Name: Mahbubur Rahman
Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Program: MASc in civil engineering
Relevant experience: Two years as VPFO for the DSU, from 2014-15 and 2015-16
Why do you hope to have this job again next year?
Over the years I enjoyed this position, working with students and working for students. I think this has been one of the more challenging years for the DSU, with the (SUB) renovations, and with the food service review coming as well. After serving in this position, I thought that it would be great for the DSU to have me in this position as again, so I put my name forward and the students will decide.
What would you do differently next year?
I would not change a lot of things about the way that the Union is operating, but there are a few things that this year we could not make a priority. One of the things on my to-do list is the health plan bursary. The food service review is coming next year as well, in 2017. There is a desire amongst students to have a more student-focused food service and we started the process of reviewing what that would look like. After that review we’ll make a decision on what direction food services will go. I think that a lot of students want a student-run café and more local, healthier food options, as well as more international food options. We’re giving the Loaded Ladle permanent space and we’re working with them, and they’re satisfied that they’re getting their own space.
What are your thoughts on the ongoing SUB renovations?
It is the largest project that the DSU has ever taken on, and I am very proud that I was a part of the planning as well as of the implementation and now I want to be there when it’s finished. We need to finish it within the budget too. I think that it’s not easy to have the renovations going on while the building is still operating, but I think that when it is done, even if it is a bit behind schedule, students will love it. In my position, the priority is to complete it within budget and to settle the financing with the bank that we agreed on earlier in the project so that it can go smoothly from day one.
What issue do you think the DSU needs to devote more of its budget towards?
I think there are issues regarding involvement of Sexton and Carleton students in the budget. We’re looking to give more dedicated funding to Sexton and Carleton students, since many of them do not feel that they are getting the proper share of the DSU budget, so we’re tiring to change by contacting societies and seeing how we can divide that budget. This year I did budget consultations with 20 different societies across campus and got a lot of good feedback, and that will be coming in the budget. The budget will be presented during the Mar. 23 council meeting and will be voted on on Apr. 6.
How do you determine what budget items deserve more funding than others?
How it works, internally, is that all the staff and execs are responsible for their share of the budget, then we put those together and try and make a balanced budget while still keeping all of the priorities. At the end, it’s my responsibility to suggest what should be done when the council approves the budget. So I will offer the options to the council and the council will decide. Within this process I discuss with the other executives and full time staff and have their input. I am very privileged to have been here in this position for two years, and I have been getting a lot of good feedback from students who appreciate my work, and I hope that they will continue to give me this opportunity to serve in this position so I can continue to do a good