Forum focuses on bringing the council to the colleges
By Adrian Leung
It's all about communication, communication, communication, according to the nine candidates running for University Students' Council president.
The presidential hopefuls fielded questions yesterday at a Brescia College forum and attempted to address the concerns Brescia and other affiliate students had about feeling out of touch with main campus.
Brescia students expressed concern that they rarely get notified for events that occur on main campus and are therefore unable to participate in them. Several presidential contenders suggested solutions that included building communication ties and increasing student participation and interaction within the Western community.
Accessibility of USC members to other student councils was also an important issue brought up at the Brescia forum. Presidential candidates were questioned on how the USC would be more accessible to councils at affiliated colleges in the future.
"It is simply a matter of common courtesy," Mark Smiley said, referring to a complaint that a member of the USC was not returning a student's call. "People should be doing their job and not get caught up in being too busy to return calls.
"If it was up to me, I would give him or her a boot in the ass."
Ryan Parks said VPs from the USC and affiliates must discuss issues together. "It is the responsibility of the USC VPs to look after the VPs that are their equivalent and communicate with each other."
Sean Martin agreed and said there should be more interaction, memos and phone meetings between the USC and other councils.
Kevin Mol said he believed communication should begin in September. "We should build the relationships of all councils early on in the year."
Along the same lines, Scott Graham proposed holding a retreat for the VPs from all councils, clubs and affiliates. "This would allow us to develop relationships and communicate," he said.
In order to be accessible, Christina Gural said if elected she would hold established office hours so students could talk, either on the phone or in person, about their concerns. "I would always be there to answer [students'] questions."
Citing one of the recommendations from Operation Face-Lift, Saj Butt proposed to visit residences and affiliated colleges. He would also put up a "gripe wall" where students could write and express their concerns to the USC. "There could be a question of the week that could be put up and [council] could address these issues and make sure we come and visit in a relaxed atmosphere."
Brian Astl agreed there should be meetings with affiliated colleges once a month. "They could find out what's going on and ask questions."
Roy Sproxton said there should be a monthly feature by the president in The Gazette and more communication through the Internet.