Volume 90, Issue 99

Thursday, April 03, 1997

The Great One


Communicating the ups and downs of a year in office

By Donna MacMullin
Gazette Staff

VP-communications Jerry Topolski has some words of advice for his successors at the University Students' Council next year. "All the VPs should take on a more external focus," he said.

Topolski said it has always been the USC's primary concern to keep in touch with students and show them what council is doing for them – so the VPs should be out there and more actively involved in lobbying. "If we strengthen the roles of the commissioners, they can cover the internal emergencies while the VPs bring the message to the outside community," he said.

The failure to retain connections with the London Chamber of Commerce and those involved in the Ontario Secondary School Students Association are among the disappointments Topolski said he will leave his position with. "I didn't keep those relationships going as well as I could have – and they are really important."

Among his most proud accomplishments, Topolski said the merging of CHRW and TV Western and breaking even on the Westernizer's budget for next year rank high on the list.

His long-range plan for the media sources on campus is to eventually see them all merge. "Having the Internet, CHRW, TV Western and The Gazette operations all working together to share resources and cut costs is the type of transition that will take years," he said. "Making sure the CHRW and TV Western merger is working efficiently next year should be a main priority."

By mid-year, Topolski still had hopes to obtain a Speaker's Corner booth in the University Community Centre to solicit feedback and communication from students, however the feasibility of this initiative became a problem. "It was completely a financial issue. It is something which is just too expensive for us to pay for right now," he said. "I couldn't justify investing in it until we know exactly how it will work."

Another project which Topolski said may have fallen by the wayside is the USC Town Hall meetings, which were intended to provide a forum for students to obtain information and discuss issues which concern them.

"It kind of fell behind as we began to focus on the virtual sit-in and Education Party of Canada platform," he said. "I guess it's just one thing that never happened, but we have budgeted for it next year."

Although Topolski feels the virtual sit-in was successful, he expressed disappointment with the general lack of student involvement at Western. "When I came into this position I really believed the majority of students cared enough about the big things – like tuition – to get involved," he said. "I wanted to see some support, but never got the numbers I expected."

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Copyright The Gazette 1997