Publicly available information about the UTSU is dense and requires generally unavailable context to decipher. What's more, execs rarely if ever address the student body directly and the information we can get requires close reading and some level of prior understanding of governance, and budgeting. It shouldn't be this hard to understand what's going on at the UTSU.
My first promise is that as VP Operations, I will ensure that at least once a month, the execs are delivering updates and answering questions to the entire student body in short, easy-to-understand videos. Explainers like this could provide an easy and accessible route to deepening the knowledge and involvement of students. Few have time to attend town halls or office hours or even AGMs, but these updates would mean a better understanding of what's going on and why is just a few clicks away.
This would extend into the ways Student funds are being used. As we begin to look into developing an investment policy, I want to ensure that all students are comfortable seeing where their money is going. For me, that means ensuring we are not contributing to the destruction of the environment, any industries that profit off of child or slave labor, and any groups that are otherwise posing a danger to the health of our planet or to the people who live on it.
The UTSU's relationship with RBC has been challenged by activists and community members across campus. Part of being transparent means laying bear the nature of that relationship and doing everything in our power to ensure we are not actively complicit in ecological destruction and the violation of indigenous land rights.
Furthermore, I would see to it that every Exec has a mandatory weekly shift at the front desk at 230 College Street. If you can't get a reply to an email, then come down to the Student Commons and ask your question face to face. This way knowledge can be more accessible and student leaders can be held more accountable.
Another part of this boils down to Board relations which have been poorly maintained this year. If you check minutes, many have been inquorate, posing both a massive liability to the UTSU and keeping students at an arm's length. As VP Ops, I'm committed to developing a positive and constructive relationship with all of our directors keeping student representatives in the loop regarding all operational matters.
Lastly, under the new Bylaws passed in October, the Senate will form a vital part of an infrastructure of accountability. Ensuring that every decision the UTSU makes is open to scrutiny by Senators and that those elected representatives have ample opportunity to get involved and suggest new and important programming will be paramount. As VP Ops, I will establish a good precedent for relationships with the Senate that will give students yet another opportunity to get involved and know what's going on.