Volume 92, Issue 53

Tuesday, December 8, 1998



Cousineau conquers campus

As Western's Wonder Woman, Melissa Cousineau has conquered many a battle in her first term as powerful planner for the student alliance. Together with the rest of the University Students' Council league, Cousineau has enjoyed and succeeded in providing a voice for the students she represents.

Settling comfortably into her niche as VP-student affairs, Melissa Cousineau's conquest to get the student body involved through the organization of clubs and event planning has started off on the right foot.

So far this year, Cousineau joined forces with her other council cronies in a desperate plight to salvage Orientation Week – and won. While responsible for organizing O-week, it was unbeknownst to Cousineau that she would also be fighting for its existence.

Cousineau summoned allies of alumni and students to save O-week from the wrath of administration and their idea of a Wednesday move-in for first-year students.

"I can leave this job saying I made Western a better place by establishing another orientation plan and getting a commitment from administration," she said.

Cousineau said her euphemistic title of "VP-fun" holds true, although sometimes it is difficult to be a problem solver for over 100 clubs and an entourage of almost 20 commissioners.

"I just love it," she said, of her job so far. "It really teaches you how to prioritize because there are so many things to juggle."

Looking at Cousineau's election platform, it seems she has overwhelmingly accomplished or at least is working on what she said she would. However, her idea to pursue corporate sponsorship for students' events fell by the wayside. "That's one area where I was naive when I came in," she said.

Cousineau had said in her platform she wanted to strengthen relations with alumni. While working on an alumni directory and a USC alumni committee, Cousineau plans to achieve this goal.

A new volunteer commissioner has helped to streamline the volunteer application process and Cousineau has also increased opportunities for first-year students by postponing some committee selections from March until September. In addition, all programming committees now have a standard selection procedure. "It just seemed to make it a little more fair," she said.

Shinerama, Cousineau said, could not have been any better this year, as the campaign grossed over $100,000 for Cystic Fibrosis. "It was another major success of this portfolio."

Although she has her work cut out for her in the new year, Cousineau said the job is everything she thought it would be and more.

"I don't even call this work– it's fun."

Future Battles

- Work on long-term pilot projects and consider programming for O-Week 2002, when most first-year students will be under age
- Alter programming and "spike things up a little" so a variety of events are taking place around campus
- Develop the Western Affairs Network so executives from faculties and residences can interact
- Continuing to work on a user-friendly alumni directory
- Working to reconstruct the head Soph selection process

To Contact The News Department: gazette.news@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998