The Peak: Reflecting back on the year you’ve had as SFSS President, what is the thing you are most proud of?
Enoch Weng: I think its really living up to the whole “Ohana means family” quote. The biggest thing I wanted to change was the culture and the way people interacted both within and outside of the SFSS. I’m really proud, not really [of] what I did, but what I and my team and the staff were able to do. We created a whole culture change and we did a lot of restructuring with staff and the with organization, with policy changes — we completely revised our governance, we’re creating a new strategic plan. And all of these are huge things that are going to make our organization such a better place.
P: Okay, so now for the opposite of that question: What’s one thing that you would’ve done differently?
EW: I’ve sacrificed so much for this place: friends, family, my time, my health, all to just make sure this place is running, to make sure that students are going to get the best, and that we live up to those standards. And along the way too, because I’m always investing in people and investing into this place I’ve given them so much. There’s times where I could’ve got something for myself or I could’ve, you know, pushed forward an idea, but I gave those up to help the team along, for unity, all that jazz. So sometimes I feel like if I pushed a little bit harder for my own agenda I could’ve done more.
P: One of the big issues of your presidency was the Build SFU project. Do you have anything to say about how the project was handled, if things could’ve been done differently or how things are going to be done differently from here on out?
“For me it’s all about seeing how I can help the world” – Enoch Weng
EW: I think it’s definitely something that needs to be changed. Not just our elections or AGMs or whatever, but our entire organization is antiquated. Were running on policies 30 or 40 years old. Were running on infrastructure 20 or 30 years old. Heck, even the way we run our meetings are decades old. And that’s kind of why I wanted to do governance change to look into ways to fix things up because past practices are not reflective of our modern day needs.
Our issue was that we were faced with so many constraints. We were faced with time constraints, monetary, budgetary constraints, and even just in infrastructure [and] resources needed to support it. One thing I do encourage next year is to [find] how to get more students [. . .] involved or how to make sure everything is more fair. It is legitimate process that we have now because it is outlined, its detailed and everything. At the same time it’s not best. [. . .] It needs to change. And unfortunately in our year we weren’t able to tackle that because we were dealing with so much more.
P: Going right off of that, we have a newly-elected board. What are your hopes for them?
EW: Well one thing that is exciting is that the VPs are all returning members. They’ve all been with us through thick and thin. [ . . .] They have actually been part of the change. They’ve been actively engaged whether its governance or strategic planning and so they are the ones who have institutional knowledge and they’ve done the work. So I’m really happy and I’m really excited to see what they’ll do to continue that work.
P: What is one lesson you’ve learned during your time as president that you’ll take with you?
EW: One of them is to take care of yourself. To make sure that you have self-care, make sure you have the work life balance. For me, I put in 50–60 hours plus a week. I burnt out many times, but you hide it, you don’t let it show. So I go days with two hours of sleep and just grind through. And so people would be like, ‘Wow Enoch, you’re so energetic today,’ and I’m like ‘Yeah, cause I’m running on empty.’ So that’s one of the lessons: to find balance and spend time with family.
P: So what are your plans now?
EW: Well, the first thing I’m going to do is spend some valuable time with friends, family, and God. Like these three things have been neglected and I’ve sacrificed them so I’m really looking forward to spend time with my important ones. I’m going to be doing maybe one last co-op. I’m going to try to get through school. And really going to look for the next challenge. For me it’s all about seeing how I can help the world. Whether it’s to help one student at a time or help many. I just wanna find something I can help with. [. . .] I’ll be helping out with some non-profit music groups but at the same time near the end of school I want to do more. This is just a start. So that’s kind of where I am at
P: If you could pick a Disney song to summarize your last year as president, what would it be?
EW: I knew you were going to ask something Disney-related! Oh man this is hard. Shoot! Do you mind if look through my song list?
[Weng looks through the collection of Disney songs on his cellphone and chooses “Go the Distance” from Hercules.]
I like that one. Because it defined my year you know like I’ve dreamed about this, I’ve went on the road, and yeah, it’s an uphill slope.