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SU Review: VP Op/Fi

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Every day being vice-president operations and finance is like playing a game of dejarik with a wookie; Fraser Stuart is just trying to avoid getting his arms ripped out of their sockets.

The Students' Union VP op-fi helps manage the budget of a multi-million dollar organization with $13,405,230 in revenue according to the statement of operations dated Jun. 30, 2006.

Stuart was an academic commissioner last year and has been doing a good job with the op-fi portfolio overall. Behind the scenes, as a member of the CJSW board, and has worker towards a resolution to the longstanding CJSW new-space issue, which may be resolved this year. Stuart also sits on the Gauntlet board of directors--as well as many others--and has provided valuable input.

Stuart's commission has worked well with him at the helm and his meetings were described as "efficient," almost droid-like. But some commissioners expressed concerns that he took himself too seriously and was unapproachable, preventing him from fostering the kind of affable relationship shared by other VPs with their commission. Concerns were also expressed that the executive as a whole, including Stuart, did not implement recommendations and only approached commissioners as a token gesture. However, this may be internal strife and it's yet to really bubble to the surface. From the outside looking in, the op-fi commission runs smooth and accomplishes its goals.

Looking forward, Stuart pointed to the formal launch of the Students' Union Sustainability Board as a goal for the next semester. Stuart is the chair of SUSB-- the recent evolution of the Campus Recycling Board. Sources within the SU expressed concerns about the progress that Stuart has made with SUSB. Apparently, he has fallen into the pitfalls of past VP op-fis by focusing on the branding, "flashy" aspect of SUSB rather than improving the sustainability of the SU and its operations. Though this is fairly consistent with the whole branding effort the SU has engaged in this year, SUSB's progress is important and having a greener SU is something students likely care about.

And Stuart still has an entire semester to make some more progress with SUSB.

He is also working on developing student space. The SU approved $100,000 from their capital reserve fund for renovating the south MacEwan Student Centre courtyard to make it available for public speaking events. The area, right near the Justice statue, will have a stage with built-in hook-ups and it seems like a great new way to use an existing space.

Overall, Stuart, like the rest of executive, has worked hard and most importantly, has seen results from the hard work.

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