By MATT HOWELL
Conestoga Students Inc.’s board of directors held their presidential elections on March 2, and they decided to keep the lineup they already have.
Jeff Scherer and Cameron Jones will be returning as CSI president and vice-president in September. Scherer ran unopposed, but the board could have conducted a vote of non-confidence, which would have seen the student body vote on a new president. Students did vote last year, approving a bylaw that states the president and vice-president positions must be filled by current board members.
Scherer, a graduate of the business administration and marketing program at Conestoga, took over from Jason Wright as president last September, and couldn’t be happier to retain the job for another year.
The full-time paid role of CSI president involves a lot of commitment and time, but does offer some perks besides helping to shape the college experience for students. According to Scherer, the position provides “a normal starting salary,” a phone plan like all full-time staff get, and a paid parking spot, which is being phased out and Scherer doesn’t use as he lives across the street from the school. He also gets a Microsoft Surface tablet that doubles as a laptop that all members get to use while serving on the board to help keep them in the loop while also cutting down on paper waste.
During the Q&A session that took place after his speech, Scherer touched on what his biggest accomplishments and struggles were over the past eight months as CSI president.
In addition, Scherer talked about what he plans to do during his second term. He said his biggest disappointment was, missing the mark on The Yellow Umbrella Project, a mental health awareness initiative that took place last fall.
“We thought we were creating this Taj Mahal of a program and we just didn’t accomplish what we set out to accomplish,” he said. “I don’t think it was an all-around failure, don’t get me wrong, the students who were engaged with it absolutely loved it, but coming from that it made me realize how much planning and the thought process that goes into that kind of stuff.”
On the flipside, Scherer’s biggest personal success was when he, along with Colin Gaudet, another board member, had a meeting to discuss getting a green wall (a wall that is partially or completely covered with vegetation) built at Conestoga.
“I had such mixed emotions going into that meeting and thinking the board has approved it, and we want to move forward with it, and thinking that they (facilities staff) were going to poke holes in it, but they were into the idea a lot more than I thought they would be, and afterwards told me that they thought it was a great idea,” Scherer said.
No date has been set for when the construction of a green wall will be built, but it is in the works.
Scherer is looking forward to keeping the positive feedback he has received this year going in September, which will be his last as president, as someone can only be president for two years. Board of directors, on the other hand, can stay on as long as they are a full-time student.
There was one board member running against Jones for the title of vice-president. Hope Krempa, a graphic design student, gave a great speech, but in the end lost out to the more experienced Jones.
Jones, a current business student, is in his third year of being a board member, and is excited about being re-elected as vice-president.
“It feels great. I think it’s an awesome opportunity to go forward bigger, stronger and better. I think it’s going to be a really good year. It’s good to have longevity in the organization, and we are looking to capitalize on that,” he said.
In his speech, Jones also mentioned the Yellow Umbrella Project as being both a failure and a success.
“It was a bit of a failing campaign, but at the same time we (Scherer and Jones) had the opportunity to set up the event, and know what we need to do next year,” he said.
Up next is the CSI board of directors’ election. Voting will be done through ballots and online starting March 23, and will run until April 3.