New VP finance hopes to hit the ground running with mid-year takeover
The TRUSU board of directors is at full strength for the first time since September.
Ryan Makar, a first-year arts student planning to transfer into journalism, was announced as the new vice president of finance Nov. 18, replacing previous vice president, Trad Bahabri.
“I decided to apply for the position because I wanted to be involved,” Makar said, adding that he heard about the job through the student caucus, which he was a member of at the time.
TRUSU president Dylan Robinson said he thinks Makar’s previous participation in student government played a part in his appointment.
“I think that just kind of spoke to his dedication, or his willingness to do a lot of work on behalf of students,” Robinson said. “So I think that was really impressed the board about Ryan.”
Robinson also debunked the notion that the vice president of finance deals solely with money, saying the position does not require an accounting background.
“It’s a somewhat misleading name,” Robinson said. “The role of the vice president of finance is really focused on the services of TRUSU…working in conjunction with folks like the services co-ordinator, Abbey McAuley, and managing the UPASS, the health and dental plan, all of our online services, managing Common Grounds, overseeing the building, you know, kind of all the services that the student union offers.”
While Makar is new to his role, he said he already has ideas to improve the student experience, including more services tailored for students coming from outside of Kamloops.
“Not being from Kamloops, or from the area, I think I’ll bring a unique perspective in that,” he said.
Among his priorities for next semester, Makar said he hopes to expand the student saver program, adding new vendors and more saving options.
The TRUSU board of directors had been shy one seat since Sept. 23, when previous LGBTQ representative Nic Zdunich resigned. Current representative Megan Graham later filled the LGBTQ seat, only for Trad Bahabri to be removed as vice president of finance after exceeding his limit of meeting absences according to TRUSU bylaws.
Makar will now hold the position until April.
“I knew I was coming in halfway through and I guess my mentality was ‘I’ll hit the ground running,’ and I’m a little nervous about that, but I think the [TRUSU] staff and the other representatives, the other board members, are going to be a great support in helping me transition halfway through the year,” Makar said.