Students' Union president-elect Emily Wyatt will have some big shoes to fill as Bryan West steps down after two years running the SU.
West has brought a high degree of professionalism and competence to the SU and it has gained him the respect of SU staff, his fellow student reps, external post-secondary stakeholders and university administration. Although his detractors might accuse him of being a little too politician-esque, his slickness has served the SU well, especially in continuing and increasing the quality money initiative from the university and ensuring a strong U of C student voice in the A Learning Alberta government education review.
West was chosen by the Council of Alberta University Students to be the sole voice for Alberta students on the Advanced Education transformational sub-committee--the body tasked with creating the affordability and tuition framework that will likely make its way into the final policy due later this year. Popping up in numerous media articles and sound-bites, West has also carried forward the momentum the SU helped create last year in making PSE a major election issue. He cares about the student experience and has constantly sought inclusion on the inside of decision-making processes to make sure students are represented.
Within the SU West has done an admirable job presenting a united outside face while relationships were strained between members of his exec. The fact that they have finished off the year without the utter collapse seen in previous years is a testament to his leadership and ability to compromise.
He has done a decent job getting all of his campaign promises off the ground, though his Campus Core project--which would see the Students' Academic Assembly shuffled around to accommodate clubs and existing faculty specific student groups--arrived stillborn due to opposition within SAA. The plan has now been watered down and is almost entirely dependent on the work of next year's SU. One of his other big goals, a new student commons added to MacEwan Student Centre is crawling along, but at this rate may not be completed until sometime in September of 2015. To his credit, West has worked at his campaign goals throughout the year and successfully established a campaign reserve fund, ensuring the SU will have money to promote student issues during future elections.
By all accounts West has done an excellent job steering the organization over the past two years.