ASUS team runs uncontested

Adam Grotsky and Blake Butler look to boost career and networking services

Adam Grotsky (left) and Blake Butler (right).
Adam Grotsky (left) and Blake Butler (right).
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A simple rendition of the alphabet could sum up this year’s ASUS election.

Adam Grotsky and Blake Butler, both ArtSci ’15, are the lone team vying for executive positions in this month’s faculty-wide election. Striking a balance between internal and external experience, the pair initially discussed their partnership one night at Queen’s Pub.

“I just said, ‘Vote for A and B and you’ll see,’” said Grotsky, the presidential candidate. “We thought it was a great slogan, so we said, ‘let’s go for it.’”

Grotsky and Butler are running unopposed, a departure from previous ASUS elections. Last January’s race saw current AMS presidential candidates Scott Mason and Allison Williams square off, with Mason and vice-presidential nominee Irfan Tahiri prevailing.

Though they won’t face any direct competition, Grotsky and Butler said that hasn’t changed their campaign strategy.

“The bottom line is that we want to be accessible. It doesn’t matter if we’re the only team,” Grotsky said. “We want to still get out there, talk to students, meet their needs, see what they want and turn those wants into concrete tangible changes.”

A third-year Political Studies major, Grotsky said his greatest strength lies in his internal ASUS experience. He’s the society’s current Academics Commissioner and worked as a Gael during Orientation Week in 2012.

Butler, a third-year History student, brings a range of external involvement, working as a fitness supervisor at the ARC and as a service staffer for Walkhome. As part of the ASUS Orientation Committee, he progressed from Gael to Orientation Coordinator this year.

“Being able to understand issues that affect students and how we can better virtually any aspect of their experience here, combined with our strong vision for the society and our strong commitment to helping students, will put us in a great position next year to do so,” Grotsky said.

Grotsky and Butler released a condensed version of their platform late last week, outlining six primary initiatives they plan to focus on.

The most significant point is their “Life After ArtSci” proposal: a planned partnership with Career Services to organize workshops, networking sessions and improved career fairs for Arts and Science students.

The duo is also pledging to revamp the ASUS website by adding an interactive calendar for faculty events, posting job applications and introducing an online store.

They also want to organize out-of-town student trips, starting with a summer excursion to a Toronto Blue Jays game, as well as academic care packages, which could include resource guides, healthy snacks and discounted peer-tutoring sessions.

Internally, they plan to introduce a distinct Human Resource Officer position and organize student feedback sessions for all academic departments across ASUS.

The overarching goal, according to Grotsky, is to connect with all students – a daunting task in the University’s largest faculty.

“We want to make ASUS move relevant to students, and I think that’s the biggest threat [to ASUS] moving forward,” Grotsky said. “How can we interact and engage with all these students? It’ll be tough, but it’s something we’re committed to working towards doing.”

On the financial front, the duo said they’d devise their ASUS budget from zero, meaning that every line item will undergo a detailed evaluation.

“We don’t want students to feel like we’re wasting their money, because we don’t want to waste their money,” Butler said.

Having worked as an Orientation Coordinator, Butler said he’s excited for the chance to engage with and help students across the entire faculty.

“Serving as [an] ASUS exec, you’re given that same mandate, but for a much longer period, and you’re affecting every Arts and Science student,” he said. “I think it’s a really special thing.”

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