Volume 90, Issue 98

Wednesday, April 02, 1997



Blowing the lid off issues

By Kevin Gale
Gazette Staff

"No matter what your intentions are the external stuff is time-consuming."

That is the sentiment of University Students' Council VP-student issues Chris Walsh on his year in office. "When I was elected I wanted the position for internal reasons," he said.

Walsh said the balance between the internal and external parts to the portfolio should be made easier with the addition of the equity officer position to the portfolio next year.

The new officer will be responsible for acting as a liaison between concerned students and the USC as well as the community in general, he said, adding one of the first jobs for the officer and Walsh's successor will be to establish internal goals for the position.

He said despite having trouble balancing the two sides of the job, he was able to get a head start on what he intended to accomplish and some unexpected tasks as well. "You can never serve a one-year term and get everything done."

He said he was able to lay the groundwork for diversity training for council members which he added he hopes will be carried out through next year's race relations officer.

Another project Walsh proposed was a campaign on media textbook literacy, to inform students on concerns about the content and presentation. "It wasn't a specific goal. We've done a little research," he said, adding it was intended to be a long-term project.

Instead, Walsh decided starting a campus curriculum review was more important. "I want to make it more representative of people who live here [at Western]," he said.

Another late project for Walsh has been an undergraduate writing survey given to faculty in March. Walsh said he hopes to compile and distribute the results to the Western community by mid-April.

Also, he had originally proposed that all campus clubs get together to promote cultural awareness across the community, an idea he said will be addressed again next year.

On the external side of the portfolio, one of the major issues this year has been the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance and its financial troubles, prompting its executive director Mike Burns to be laid off and replaced by interim director Rick Martin.

Western needs to take better notice of the alliance and its activities next year, Walsh said. "Council needs to tell OUSA what it wants," he said. "I was disappointed that something that important went unnoticed by council."

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Copyright The Gazette 1997