Volume 90, Issue 98

Wednesday, April 02, 1997



Blowing the lid off affairs

By Kevin Gale
Gazette Staff

"We are in every way a family."

A major portion of the student affairs involves training and working with the 20 commissioners in the portfolio so they are ready to do their jobs, said Scott Sullivan, University Students' Council VP-student affairs.

Recently Sullivan has begun steps to improve training of those under his portfolio, the last set of goals for the year. "Faculty councils need a bit of help in terms of programming. There's not a lot of co-ordination between them and the portfolio," he said, adding club executives will attend training sessions in April and next fall.

The completion of position papers on the United Way and Charity Ball had originally been proposed by Sullivan. However, he said Charity Ball was re-vitalized this year and is moving ahead on its own and he is currently evaluating the role of the United Way commissioner and how the events are promoted.

The biggest challenge in the future for the portfolio is Orientation Week, Sullivan said.

Some of aspects of the week that will need to be addressed in the future will be the elimination of the Ontario Academic Credit year, bringing younger first-year students to Western and diversity on campus.

Sullivan said he and VP-finance Chris Keith combined efforts on the governance of clubs and successfully reviewed 40 clubs – the most in USC history.

However, things were not as smooth for Sullivan in September. "The workload in portfolio is the most taxing at that point," he said. "When the rush hit in September things could have run more efficiently." Sullivan added he attributes the inefficiency to a lack of advanced planning on his part.

He said by November he was ready to work on improving job descriptions for O-week staff and getting students needs met for the upcoming O-week, all of which was completed in January with a lower orientation kit price and better-defined roles for staff.

The affairs portfolio is designed to deal with student concerns and Sullivan believes he and the rest of the USC Board remained open to student opinions. "We never lost sight of the fact we are a positive external force to serve students," he said.

Also, Sullivan said he tried this year to take a hands-off approach to his commissioners once they were trained. "One of the best things this year was working for my commissioners and staying in the background and watching them shine."

To Contact The News Department: gaznews@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997