After an emergency board meeting on Nov. 26, Valery Heckel, a former director-at-large, has been chosen as the interim UVSS Director of Finance and Operations. Heck el replaces Anas Cheema, who resigned from the board two days prior after months of criticism for a perceived lack of dedication to his duties.
“I looked through the financial statements with Anas,” said Heckel, “so I think I have a pretty good background and a pretty good contextual knowledge to step into the position. On top of that, I’m very interested in finance, economics, and how business works, so this position is [ideal] if you want to learn about that kind of stuff.”
The third-year financial math and economics student, who will continue to take two or three courses in addition to her duties as a UVSS executive, acknowledged that time management would be a challenge, but said she would set aside extra time to complete her duties.
“Obviously, [the position] comes with a lot of responsibility,” she said. “You have to consider a lot of other people’s opinions, so there’s challenges with it, but overall I’m really excited for the next five months.”
In a prior interview, both Makenzie Zouboules, a director-at-large, and Director of Student Affairs Kaylee Szakacs praised Heckel for her dedication to the society and for her existing skillset.
“She has come to this role with a lot of knowledge both from her studies and also dedication to the society committees that were already within that portfolio [Finance and Operations committee, SUB renovations committee] and she is incredibly compassionate [and] willing to work on ways to make the society better,” said Zouboules.
Over the next five months, Heckel said that she wants to examine the UVSS’s current banking and investment policies in consultation with stakeholders and interest groups for ways to make them more ethical. In addition, she wants to put the SUB renovations back on schedule.
Though the last phase of the renovations include changes to the main concourse and other storefronts, Heckel wants to have the Munchie Bar renovations completed during the summer, “so it opens again in September and creates more income again once students come back in.”