Interim GM Appointed, Hiring Committee Established

October 10th, 2017

SUO chooses Mike Ouellet as interim GM and establishes hiring committee of six.

The UBCSUO chose manager of The Well Mike Ouellet as interim General Manager until a replacement is hired. Ouellet accepted the position Monday October 2nd and will sign a contract to officially become interim GM sometime within the next couple weeks. “This is my fourteenth year here,” states Ouellet, who also served as an executive on the Douglas Student’s Union for five years.“I think in a situation like this anyone would be lying if they said it wasn’t difficult,” says Ouellet, “having said that, at the end of the day the Student Union is going to be here tomorrow…so everything needs to move forward and that’s basically what we’re gonna do.”
Ouellet is the interim replacement for General Manager Bob Drunkemolle, who was terminated Thursday September 28 after serving as GM since 2013. The termination of the GM was put into motion last year by past president Blake Edwards, who when asked why he took these actions, stated, “It was due to contractual changes among previous executive committees and the GM [Drunkemolle] prior to my year.”

VP External Amal Alhuwayshil explains that Ouellet’s familiarity with the workings of the SUO and UBCO itself were primary reasons for choosing him for interim GM, as they give him an advantage over external candidates. In reference to his experience in The Well, Ouellet states, “It’s definitely going to be a difficult position but in terms of the staff management, that’s something I already do on a certain level.” When asked if he was interested in applying to be GM permanently, Ouellet replied, “I’d like to. I don’t think I would step into this role if I wasn’t qualified to do it… You can’t work here for 14 years without seeing stuff that’s definitely failed or definitely succeeded and have your own ideas about what you might do. Having said that, I would never put in anything that would harm the student’s union.”

Also established during the Monday October 2 emergency board meeting, a committee of 6 will be in charge of interviewing and hiring a new permanent GM. The committee is comprised of 3 voting members and 3 non-voting members. The 3 voting members are SUO president Trophy Ewila, VP Internal Patience Spinoza, and Applied Science Board Representative Dela Hini. “We made the voting members students so the decision is made by students,” explains Trophy, “We opted to have staff input because they are directly involved with the GM and their input is very instrumental.”

The non-voting members will be comprised of one non-student staff member from the SUO, one member of UBC’s administration and one representative from the British Columbia Federation of Students (BCFS), which is a provincial alliance of fourteen university and college student unions from across BC. “We chose an external member [from BCFS] to offer non-biased input and an external perspective,” explains Trophy.

Although BCFS has a recommended standard for hiring new GMs, the SUO executives are still deciding on the structure and timeline of the hiring process. The student members of the committee declined further comment with the intention of commenting further once more information becomes available.

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