For Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) President (and newly-elected SSMU President) Josh Redel, this year has been one of great success within the Engineering community, in spite of increasing tensions with the McGill administration.
Redel began the year with several new initiatives intended to create “a more solid internal structure” for EUS. The first of these initiatives was a weekend retreat held to train all 45 Engineering councillors on how to write motions and hold productive discussions. Redel said that EUS has also worked on instating measures designed to increase the transparency and accountability of the executive.
As a result of his efforts, Redel said there has been “so much more engagement in Council” than in previous years.
Redel’s other major focus has been on improving student space. EUS has begun renovation plans for the General Store and the Nook – a space right next to the store, inside the McConnell Engineering building – which Redel hopes will becomes “more of a social space.” EUS is also finalizing plans to turn the locker area in the basement of McConnell into a multi-purpose club space.
$2,000 of this year’s EUS Space Improvement Fund has been allocated to renovating space for Architecture students. Redel said improvements included small studio renovations like newly-waxed floors and new ceiling tiles. EUS is also contributing an additional $4,000 to renovate the Cellar, the space that used to be the Architecture Café.
“We’ve worked really hard this year to make sure that [Architecture students] feel at home in EUS,” Redel said.
That’s not to say Redel has not encountered substantial challenges over the year. Redel and EUS have been at odds with the administration on numerous occasions over issues such as the use of the McGill name in the EUS logo.
Redel expressed frustration over his dealings with McGill on this issue. He explained that he had personally committed to working on improving EUS branding and marketing during his term as EUS VP Communications last year and that McGill had not once brought this to his attention.
“We’ve just worked a year and a half on all this branding and then find out, ‘Oh, you know the logo – the core of your branding – you can’t use that anymore,’” Redel said.
According to Redel, EUS and the University had come to an “agreement” to this dispute, but stressed that the solution is still a work in progress.
Planning the Open Air Pub (OAP) has also been a contentious issue for Redel because of increasing difficulties in booking space to hold the event.
“McGill is…cracking down on how space is used [and] on insurance,” Redel said. “[McGill] has become more stringent, and they’re less easy to talk to.”
In addition, since the Quebec Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux made changes to its regulations, Redel explained that EUS has been having trouble obtaining the necessary liquor permits to hold OAP. While they have managed “to work around” the new regulations, Redel said that this had made the process “extremely shady.”
“McGill [administration] needs to help us more,” Redel added. “They need to play a stronger role… We don’t have assistants who can email or call them all day.”