This year marks the expiration/renewal process for WUSC (World University Service of Canada) via funding through UNB. Tuesday night Students’ Representative Council (SRC) members voted on a referendum that puts WUSC on the upcoming election ballot. Ultimately it will be the students who decide whether or not WUSC continues to receive a portion of their tuition dollars constituting a financial levee.
According to WUSC board member, Brenna Farren, students usually contribute five dollars apiece culminating a solid base for the services they provide.
After a rough fall semester and the expulsion of a key member, WUSC Saint John is working hard to improve relations with both UNB administration and WUSC Canada. Up until late last semester, it wasn’t looking promising for the organization to continue receiving its levee, but with improved communication and transparency, Farren has high hopes for their future.
“We just have faith,” says SRC’s vice president student affairs, Ashley Macosky, “that the people who are in charge now are motivated to do [well].”
Last semester, Farren and SRC executives were not nearly as confident in the organization. Due to the mismanagement of events and lacking transparency on many levels, chair-member Paul Amdemichael was asked to step down during a meeting in December, but what took place in the months previous is still suspect.
Originally, Amdemichael had planned to acquire stationary bicycles from Goodlife Fitness and advertised the event using Subway logos as the fast-food chain was to cater. Intended to raise awareness for AIDs, Amdemichael spearheaded the cause.
In an unfortunate turn of events, while trying to make arrangements, Amdemichael was to learn an out of province friend had been hospitalized. Shaken, but turning to the cause at hand, he was to bear witness to a series of luckless occurrences. Goodlife fell through first, telling Amdemichael he hadn’t given them enough notification and that they received the request too late to comply with the event.
Now left without stationary bicycles and dealing with the emotional wake of his friend’s untimely injury, Amdemichael started feeling the pressure. Issues concerning attendance were the next to arise, which lead to Amdemichael’s decision to abort obligations with Subway. Needless to say, Bike for AIDs was collapsing. Feeling crushed by the encumbrance of his responsibility, Amdemichael essentially receded before the event, stranding his co-chairs with the weight of the fumbled event.
“I remember sitting at home,” Amdemichael reflects, “just panicking because the event wasn’t going well; personal life wasn’t going well and they were both clashing.”
To paraphrase Amdemichael, what occurred was the result of an unfortunate chain of events. Apart from financial difficulties very early in the semester, the end of November Bike for AIDs event was the straw that broke the camel’s back and ultimately resulted in Amdemichael’s resignation.
The event was a flop, it skewed WUSC’s reputation with the SRC and unbalanced trust within the chair members of the organization itself. Concerning the event, Farren had one word to describe her feelings in respect to how Amdemichael handled things, “Disappointed.”
The organization has worked hard in the past two months to push past an era SRC President, Brad Trecartin humorously refers to as “The Paul Show.” The referendum now on the ballot and a dark chapter in WUSC history behind everyone, executives from both WUSC and the SRC are hoping for a renewed levee arrangement and a more transparent and communicative future.