and USC operations. This change from VP Governance and Finance allows the VP Student Services to focus on project management and evaluation of these services, while increasing supports available to students and transparency to the organization.
The President’s portfolio will continue to oversee all USC and Executive activity, represent the student voice at Western University, and respond directly to student-facing issues. The President has historically been a major part of financial decision-making for the organization, and now will become the executive accountable for finance, supported by the USC’s finance department.
“I’m hopeful that these changes will be more satisfying and productive for executives in the future, and I’m excited about how this can improve the USC as an organization. Individuals taking on these roles in years to come will be able to provide a better experience for students with a clearer and more manageable division of responsibilities,” said Gardner.
The VP University Affairs is in a one-year trial period of managing equity-based programming portfolios, such as Accessibility, Gender Equality Network, and Sexual Wellness Services. These programming portfolios will return to the oversight of the VP Orientation and Programming to prevent an overlap of responsibilities in managing programming. The VP University Affairs will continue in their role as primary advocate to Western University on behalf of the USC.
The roles of VP External Affairs and VP Communications and Public Affairs remain unchanged from their current state.
The Executive Team for 2023-24 will consist of: President, VP External Affairs, VP University Affairs, VP Orientation and Programming, VP Communications and Public Affairs, and VP Student Services.
More information and role descriptions will become available in January. Follow @westernusc for updates on recruitment and hiring timelines, and @westernuscelections for elections information and coverage. Questions can be directed to Keemia Abbaszadeh, VP Communications and Public Affairs, at [email protected].
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The University Students’ Council (USC) is a student-led organization that first and foremost exists to advocate for and represent undergraduate students at Western University. Since 1965, we have grown beyond an advocacy organization, becoming one of the largest student governments in Canada and one of the largest nonprofits in London. Each day, we work to support, improve and enhance your student experience, because we believe that students have the power to change the world.
For more information and interview opportunities, please contact:
VP Communications and Public Affairs
University Students’ Council
(519) 661-2111 x82618