Last week, the Management Undergraduate Society (MUS) elected a new president and Board of Directors, including U1, U2, and U3 representatives, two representatives to the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU), and one Senator for the 2015-16 academic year.
Speaking to the Daily, newly elected MUS President Élie Lubendo outlined his priorities for the coming year, and discussed some of the ongoing equity concerns facing the Society.
According to his campaign video, published on the Bull and Bear website, Lubendo ran on a platform that focused on three key issues: fostering a good relationship with the incoming Dean of Management, developing a new five-year strategy for MUS, and bridging the gap between the Society and its constituents.This five-year “Vision 2020” strategy, Lubendo explained, would impact recruitment in human resources (HR) and Dave’s Store, a student-run shop in the Bronfman basement. According to Lubendo, the employees at Dave’s Store are “only paid through [the MUS] payroll.”
This five-year “Vision 2020” strategy, Lubendo explained, would impact recruitment in human resources (HR) and Dave’s Store, a student-run shop in the Bronfman basement. According to Lubendo, the employees at Dave’s Store are “only paid through [the MUS] payroll.”
“They don’t have an employee manual or contracts,” he said, acknowledging the long-term liabilities of the situation. “Right now, it’s [very] under the table.”
“It’s hard to blame the MUS fully for that, when [no women] applied [last year]. Yes, there are eight male executives, but then again, zero women applied. The women who did apply for Board of Directors positions won.”
One issue facing MUS is a lack of gender diversity in leadership positions.
“It’s hard to blame the MUS fully for that, when [no women] applied [last year],” said Lubendo, in response to concerns over the Society’s all-male Executive Council. “Yes, there are eight male executives, but then again, zero women applied. The women who did apply for Board of Directors positions won.”
Lubendo continued, “It’s one of those things that everyone knows [is] definitely an issue, but no one really knows why […] and what exactly the solution is.” Lubendo also divulged that, so far, applicants for the upcoming year’s executive positions have predominantly been women.
Meagan Prins was one of two women elected to the Board of Directors for 2015-16, as the U3 representative. She also served as U2 representative this year.
Commenting on the gender composition of MUS student leadership, Prins said, “As much as I would have loved for there to be a representative proportion of females on the Executive Council last year, I don’t think we can use the events of the past year as sufficient evidence to diagnose a systemic problem.”
“The Board of Directors actively seeks to fill positions with candidates that would best meet the needs of the student population, and these candidates vary in demographic composition from year to year,” she continued.
Connecting with constituents
Another concern for some in MUS is the gap between representatives and their constituents.
According to Lubendo, student involvement is a priority for him. “[The Bachelor of Commerce program gets] over 1,200 applications every year. However, it seems that from year to year it’s always the same students getting involved.”
“Even though we’re a faculty of about 2,200, it really seems like […] it’s being run by 300,” he stated, adding that students may feel intimidated because “they see the MUS as a far-away ivory tower.”
“People want an executive council that they can approach, and that’s something that I think we’ll be able to fix next year,” Lubendo added.
An application package for executive portfolios was released last week. The interview process will take place from February 16 to 18, and the new VPs will be announced on February 19.