Volume 90, Issue 99

Thursday, April 03, 1997

The Great One


Check writer soon to bounce out of office after balancing act

By Donna MacMullin
Gazette Staff

Chris Keith is busy balancing the University Students' Council's cheque book before he checks out of his office at the end of his term.

Being in the position of VP-finance this year, Keith said he is most proud of his achievement of establishing the council's first long-term plan. "That was a big feather in my cap," he said, adding he was also pleased with being able to work out a balanced yet realistic budget for council, along with the success of this year's income tax clinic.

The long-term plan is something Keith predicts will go on for years to come and he hopes his successor will take a significant role in managing and implementing his recommendations. "A lot of what I was doing this year was laying the groundwork for these initiatives and next year the [VP-finance] will hopefully take on an greater programming role to help these initiatives grow."

Keith also worked with VP-student affairs Scott Sullivan to strengthen the financial review committee's role in improving the financial management of clubs on campus. "This year a greater number of clubs were reviewed and we also did reviews of faculty councils," he said, adding he hopes management of the committee next year will continue to be effective.

One of the things Keith said he was discouraged by this year was the delay in the financial information system which he found took up a lot of his time. "It hindered my abilities to do other things – like keep up with my regular reports to council," he said.

Another disappointment Keith saw this year was the failure of the proposed undergraduate student dental plan. "The council's reaction to the dental plan was disappointing because we did a lot of hard work and research before the plan was presented," he said. "The efforts of Ben Thornton and Justin Lalonde on the Yes side of the dental referendum were definitely an asset to the campaign.

"And I think it was definitely a big achievement to bring the plan to referendum so students could vote on it."

As the position of VP-finance evolves, Keith said he would like to see more programming to reach and help students with financial planning and inform them of the resources available on campus. "With the rising costs of education, students increasingly have to take financial planning into consideration – and we should take on an educating role," he said.

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

Copyright The Gazette 1997