We’re about to start a new school year with a new CSSU and a new website; I thought it would be a great opportunity to discuss our objectives and focus for the upcoming year and to give some insight into my thought process and philosophy when making decisions.

Reliability and Accountability

This is something that I feel historically has been ignored but is very important. I think posts like this are critical for people to understand why we do what we do. It exposes your logic to critcism which is important to remain accountable and allows you to further refine your own ideas. Another thing is reliablity – the student body should be able to rely on their student union. Even for things as simple as having Coke in stock for them to buy. Ultimately, things like that are good for all parties involved. I’m making a substantial effort to ensure that the CSSU is an organization that can be relied upon and trusted.

We’re more than just events

Historically, or at least as long as I’ve been following it, the CSSU’s primary reason for existance was to run events. One particular goal is to attempt to do more than that this year by filling some gaps that have been largely in part left open. As more and more of us are here to focus on getting into the industry and not pure academia, we need to start shifting our focus accordingly.

A large part of what I want to do, and have been doing so already, is working on giving the industry access to the students it needs. UofT has been a largely untapped resource of talented computer scientists for a variety of reasons, including a lack of communication and unnecessary barriers. My goal is to break down these barriers and connect people on a needed larger scale to get more opportunities for students.

Events aren’t going anywhere though

That previous objective wasn’t to suggest that we’re forgetting about events. We have a very talented social team that I’m confident will do a fantastic job running our traditional events, along with some new ones! So the two big ones, Games Nights and Pub Nights, aren’t going anywhere. Their frequency are still being debated, but expect at least one Pub Night per semester and at least one Games Night this year. We have a couple new big events in the works which are still tentative. These will be discussed in greater detail once we work those out. I’m going to give a solid we’ll try to Pi Day (which probably satisfies no one).

One thing in particular I want try to get done is more smaller events that aren’t all that heavily organized. I feel that it’s easier to get to know people in smaller groups then it is massive ones. We plan to have some sort of “Gym Jam” where students can go to the gym together. Plus, with the release of Super Smash Bros. Wii U, and now with Mario Kart 8, we hope to have bi-weekly tournaments.

Inclusivity

This is something that was brought up a lot during the election. This whole problem that the CSSU feel like a closed group. I’d argue that it’s a problem with the CS community as a whole where it feels the need to be exclusionary and unnecessarily make others not feel welcome. There isn’t really any particular thing I can say that I’ll do to solve this. However, I’ve been moderating the CSSU group and deleting any posts that just become covered with trolling with little meaningful discussion. I will also ensure we do the best we can to make the CSSU office a place where people want to be.

That’s the general gameplan; we have six-ish events planned for September (only one of which is tenatitive at the moment) so we should be able to start publishing a definitive schedule soon. I’m very excited to get going on things, we’ve got a ton of great things planned and I hope you all get the opportunity to be a part of it!