All quiet on the Western front
By Sara Marett
The University Students' Council presidential Olympics got off to a slow start yesterday as the first all-candidates' forum took place at Brescia College with a small crowd and a short question period.
The five candidates were present with platform literature in hand and shaky nerves, but the audience consisted mostly of campaign team members eager to learn the opposition's strategies. Some Brescia students did attend the forum, but only one stepped forward to ask the candidates a question.
While unveiling their election platforms, the main issue candidates repeatedly addressed was the need to unite all of Western's student councils to present a united voice when dealing with the administration.
Candidate Warren Tilston began with a dramatic explanation of why this initiative is important. "Think of the political power we would have as a united voice it would be heavenly," he said.
Ian Armour stated his opposition to the existing hierarchy between the students and the USC and said it is important more students, particularly those at the affiliate colleges, be aware of what is going on within the USC. He proposed holding USC meetings in different locations around campus and having increased promotion for council activities.
Jarmila Zakova stressed the importance of the student voice in decisions made by the administration. She identified tuition increases and changes to Western's residences and orientation week as issues students should be consulted about. "Frosh week is your week, you pay for it and you should be able to do what you want with it," she said.
As a current Senator, Brett Slade said he recognized the importance of internal lobbying by students and proposed a "Speakers Corner" booth as a means of hearing students' concerns.
Although he had to leave the forum early to write an exam, Peter Hill did take the opportunity to introduce students to his "Popmart tour" platform and urged students to take advantage of the USC a giant shopping mart of services and opportunities.
Brescia Students' Council President Amy Babcock said she wished more questions had been asked, but said most students have not yet seen the candidates' literature, so they are unsure of their platforms.