SU looks forward with Strategic Plan

By Rachel Betts-Wilmott

All students are asked what they want to do with their lives–what kind of plans they have for the future. But for a select few, most students’ plans for the future include the decision about a Halloween costume. If the Students’ Union were a student it would be of the former.

No, this is not about the SU’s plans for the upcoming festivities, but rather it is about its plans for the next three years. The 62nd Students’ Legislative Council is thinking ahead to make the SU more efficient in the long run, as well as serving students right now.

“When you’re talking about a strategic plan, at the fundamental base–it is about resource allocation,” said University of Calgary SU President Bryan West. “Where do you put your people, where do you put your money, where do you spend your time?”

But there is concern among the SU about setting up a three year plan when, come May, there will be a new SLC, with new executives, and their own agenda for the well-being of the students.

“The thing with planning is it’s never really done, it’s an ongoing process,” said West. “That being said, we thought if we constructed something well researched, well planned well thought out, that it would set a standard at least for the next executive that comes in.”

The plan centers around four pillars: communication and awareness, sustainable growth, effective representation and student outreach. The plan was set up this way to help keep it around despite the annual turnover of executives.

“What we’re doing is we’re really building the frame work,” said West. “Each executive can come in and go ‘Okay, well we like this piece, but we’re going to take this out and we’re going to put this in.’”

This year, the SU has plans to continue with its pre-promised commitments, such as the relocation of CJSW, NUTV and the food court expansions, as well as more exact issues.

“We realize we’ve been fairly successful on a lot of minor battles,” admitted West.

To keep from losing in the long term on issues like sustainable reduction of fees and levies, and quality of education, the SU intends to shift resources from the operations side of the house into effective representation.

The strategic plan is now in the stages of finalization and then it will be made a public document, with a website to match, giving students the chance to follow the progress.

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