Wednesday afternoon, I had the pleasure of chatting with Matt Wright, former FIMS soph and Street Team Coordinator, and current USC Social Media Commissioner and FIMSSC presidential candidate. Here are a few of his thoughts about FIMS, his platform, and the future:
Matt on the current culture of FIMS in terms of present stereotypes, and his plans to change the climate:
Matt’s passion for FIMS shines as he discusses the faculty’s strengths. He speaks of the unique, creative culture FIMS fosters and his plans to enhance that creativity in the future. Pointing out the common critique that FIMS is “cliquey,” Matt insists that this stereotype needs to be addressed. He says the students need to feel invested in FIMS and need to be shareholders in determining what the faculty can do for us.
He wants to focus on building relationships both among students within the faculty and with other faculties and student organizations. He discussed his plans to help foster these relationships, citing his platform point to create an online “creative hub,” a centralized location for FIMS’ creative minds to better connect with one another. This jives with his strong desire for a more collaborative culture within the faculty, expressing his wish for students to feel fulfilled by their time in FIMS. He says this hub could act as an online portfolio, giving students a better opportunity to show off their work and form relationships they may not otherwise have had.
Some of Matt’s criteria for choosing the rest of the FIMSSC executive:
Matt’s focus in choosing the remainder of the FIMSSC is centers around collaboration. He wants to choose individuals who are team players in order to facilitate beneficial, constructive dialogue within the executive. He emphasized his desire for a diverse slate, stating that he does not want a collection of people with the same vision, but rather a group of individuals willing to collaborate to better the council as a whole. While he notes that experience is important, he says it is not necessary; he would like to see some individuals who may have been overlooked in the past have a chance to share their ideas and perspectives in order to have a broader understanding of the faculty’s needs.
Matt’s intention for FIMS’ presence, both on-campus and online:
Matt’s main initiative in this area is to create a closer match between the online content and what is actually offered in the programs and courses. He discussed the website’s current emphasis on hands-on experience, noting that this is actually relatively rare for most FIMS students. He says the information currently presented online is not necessarily illuminating, and would like to see a shift to a more accurate representation. Matt would like to see the online presence reflect what FIMS is really about; he’d like to help prospective students, current students, and those in other areas of study understand what we do and increase our legitimacy to the rest of UWO. He praises the visual identity, mentioning the talented production coordinator, who ensures top-notch branding. He also lauds the work of the street team in creating a strong presence on campus.
Platform points that will make the biggest difference for FIMS students:
Matt really focuses on building relationships. He’d like to closely examine FIMS as a culture and understand the way we currently build bridges, both in the public and private sectors. He suggests that people don’t quite know what to do with an MIT degree, and would like to incorporate more events to highlight what industries we qualify for and how to penetrate the job market once our days in FIMS are over. He’d like to see more guest speakers and workshops to help students create relationships with those in the community, in order to benefit students not only while they’re in FIMS but when they graduate as well.
Strengths and weaknesses of the outgoing council:
Matt was most impressed by the outgoing council’s focus on creating a more involved faculty. He praised them for not wanting to alienate groups, and implementing solid changes such as revising the council’s name to reflect the interests of the entire faculty. He says this is a good start in becoming a more inclusive group and in helping build relationships between students in MIT, MTP, and MPI.
He notes that the outgoing council is starting to look for feedback, but thinks that more needs to be done. He says that receiving feedback is something council really needs to do, that dialogue needs to be opened, and that further steps can be taken to ensure student voices are heard. He wants to implement an online idea forum to create a more efficient way for students to share their ideas, allowing for a higher volume of feedback and a broader discussion amongst the student body.
Why Matt is the best candidate for the position:
First, Matt cites his extensive experience in multiple areas of council. He’s been a soph, he served on council last year as the Street Team Coordinator, and this year he acts as Social Media Commissioner for the USC. He wants to open up dialogue between the FIMSSC and the USC about pressing faculty issues, and points out that he will have no learning curve in dealing with the USC. He is highly experienced in engaging with the USC and would like to use his expertise to better FIMS. He’s seen council from every angle and wants to use this to his advantage. Additionally, he mentions his intentions to maintain the integrity of the program by ensuring that student’s voices truly are heard.
When asked for closing remarks, Matt said his goal is to act under the premise that “FIMS isn’t broken, but we can improve it.”
Trish Carnahan is an OPENWIDE Staff Writer who also had the privilege of helping to organize this week’s Justin Trudeau event. Look for that story here soon!