Volume 91, Issue 69

Friday, January 30, 1998

cheque please


Research and rescue

The University Students' Council presidential elections are officially underway and after one week students should have some sense of who is running, along with the major issues each candidate is addressing.

The question is, do the candidates really know which issues students want to see brought to the forefront and do those running really have a feasible plan to back students' interests?

Before a presidential hopeful even decides to enter a race, it is important that he or she does research. That is a given. However, based on some of the comments made at presidential forums this week, along with promises made in candidate's campaign literature, it seems doubtful that some of their presidential wishes even have a remote chance of coming true.

One necessity when running in an election is for every candidate to ensure their platform promises are feasible. Before candidates vow to take initiatives that, of course, should benefit students, it would only seem logical to investigate whether the concept has been tried before and failed, or if the costs associated with a candidate's plans would make the idea impossible.

Another very important point, especially in the current climate of vital student issues like tuition hikes, plans to oust upper-year students from residences next year and a threatened Orientation Week, candidates need to have a grasp on the most effective ways to negotiate matters with administration. Yep, in case you didn't know by now, members of administration are the real decision-makers at this school – and candidates have to convince their voters that they will make sure the student voice is heard loud and clear in the decision-making process.

If candidates have never been to at least one University Student's Council meeting, Senate meeting and Board of Governors meeting for the university, how can they really be in touch with the issues being discussed among students and administrators?

When it comes to promises made within the USC corporation, research and feasibility should also be top priority. Candidates should talk to the managers of USC operations – see where money in the capital budget should really be spent. Ask employees what they would like to see the USC president do to improve student operations, before proposing ideas to spend money in new places.

These are all things students, as voters, should really keep in mind before being too quick to accept a bright and sassy sales pitch from a candidate. Go to the forums, talk to the candidates, express your concerns and demand answers – USC presidential candidates should be up for the challenge, because it's a long road ahead.

To Contact The Editorial Department: gazed@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998