• Attends events, is very approachable
• Kept two primary campaign promises
• Dedicated to diversity of his portfolio
• Lack of executive involvement
• Failed to educate and inform with TAC
• Some events disorganized
Oh, what a tough job Chris Kerr has– attending concerts on a weekly basis, watching Star Wars movies at Cinemania and hanging out at the Black Lounge to oversee the Friday afternoon entertainment.
As easy as the Vice-President Events portfolio sounds, Kerr puts in a substantial amount of work and does a fairly good job.
Kerr’s election promises last year included a focus on student talent, an open door events policy, the continuation of Cinemania, improved responsible drinking initiatives and more communication with residence.
With Acid Jazz Afternoons in the Black Lounge every Friday, the inclusion of student bands at Wired Wednesdays and the co-sponsorship with Busking for Smiles’ Unplugged II, Kerr is showcasing student talent. However, his platform noted art, drama and spoken word talent as well. And while Kerr is planning a gala in the new year to showcase such work, three music events–eight months into his term–doesn’t exactly constitute a hard focus on student talent.
Cinemania is currently showing films like American Pie in Science Theatres every Monday night. Although he did not start it, Kerr points out attendance has grown from about 20 people to over 120 since last year.
Park and Party Pass usage significantly increased since Kerr initiated a poster campaign, and he also plans to put up signs in all parking lots as a final reminder. While this is yet to be seen, it’s a good idea.
He began resurrection of the Residence Liaison Committee, a group that hasn’t met in three years. While this is a very useful tool for the rez community to access the SU, he had no idea why it was originally disbanded–which might tell him what to avoid in the future.
All in all, Chris is a good events planner. They happen, they’re fun, but sometimes the execution just isn’t there. The "Mac ‘n’ Cheese Cook-Off" to raise awarness of the Board of Governors meeting, started 10 minutes late because the dishes weren’t there. This kind of disorganization seems to haunt events outside of traditional concerts in the ballroom.
Which brings us to the Tuition Action Committee.
The job of the TAC, which Kerr volunteered his time to chair, is to inform students on the issues surrounding tuition. The majority of initiatives, like events in Mac Hall, where scheduled Nov. 19-30. Whether or not this is sufficient time to create awareness is up for debate, but this is characteristic of the SU’s shotgun approach, focusing on informing students over a very short period.
Other executives echoed their dissatisfaction with TAC’s performance. One in particular complained that the events occurred too late to be effective and focused little on tuition. This might be a sign that other members, especially those involved in tuition consultation, were not communicating with each other adequately.
Other execs criticized Kerr’s lack of involvement in the administration side of SLC and poor office hours usually starting no earlier than 11 a.m.–a point Kerr defends, since he does attend many late night SU-sponsored events. One exec in particular didn’t feel that Kerr was representing the SU as a vice-president should, even though he was a decent events planner. On the whole, Kerr is a very visible member of the SU. He is approachable and has a good rapport with students. He has some great ideas in terms of events which, though not always as polished as they could be, are definitely in kepping with his original election platform. TAC was criticized for the strategies used and highlighted Kerr’s role as an events planner over a member of SLC.
However, this is typically the role VP Events takes. And while his administrative involvement could increase, it doesn’t seem to be hurting his events portfolio.