Volume 90, Issue 82

Wednesday, February 19, 1997



Shuffling VPs not necessary

Re: USC elections

To the Editor:

As I read this year's coverage of the USC presidential election and the candidate's web pages, it was interesting to see that the issue of shuffling vice presidential duties has come up again. I question whether or not those candidates advocating these changes have thoroughly researched their material on the matter.

Researching to be USC president entails more than just looking at the status quo of the day, reading some old Gazettes or having a meeting with Jim Walden. Research of this kind requires careful reflection on how the USC arrived at where it is today and determining why it got there. It is not forward thinking to assume the model is broken because it may not be working effectively.

In 1990-91, the USC underwent a massive restructuring on both the political and the corporate fronts. The VP-external was eliminated and merged into the presidency. The VP-student issues was created as a political position to deal specifically with student advocacy on social justice issues and would work with the president in the closely linked areas of academics, student services and lobbying issues (hence the VP-issues' membership on the External Affairs Committee).

Re-introducing the VP-external was rejected by council in 1992 and introduction of a VP-academic has been rejected on numerous occasions in lieu of beefing up the responsibilities of first, the Academic Affairs Commissioner and then, the Academic Affairs Officer. It has been suggested that the issues of the VP-issues could be merged into, for example, the communications portfolio. Communications is essentially the PR and publications backbone of the USC and is a portfolio with strong links to the operational side of the USC (CHRW, The Gazette, TV Western). The type of people interested in communications and political advocacy issues are usually not the same, nor do they possess the same abilities or take the same focus.

Issues are not internal. They are inherently political in nature and require an advocate. One would not necessarily have the editorial cartoonist write the editorial – this is a far more simple comparison but illustrates the same issue. Continuous alteration of vice-presidential duties does nothing to ensure that the future needs of students are appropriately and effectively met. Improving outreach and involvement does.

Jeremy Adams
VP-student issues 1994-95

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997