Volume 90, Issue 95

Tuesday, March 25, 1997



A new slew of veeps on board

By Kevin Gale and James Pugsley
Gazette Staff

The University Students' Council did the VP-shuffle Saturday at the second-half of their annual general meeting.

In the afternoon portion of the day-long meeting, incoming and outgoing councillors cast their ballots to elect four new vice-presidents out of 15 candidates.

Newly-elected VP-student affairs Meghan Symsyk said she was impressed with the passion shown by her fellow victors and she is excited about the potential of next year's USC Board of Directors.

"I think each new Board member has strength in their own portfolio and I know each has the utmost integrity to do their job."

Symsyk won her position on the third ballot, earning 56 of 99 first place votes – 12 more than runner-up Saj Butt.

In her campaign, Symsyk outlined her goals to improve the promotion of numerous events on campus by creating a student package outlining Western's entertainment and activities through the year.

Symsyk said she was grateful to win the job, but added she is ready to assume her role on council. "I'm looking forward to some good debates and working together as a team to represent the students."

The feeling was mutual for new VP-communications James Deans.

"This Board has a lot of character and is very passionate and driven," Deans said. "[The electees] have got a boost of new enthusiasm and that is good for the USC in general because it will have a trickle-down effect upon council."

Deans said he wants to get more students involved with the USC by organizing a stronger communication link between faculty and residence councils.

Sam Castiglione emerged as the winner of the position of VP-student issues. "A top priority will be to maintain the balance I suggested. There are real equity issues on this campus to deal with but we can't ignore the student concerns at the federal and provincial levels." Castiglione earned 56 of 98 councillor votes on the third ballot.

Castiglione said he would like to see the new Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance director focus on policy lobbying efforts. "OUSA is on the right track but the recruitment efforts should be delegated to the member schools," he said.

The VP-finance position was won by Lucy Pinheiro, who finished with 71 of a possible 99 votes on the first ballot. She said the position will be more visible next year, adding one of the first things she will do next fall is promote the recently-ratified budget to gain student feedback.

She said internally she will focus on getting representation on her committees from all areas of campus.

President-elect Ryan Parks said team building is a priority now that VPs have been selected. "[The VPs] have a wealth of experience. They have proven their dedication in the past," he said. "We should work well together."

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

Copyright The Gazette 1997