Volume 90, Issue 78

Wednesday, February 12, 1997



What becomes a candidate most?

By Kevin Gale
Gazette Staff

So what do students actually look for in a University Students' Council president? Someone who takes a stance on issues? A go-getter? How about the best-looking or funniest candidate?

Today is the first day of elections and although a winner has yet to be chosen, students have no doubts about the characteristics they are looking for in their leader.

"He or she has to act like a real politician," said Andy Sit, a second-year philosophy student.

"People who act like a politician get jack squat done," retorted second-year philosophy and English student Norman Corbeil.

Corbeil said a winning candidate must exhibit credibility to the voters early in their campaign. "They should come out the gates and do what they said and maybe even more," he said. "Everyone hates [Ontario premier] Mike Harris but he's getting things done."

Sit said the USC president should be an effective leader, one who takes on new initiatives for students.

The president should also take risks to effect positive change for students, Corbeil said. "I could lobby for some of the things they do if I tried hard enough," he said.

"If they don't look like they have self-confidence then no matter what they tell me, I don't believe they'll stand up for the issues," said Brian Hayes, a fourth-year biology student. Hayes added a candidate should focus his or her platform on issues important to students.

Shannon MacDonald, a third-year administrative and commercial studies student, said the ideal candidate should be aware of what students have to say on issues, rather than just tell them a stance on an issue.

She said it is important that once elected, the candidate fulfil the promises they set out in their campaign. "They should also be well-spoken and know what they're talking about," she added.

"I don't like it when candidates have to read off their points – they should sound sure of themselves," said third-year psychology student Natalie Connolly.

In addition to wanting a candidate who speaks well in front of an audience, Connolly said candidates should be creative in their ideas and how they present them. She added it is important the candidates seem approachable to address student concerns.

To first-year administrative and commercial studies student Jackie Mark, recognition is important. "People who you've seen a million times stand out in my mind. Someone you've seen doing other things."

"They have to take it seriously but also like to have a good time," said Kelly Phillips, a first-year sociology student. "There's nothing worse than a candidate whose ideas are totally unresearched."

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Copyright The Gazette 1997