Zakova jazzin' up USC candidacy
By Sharon Navarro
In the face of rising tuition costs, University Students' Council presidential candidate Jarmila Zakova believes she has the solutions to "put the jazz back into the Western experience."
Woven into the fabric of Zakova's campaign are elements of increased communication, an integrated community and teamwork. "I think it's very important for the USC president to understand the needs of the students and to be visible within the Western and London community," she said.
In an attempt to combat the prospect of rising tuition, Zakova said if elected, she intends to perform a cost analysis of the USC budget and push for mediation with the administration to re-allocate student funds where they are needed most. "It's all about managing money and we must begin internally and lobby the administration before the provincial and federal government."
Complimenting her proposal to fight rising tuition, Zakova also plans to implement a purple pride card. "In a time when budgets are tight, I want to help put money back into student pockets," she said. Zakova would like the card to be offered to every undergraduate student and when used at USC operations or services, students would receive points for valuable discounts on future purchases.
One of Zakova's main platform ideas involves a "living web" network geared at integrating first-year students into the Western community. The program would pair all first-year students with an upper-year student and alumni member of their respective faculty to offer academic guidance and advice.
Because of student complaints regarding dial-in modem access through university accounts, Zakova promises to increase the number of modems available to students.
She would also like to increase Western's interaction with Fanshawe College and the London community. Through her proposed "town-gown relations" program she intends on facilitating discussion with the community and the students.
"By talking with our London neighbours they can become more knowledgeable of student issues and it can put us in a more informed light with their concerns," she said.
Zakova said she is in favour of the proposed student bus pass but is exploring the possibility of an opt-out option for students who do not need the pass. "In order to decrease the cost of the bus pass for students who do not opt-out, I plan on mediating with the London Transit Commission for a financial compromise," Zakova said.
"In the end, I think it's all about having enthusiasm, working hard and having fun with what you are doing."