Hiring for the 2017-18 Students’ Union executive team is complete. Four more students have been selected to join incoming President Annie Sirois and Vice-President Patrick Panet-Raymond on fourth floor next year. The Students’ Union Representative Council ratified all four candidates unanimously on Sunday night.
The four successful candidates were chosen from a pool of 23 total applicants, marking a significant increase in interest from last year’s hiring, where applications for two of the four positions had to be extended due to a lack strong applicants.
In a statement they presented to each hiring panel, Sirois and Panet-Raymond stated that they were looking for individuals who were “innovative, in it for the students, [not] afraid to go against the grain, and [who were] able to take criticism and run with it.” They considered experience a relevant quality, but focused more heavily on the candidates’ innovative qualities and ideas.
According to Sirois, who sat on each hiring panel for a total of 14 interviews, “Every person we interviewed was someone we would have given the job to.” That being said, all hiring panels were unanimous in their choice of each candidate.
Here’s our take on the tentative 2017-18 executive team.
Vice-President Activities and Events: Sean Hopkins
A third year finance and political science student, Hopkins currently serves as an Entertainment Coordinator under the Activities and Events Office, helping to set up and promote various events throughout the school year. An avid O-Crew member and one of the coaches of this year’s Lane Hall hockey team, Hopkins’ “enthusiasm and reliability” were noted by the hiring panel, says our president-elect. Although it was not required of him, Hopkins included a proposed theme for frosh week, the VPAE’s first and most important responsibility, in his application.
Vice-President External Affairs: Zakariya Chatur
Chatur, a third year studying Honours Sociology with Subsidiary in Development Studies, beat out six other applicants for his role as next year’s VP External Affairs. Although his current role as Student Advocate falls under the Office of Residence Affairs, Sirois said that his experience advocating internally will translate well at the provincial and federal level. A professional and thoughtful individual, Chatur is poised to thrive next year as the Students’ Union external representative.
Gatchell is the hired executive with the most institutional experience with the Students’ Union, having acted as House President of Burke in his second year and currently sitting on Council as Business Representative. Gatchell, who launched a separate student council specific to the business faculty, is one of this year’s most engaged councillors and is a natural choice for VPFO.
Vice-President Residence Affairs: Rebecca Mesay
As the only second year hired as part of next year’s executive team, Mesay is the youngest member but certainly does not lack for experience. An RA in MacNeil, Mesay is actively involved with X-Project, the Students of African Descent Office, the Women’s Empowerment and Women’s and Gender Studies societies, and recently launched the Academic Success for All program for student athletes. Mesay was also integral in lobbying for the new representative positions on Council. Recognized on campus for her activism, Mesay’s varied involvement on campus helped her beat out others with more relevant institutional experience for the role. According to Sirois, Mesay plans on taking advantage of her role as a vehicle for change at the grassroots residence level.
Overall, this is one of the strongest executive teams fourth floor will have seen in years. Each candidate has relevant experience, is respected on campus, and brings a unique perspective to her or his role. We are happy to commend the hiring panels on a job well done and we anticipate the year to come.