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SU VP Academic - Midterm Review

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Just as Kanga watches over the denizens of Hundred Acre Wood, Students' Union vice-president academic Pamela Weatherbee watches over the academic rights of undergraduate students and co-ordinates a brood of eager commissioners and faculty representatives. Despite the large amount of duties on her plate, Weatherbee built upon the work of her predecessors and caused significant change for students.

This year's two big, fancy projects have been co-curricular transcripts and the online exam bank, much as they have been for the past few years. Under Weatherbee's watch, co-curricular transcripts have become a reality and the pilot will be officially implemented in January. As a result, no longer will the volunteer work of students play second fiddle to their academic pursuits, but rather volunteering will be displayed prominently alongside them.

The online exam bank, a subject of much concern amongst clubs relying upon exams for revenue and faculty members with intellectual property concerns, has overcome many obstacles during the past year. Weatherbee relieved the concerns of the university's faculty by making participation in the exam bank voluntary, a policy she hopes to have mandated by the General Faculties Council next semester. She also plans to meet with student clubs to make exams centrally-located while still paying clubs for exams they own. The exam bank website is slated to be unveiled in April and will become operational in time for the beginning of the fall semester in September.

In addition to the two major projects, Weatherbee has increased nominations for the Teaching Excellence Awards nearly eight-fold by holding a contest amongst her commission for whoever could contact the most students. The result was a jump in nominations from around 20 to 159. In addition, she has also been part of updating the university's academic plan with student input, a process which has already seen USRIs return to paper form in a pilot project this semester and fully in the future.

Weatherbee serves as the co-national spokesperson for the Canadian Roundtable on Academic Materials, a lobby group dedicated to ensuring that academic materials used in university classrooms are high quality and cost effective for students. While CRAM is just over a year old, Weatherbee has already begun forming a bookstore advisory group on campus to lobby publishers on textbook concerns.

Weatherbee's accomplishments thus far as VP academic would have been impressive for someone with extensive executive experience, let alone an acclaimed candidate whose experience beforehand was in a different commission. Her success speaks to the amount of work she and previous VP Brittany Sargent put into preparing her for the job. The fact her commission has done so much with only a handful of experienced representatives is even more impressive and attests to the quality of the team and its leadership.

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