The Cadre | UPEI

2017-18 Executive Report Card: Vice President Finance

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 Student Life (here).

William McGuigan

Grade: B- 

Vice President Finance William McGuigan believes he is doing “a fair job”; The Cadre more or less agrees with his self-evaluation. McGuigan can identify tangible solutions to problems facing the SU, and although he doesn’t appear to have a legacy project, he has largely met expectations for the job while contributing new ideas here and there.

When it comes to The Wave and Mickey’s Place, the SU’s two businesses, McGuigan attributed their September underperformance to new materials and the introduction of products from local companies (the businesses combined for a loss of over $21,000 in September, even before capital costs were factored in). In an attempt to add some new flavor to the businesses, McGuigan was involved in the creation of a new menu for The Wave and the introduction of local tea and coffee at Mickey’s Place. However, October results for The Wave and Mickey’s Place were another story; The Wave posted a roughly $1400 loss in October, one of its best performances in recent memory, and Mickey’s Place only lost $816, a near $1,900 improvement from the same time last year. That’s the kind of quick maths students like to see.

McGuigan came into the office with ambitions of increasing awareness and student engagement with SU services the yearbook and The Cadre. With the yearbook, McGuigan seems to be on the right track by marketing it to specific demographics such as graduating students, international students, and residence students; however, the success of these measures cannot be assessed until tangible numbers are available.

In contrast, when asked how he has tried to increase readership of The Cadre, he cited the ongoing refresh of The Cadre office, a project that does not actually market the paper itself.

Deeming elements of the SU’s HR policies as excessive and impractical, McGuigan pointed towards changes he has made. For instance, instead of employees filling out monthly reviews, the Student Union now performs bi-monthly reviews involving both supervisors and employees, essentially a “360” review system. This is should reduce red tape around HR and provide more feedback up and down the organizational chart.

McGuigan describes The Wave as being in a “weird spot”. It is known that McGuigan’s personal vision on the matter is a definite merging and rebranding of Mickey’s Place and The Wave. This, according to research conducted by the Student Union throughout 2016 and 2017, will attract new demographics and lead to the much-needed change that will shift the bottom line to the black from the red. This strategy, according to McGuigan, will cut expenses in the long run. However, Council has reopened debate on the student center refresh; as a result, the future direction for the SU’s business remains unclear.

An admirable aspect of McGuigan’s plans for next semester includes increasing awareness of the Campus Trust by international students by hanging up posters that feature a multitude of languages spoken on campus. While it’s difficult to measure the effectiveness of this form of communication, the effort to be inclusive is appreciated.

McGuigan concluded his interview by acknowledging that he has not succeeded in achieving all of his goals just yet, saying that he hopes to continue working throughout his term as Vice President of Finance and Administration to accomplish them. Although McGuigan’s term lacks a milestone initiative, his work until now has been relatively solid and he seems to have enough ideas to keep himself busy for the second semester.

By: The Cadre Editorial Board

Photo: UPEI Galleries