GCC Newsletter – July 2019

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- Community Highlight -

On July 7th 2019, thousands of supporters marched through the downtown Victoria area for the annual Victoria Pride Parade. The buzzing atmosphere showcased the LGBTQ2 community in a bright light. The goal to make the community more accessible and have a greater voice in Victoria was able to be seen within the crowds of people. The biggest step forward, towards this goal, was having the Victoria police officers not dressed in uniform. Instead of cops patrolling the streets, they opted for strolling with the crowd through Victoria while they wore t-shirts with the saying “Love Proudly, Live Proudly, Police Proudly.” At UVic, we are dedicated to making cure the LGBTQ2 community is fully accepted and supported and the CSS welcomes all students no matter what they identity as.


- Local Business Highlight -

Monk Office is a local, Victoria based company, providing office outfitting services to Vancouver Island. It has been a family run and operated business since 1951. Caitlin Mckenzie is the current CEO of Monk Office and has held the role for a year now; she is the third generation of her family to do so

Ever since her start at the bottom of the ladder with Office Monk, a value that has stuck with her is to take care of family and friends, and always make sure to be a team player. In the long run, sabotaging someone come back to bite you. Some pressures Caitlin has felt since taking over the reins is being ingenuine as it is easy to lose sight on basic fundamentals. To overcome this, she likes to make sure she is focused on these fundamentals because she finds they are a really good foundation for success. While being in a powerful position, resilience is a key fundamental in being successful. Caitlin’s tactics for powering through is to try anything that comes across her desk. She doesn’t create answers to questions based on preconceived notions. The way one person deals with a task would be completely different to another person due to personality traits. One big hurdle that Caitlin has overcome during her time as CEO is learning how much is too much in regard to sharing information internally. In trying to be transparent in business dealings during quarterly all employee meetings, people would react to information differently. She learned that criticism and fear can create a lot of questions. With trial and error, Caitlin has developed skills for building team confidence and knowing how to create a strong team vision.

At the CSS, we are proud to have Office Monk support us and look forward to seeing where Caitlin takes her team in the future.

- Environmental Highlight -

Single-Use Plastic Bans

Costa Rica, a nation of 4.8 million people (a similar population to BC) has committed to banning all single-use plastics by the year 2021. The announcement was made back in 2017, but the country is still on track to be the first to ban all single use plastics. One province, Guanacaste, famed for its beaches, sunshine, and natural scenery is likely to be ahead of the rest of the country, as according to The Costa Rica News they are going to ban plastic bags and straws "very soon".

While many places around the world - from small towns to entire countries - are working on or have already started to ban certain types of harmful single-use plastics, Costa Rica is leading the charge by committing to banning anything considered a single-use plastic. This includes straws, bags, bottles, lids, cups, and containers. Previously plastic products will be switched out with substitutes made from more renewable and sustainable materials. Whether or not Costa Rica reaches their goal by 2021 is definitely uncertain, and probably highly unlikely, but you can't aim for your target if you don't nail it to a palm tree in the first place, making this an admirable move by the Central American country.

Here in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced that Canada will also ban single-use plastics by the year 2021; however, the target wasn't nailed into the maple tree quite as well, because the words "as early as" appear immediately before "2021" on the PM's website. Setting rigid and challenging goals are far better for mobilizing people and policy than something loose like "as early as", and so it seems even more unlikely that Canada will reach its target date for a single-use plastic ban. Despite this, having a larger, wealthier country like Canada make a commitment to protecting our beautiful natural environment from the horrors of plastic pollution is a major step on the world stage, and hopefully every other country on the only planet we have will begin to follow suit.

Meanwhile in Victoria, the city has come up against a complication and delay on its ban of single-use plastic bags in stores. According to the CBC, the BC court of Appeals ruled in favour of the Canadian Plastic Bag Association because the city failed to seek approval from the Minister of the Environment prior to enacting the ban, which aimed to protect to environment. As a result, the city can no longer prevent stores from giving away or selling plastic bags to customers when they check out. The ban is said to have stopped at least 17 million plastic bags from going to the landfill since 2017 according to Madam Justice Newbury. We will see how Victoria will try to cut back on single-use plastics in the near future, but that shouldn't stop you from doing your part to reduce your own personal plastic consumption.


- Grad Gala -

On July 24th, 2019, the Gustavson Grad Gala en blanc was hosted at the Beachhouse Restaurant in Victoria. The Gustavson Graduation Gala is a long-standing flagship event of the Commerce Students' Society that offers a chance for our graduating students to celebrate their accomplishments together before pursuing their next endeavours. It was presented by Workday, our main sponsor.
Workday was founded by Aneel Bhusri and David Duffield in 2005. Their wish was to found a company that would revolutionize the enterprise software market. The founding idea is to put people in the center of a software enterprise rather than digital information. Its website states that this year, Workday achieved an industry-leading 98 percent customer satisfaction rating. Workday has six core values: employees, customer service, innovation, integrity, fun, and profitability. These values ensure the great success of the company by giving it a certain framework. The software company's success is reflected by its content customers. Some world-leading companies trust Workday with their cloud work. Netflix, AON, Tripadvisor, Amazon, AirCanada, Aldo to name just some of Workday's customers. This tech company is revolutionizing the sector.
The Commerce Students' Society would like to honour and thank this company for its great support. The Gustavson Grad Gala en blanc would not have been possible without your generous sponsorship. Many thanks!


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