Executive Breakdown: VP Student Life

Hey everyone! As you may know, this term we are running the elections for the new EngSoc Executive team! The election for Vice Presidential positions will be happening soon, and in that, all those interested can run to be the next VP Academic, VP Communications, VP Operations and Finance, or VP Student Life. As we are on our way to the nomination period, I am here to talk about the roles and responsibilities of being VP Student Life.

The role of VP Student Life is a completely new role, in which the new VP will not only undertake everything that is under the current VP Internal (Student Life and First Year Development) but will also be undertaking the Outreach and Waterloo Engineering Competition (WEC) portfolio from the current VP External role.

I may not be able to give you entirely accurate insights on how VP SL will be like, but I can give you the best insight I can give in terms of how the role is going to work out.

VP Student Life

In a nutshell, you are going to be in charge of most (if not all) events that EngSoc offers to our members. You will be making sure that all events have the appropriate number of directors, the events are actually fun and/or meaningful for the general members of the society and that all events are scheduled in the right dates and times by maintaining the EngSoc calendar.

This may seem like a big nutshell; however, you will also be equipped with the help of at least 3 awesome commissioners each term who will aid you in managing all the directors and help you in supervising their respective events for you. Having commissioners will be an important part of your role as VP Student Life.

The one common thread in all aspects of the VP Student Life, even in the added portfolio, is the people aspect. You will have to work with 3-4 commissioners every term and a lot more directors every term, and you will encounter many people in the way. You will see the person who is being involved in EngSoc for the first time in their lives, or you will meet someone who has been involved with directorships and such longer than you have been in university for, and you will see everyone in between.

There will be many different ways to handle people and on a daily basis, you might be meeting with either one of your commissioners to hear updates about an event or with a director. In a sense, you will always be surrounded by people and no two individuals are similar.

However, here are two secrets of mine that has helped me manage my term as VP Internal for the past 16 months and work with numerous people. The two secrets are:

  • Be respectful to everyone you meet.
  • Be open with giving and receiving feedback.

If you continue doing both, especially with your commissioners, you are not only able to develop a working relationship with people, but you can also motivate a whole bunch of people to come out to events, run events and basically make them feel included in the wide EngSoc community, which is way more than what the portfolio asks you to do.

You will also have a bunch of transition documents for all events and services run (even those from Outreach and WEC) so you will have resources galore to look at when in doubt about how some events run, and hence you should not be worried about the lack of knowledge about certain things when entering the role.

Finally, I want to say that the past 16 months has been one of the best decisions of my life because I not only have learnt how the society works but I have also had the chance to interact with a lot of people through events and directorships. I can easily say that even as my term is ending, the friends I have made through the events and directorships under me will never go away and the opportunity to have lifelong friends will only get bigger for VP Student Life as their portfolio will be bigger than what I have had.

If you have any questions about how the VP Student Life role works as well as how my term as exec went, you can always email me at vpinternal.a@engsoc.uwaterloo.ca and I will be more than happy to chat.

If you are interested in the elections or possibly running for an Exec position check Adelle’s past blog posts that go over why you should consider running and the process of the elections.