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By taking on 10 projects throughout this past year and running again for Vice-President (Operations and Finance) in the upcoming election, it’s clear Robyn Paches is committed to improving campus life for students.
Paches began the 2016-17 academic year with three goals: improve healthy food accessibility for students on campus, create sustainable infrastructure, and improve student safety. With many of these projects completed and the rest underway, he has adopted another project with the Myer Horowitz renovations.
One of the first projects Paches completed was revitalizing L’Express to include more hot food and halal options. Room at the Top (RATT) and Dewey’s also saw changes to the accessibility of healthy food alternatives, and Paches is currently working on including nutritional information their menus that will be available online and in each bar. Both campus locations also have new booking features that allow students to schedule either private or public events online. And although I’m not sure how necessary it was, RATT was rebranded.
One of the major projects Paches vowed to complete first in office was a sexual harassment prevention plan, which still has not been completed. However, what was initially a small marketing effort to start a conversation about sexual harassment in the gym has expanded into a larger positive community and interaction campaign across physical activity spaces on both the North and South campuses and in addition to the SU, this campaign now involves representatives from The Landing, the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, and the Graduate Students’ Association.
The Myer Horowitz renovations is another project Paches jumped on board with, and I’m not entirely convinced why. The funding model still needs to be finalized and consultations still need to take place. The goal is to fundraise most ($10 million) of the proposed $14 million budget and receive government grants so students won’t have to provide a third of the cost (the current fall-back plan). Although I do have some concerns about how the Myer Horowitz, once renovated, will benefit students, Paches proposed some options, including alumni get-togethers (isn’t that why we have Faculty Club), formals and semi-formals for faculties and the Greek community, and networking events. All of which would be more appealing to students through policy changes Paches will instigate to make it more affordable and accessible. He also created a not-for-profit society called the Friends of the Myer Horowitz which fosters student engagement.
Throughout his time in office, Paches’ biggest successes have been participating in the U-Pass expansion agreement into Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, and Spruce Grove and keeping the price affordable, and also improving safety and providing security guards for evenings and weekends to Campus Saint-Jean.
Although I don’t necessarily agree with all the projects Paches has undertaken, he does have a lot to show for his time in office, and running again for VP OpsFi shows he’s dedicated to seeing the rest of these projects come to fruition.