Eeyore and Students' Union vice-president events Luke Valentine have a couple of things in common-- they both have quiet, melancholic demeanours and have a tendency to not bother. Unlike Pooh's friend, Valentine recently began to break out of his doldrums and apply himself fully.
Year-round events like Cinemania, That Empty Space and Mundane Mondays have been consistently solid, with improvements in the planning and content as the semester moved from month to month. Cinemania hit a snag early on when the room usually used by the event was scheduled for a class by the registrar. The attendance dipped somewhat, after moving from ST 147 to ICT 102, but this can't be blamed on Valentine as he advertised the change.
That Empty Space's programming seemed a bit slapdash at times early on in the semester, but the event has found its sea legs as of late. With interesting bookings like the Shagbots, the Ex-Boyfriends and Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, it promises to continue its proud tradition of being the premiere destination for hanging out on a Friday afternoon.
Valentine chose the newly revamped U of C 101 and ArtsFest as his greatest achievement. The SU ran out of food on Red Friday, which is always a good sign, and U of C 101 helped increase volunteerism and campus engagement. ArtsFest provided numerous opportunities for people to draw, listen to music and see fellow students' art projects. A lot of credit must go to SU fine arts faculty representative Joey Brockie as he helped with a lot of planning and implementation for the week-long festival.
While Valentine said his biggest challenge is delegating tasks to commissioners, this may be in fact his greatest strength. Commissioners do a lot of work with That Empty Space and Cinemania and Brockie was given a great deal of leeway in planning ArtsFest. While some commissioners have said that Valentine tends to choose projects based on personal preferences-- disregarding events that don't appeal to him even if they might be popular with students-- he denied this.
Not everything has been rosy. The Gauntlet criticized Valentine for not doing a traditional Alcohol Awareness Week, but he argued it tends to overwhelm students as it quickly follows U of C 101. He instead chose to host more awareness events, throughout the year. This includes partnering up with Molson to help promote responsible drinking in the Den with posters and holding an alcohol-free dance in That Empty Space. While he says more alcohol awareness events including a beer and wine tasting, are forthcoming, this may be his biggest fumble of the semester.
Some inside the commission say that Valentine hasn't put in enough effort for a VP. He admitted he was a little surprised at the need to put in 12-hour days and that he is still getting accustomed to it.
Valentine has shown a lot of promise for the upcoming semester with events like White Out and Sexual Awareness Week looming on the horizon. Of course the real gorilla in the room is how he and the commission plan the most important day of the entire school year, Bermuda Shorts Day.