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MUS President Dave Fortin

The first in a series on faculty association presidents

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It’s hard to believe that Dave Fortin was once a science student at McGill. The current Management Undergraduate Society (MUS) president has also served as VP External of MUS and VP Sports of the Jeux de commerce, a case and sports competition between Quebec business schools.

However, the many successes did not come without challenges, the most controversial of which was the referendum on the proposed five-dollar fee increase to the MUS student fee.

“I think anytime you ask someone for money you might get some push-back,” he admitted. Nevertheless, the referendum passed in November.

In addition to the student fee increase, the MUS implemented a universal ten-dollar membership fee for any MUS-affiliated club. Fortin said that the old system, where some clubs were free and others cost as much as $25 to join, “didn’t make sense.” Now, regardless of their interests, students pay the same for each club. “It’s fair across the board, so anyone can participate,” he said.

MUS’s corporate relations team came under fire this year because few funds were raised outside of the MUS agenda and Frosh, leading to the team getting downsized from roughly twenty students to seven. The idea for a corporate relations team began when Fortin attended the National Business Schools Conference and saw the University of Manitoba’s Commerce Students’ Association’s success in generating funds. “In practice it was difficult, because we were very ambitious with it,” he said. “Setting it up is the bulk of the work.”

Another controversy involved Desautels Career Services asking recent graduate Khaled Kteily to remove a database of consulting recruitment resources on his website, (Management Consultants Network). “I have the utmost confidence in Career Services,” he explained, adding that he did not want the database to prevent students from seeing an advisor.

Career Services’ new mentorship program offered to U3 students is one way the faculty is improving its resources and reputation. Competitiveness is one of MUS’s three goals for the year, and, to celebrate the faculty’s success, a secondary trophy case has been created on the second floor.  Another objective – environmental sustainability – has been achieved through a new recycling campaign, as well as a waste audit of Bronfman. Finally, the MUS budget was published online to help improve accountability.

Fortin grabbed headlines early last semester when it broke that he was spearheading a review of SSMU governance with other faculty association presidents.  When asked about SSMU, Fortin had good things to say. “I communicate with [SSMU President] Maggie Knight fairly frequently. We’ve worked on a number of projects together,” he said.

Fortin has high hopes for the future, encouraging the Board of Directors and Executive to write detailed exit reports. He maintained that turnover, a problem in other student associations, is “not a huge issue.” The MUS has had to fill one vacated position this year for the Math/Statistics representative, who resigned from the position in order to pursue an actuarial internship.

The MUS will hold its Annual General Meeting on January 30.