Before reading our report cards, check out our rubric here. Looking for another report card? Find them here: President (here), Vice President Academic & External (here), and Vice President Finance (here).
Of all the executives this year, Vice President Student Life Megan Rix came into office as the most qualified. But despite her two years of experience as both a councillor and as the Student Union’s first clubs coordinator, she has not shown the level of achievement or vision that one would expect with such a background.
Rix has planned a handful of campaigns and theme days, among them Consent Week and Environment Day in the first semester, with Diversity Week coming in the second semester and a rebranded Love & Sex Week in the second semester. Rix spoke about the importance of aligning campaigns with other initiatives (i.e. coinciding Consent Week with advocacy efforts by the Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force); we agree that this alignment is a good idea and would be beneficial for the SU to continue.
Rix has organized the standard fare of campus events, namely Back to School Pub and Halloween Pub, while hosting some non-traditional events, including a Tony Lee hypnotist show and a Stress-Less Night which featured an acoustic music set. Some of these events have underperformed financially compared to previous years; Back to School Pub made half of what it had made the year prior and Halloween Pub also saw a drop from the year before, although Rix credited the latter to a decrease in ticket prices. Financial success is one of the few tangible measures for evaluating the overall success of an event, and by this measure, she appears to be falling behind her predecessors.
Surprisingly, the weakest area of Rix’s term so far has been clubs. Rix made it a point in her executive mandate to engage first-year students in clubs. But aside from attending some events to provide information, it’s hard to point to tangible progress that has been made in this area. The Future Executive Development Program, the only program the SU had to engage first-years in clubs, was suspended without having a replacement ready to take its place.
Rix’s rationale for dropping the program was that the SU struggled to find students to participate, but this argument is not compelling; the Recruitment and International Relations Office has taken over the program, at least for this year, and has seemingly had no issues recruiting students. Although she noted she was working on a replacement for the second semester that draws from the old program, Rix was vague in her responses when pressed for details of the program. One would expect there would be replacement program in the works before moving to scrap the only program that engages first-year students.
Rix has continued to run regular clubs cup events, an initiative she started last year as clubs coordinator. While she says the events have been successful, the numbers might disagree; the best –attended event featured only 7-8 clubs, roughly only 10% of all ratified clubs.
Also disappointing is a lack of progress on the Society Strategic Plan, a document she said she had helped to develop during the the spring election. The plan, which outlined initiatives that the SU would undertake to enhance its supports to improve clubs, largely seems to have collected dust. When asked to comment on her progress toward the plan’s goals, she deflected and said there was a survey being planned.
Aside from attempts to align campaigns with other efforts of the SU and diversifying SU events slightly, Rix has brought few new ideas. Standard events have earned less than they have in the past two years, which is disappointing when profits from those events could be used to support other SU initiatives, and her work with clubs thus far has been a letdown. Rix will keep on keepin’ on, but if this first semester is any indication, don’t expect much to stand out.
By: The Cadre Editorial Board
Photo: UPEI Galleries