SU Midterm Review: Joel Lockwood

By Gauntlet

Vice-President Operations and Finance Joel Lockwood’s job is seldom glamorous. He’s the member of the SU who often deals with student complaints, and the tricky third-floor MacEwan Student Centre redevelopment, however, these are two areas of his portfolio he’s handled competently. Two student incidents this year, the sexist Den cabaret ‘CEO’s and Office Ho’s’ [sic] posters, and students being unnecessarily booted from MacEwan Student Centre for handing out surveys, were dealt with professionally by Lockwood, who put other duties on hold to deal promptly with students’ concerns.

Lockwood leads his commission more effectively than almost any other in the last several years. He knows the details of their projects and the commissioners appreciate him for delegating well. Each commissioner has their own projects or boards to sit on, producing tangible results within the commission, notably getting free tuition and residence for the refugee student program, a corporate cell phone deal that offers reduced rates for students and hefty kickbacks to the SU and reinstating the Campus Recycling Board.

He is personable, charismatic and highly respected among co-workers and staff. He works long hours and is always willing to make himself available to students, his sincerity being the source of his popularity.

A black mark against Lockwood came earlier this year when Clubs Committee Chair and fellow VP Op-Fi candidate Jon Griffith resigned from his position due to apparent irreconcilable differences. Lockwood admits the resignation was partially his fault and he now has the added task of performing many of the Clubs Chair duties himself. So much for his campaign promise to work effectively with the Clubs Committee Chair. Lockwood also has a tendency to defer to SU staff expertise on complicated issues, sometimes to the point where it’s hard to tell who’s in charge. To his credit, he is always willing to answer questions or admit his ignorance and report back with answers he doesn’t know. It is good Lockwood wants to get things right, but his hesitancy to be transparent on complicated issues–like the CJSW relocation project–costs him authority that should be part of his portfolio.

Lockwood’s other campaign promises are long-term in nature and may not be finished under his term, but he has laid a solid foundation for their completion. The MSC Student Commons is a go, the CJSW/NUTV relocation is slogging onwards, and promises to make the Campus-One Card better–though stalled at the moment–seem to be in the works.

Lockwood has a solid track record thus far, but keeping it clean will be tough. The always-challenging CJSW negotiations are far from over, and to maintain his reputation, he will have to address the remaining issues as straight-forward openly as possible.

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