UMSU preps flex parking

UMSU plans for a flexible parking pass have finally come to fruition, with parking services set to launch a pilot program in September, 2019.

The program will offer students the choice to purchase a parking pass that covers either Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or Tuesday and Thursday.

Regular full-time parking passes will still be available.

UMSU vice-president external Owen Black said the future of the flexible pass will be determined based on its success next year.

“Parking services plans to pilot, see how successful it is, and they’ll use that trial year to sort of determine what that program will look like in the future,” he said.

Annual parking passes for students currently cost $592 for the Fort Garry campus. Student parking permits are valid from Sept. 1 to April 30 of each year.

It is currently not known how much the flexible parking passes will cost.

Executive transition plan tabled

A motion setting forth guidelines for the UMSU executive transition process was tabled at the board meeting Thursday, after concerns were raised that it is not yet ready.

The motion, which was set forward by the UMSU governance committee, proposes to add a mandate to UMSU’s governing documents requiring outgoing executives to provide transition support to their replacements, including a report with recommendations on improving the position for incoming executives and a mandatory week of job-shadowing before they take on the position.

Black, who moved to stay the motion, said it should be ready within the next few weeks.

“When we submitted this motion, that was before we had done the work, and right now we’re in the midst of the work,” he said.

“So we’re just wanting to hold off until we completely figure out exactly what is the best way to move forward in transitioning executives, so that’s why we’ve tabled it for now.”

The midst of the work, Black said, involves reaching out to relevant UMSU bodies and consulting outside resources, including the outgoing strategies of other student unions.

“We’re actually working with our government research advisor to examine other unions’ transition policies, and we’re actually meeting with an external body, or external consultants, to examine what are the best ways to transition executives.”

Black said the final motion will be similar to the one withdrawn.

“We don’t expect any huge changes. We’re just sort of locking down before we pass it.”

Of the current serving executives, two — Black and vice-president student services Carly Mastromonaco — will not be returning for another term.

Student Life department hires new co-ordinator

U of M director of student engagement and academic success Brandy Usick invited Mastromonaco to join a hiring panel to choose the new student life department co-ordinator.

The panel, which also consisted of director of career services Gail Langlais, eventually decided on a successful candidate, Sarah Saunders, who will serve as the only full-time staff member of the student life department.

The student life department, according to the department’s website, “offers learning and personal development opportunities” to students through community engagement.

Mastromonaco said the hiring comes from a decision from the student life department “to keep student life alive,” beginning with Saunders’s hiring.

“There isn’t really a clear view on where they want to go in terms of what kind of staff is going to be working under her and how they are going to do that hiring, but that it’s very open for discussion,” said Mastromonaco.

“From this point on, they are going to look into implementing jobs that work under her, and work to engage students, and give students the opportunities to get work experience and volunteer experience and stuff like that before they go onto the workforce.”

In her report to the UMSU board of directors, it is noted that the student life department is “currently figuring out how to fit itself within student affairs and the larger university community as a whole.”

UMSU’s April 25 board meeting has been postponed April 29. Its location is to be decided.