VP hopefuls will strut their stuff
By Kevin Gale
The presidential election has planted the seed for next year's University Students' Council Board of Directors and it is now time for the vice-presidential branches to grow.
This year the 16 candidates running for four USC VP posts will try to convince councillors why they should join president-elect Ryan Parks atop the USC governmental tree.
The branch with the heaviest weight is that of VP-student issues, with five candidates who will have to deal with a split between the internal and external aspects of the portfolio, with the addition of the federal and provincial commissioners and equity officer.
Running for the position are Ben Thornton, student senator and 'Yes' side co-ordinator for this year's dental plan referendum and his 'No' counterpart and social science representative Brad Johnston. Rounding out the list are social science representatives Karen Richards and Sam Castiglione, who is currently a work-study assistant for current VP-issues, Chris Walsh. Helen Simpson, a student who ran for an at-large Senate seat in the October byelections, is the fifth candidate.
Candidates who will be responsible for ensuring all the leaves are accounted for in the VP-finance position, currently held by Chris Keith, boast an affiliate flavour with King's College VP-finance Lucy Pinheiro and former King's president Douglas Fry. The two will contest Saugeen-Maitland residents' council president Sean Martin and municipal affairs commissioner Scott Graham, who are both student senators. This portfolio will be adjusted with the addition of the student employment commissioners from the issues portfolio.
Next on the list is the budding position of VP-communications, which will end its first year of full-time duty under the direction of Jerry Topolski. Taking control of the USC airwaves and overseeing the new community youth involvement one-to-one program could be USC promotions commissioner Kevin Mol, King's College president Daan DeKerpel or USC chief returning officer James Deans.
Alcohol awareness is the new item on the VP-student affairs agenda, the position currently held by Scott Sullivan. Medway Hall residence don Saj Butt, clubs officer Chris Graham, orientation officer Meghan Symsyk and former Medway Hall president Mark Smiley, will duke it out to see who helps govern next year's O-week and keeps the 100-plus campus clubs in order.
A public forum for all candidates will be held on March 14 at noon in the University Community Centre's atrium and council will select the candidates on March 22 at the USC annual general meeting.