Filling empty SOGS shoes
By Sara Marett
The newly elected president of the Society of Graduate Students may be thrown into her job a little early, but she's prepared with a game plan for the upcoming school year.
Kelly Barrowcliffe was voted in with 39 votes over the weekend to be the 1998-99 SOGS president. However, because of the resignation of current president Helen Roos, Barrowcliffe may start her term as president as early as this Friday.
When Roos resigned March 12, VP-academic Lisa Griffin automatically became interim president until the new presidential term begins May 1. This Thursday however, SOGS council will vote whether to have Griffin as interim president until May 1, or have Barrowcliffe to begin her term immediately.
Barrowcliffe, who is currently VP-external for SOGS, said she is ready to begin her post. Looking ahead to the upcoming school year, she said one of the main aims of SOGS will be to stay politically active. "We've come a long way this year and I don't want us to disappear into the woodwork," she said.
Maintaining the connections SOGS developed this year with President Paul Davenport and VP-academic Greg Moran is something Barrowcliffe would like to do as president. "We need to keep strong ties as far as discussion on academic issues like the deregulation of fees for graduate programs."
Another issue Barrowcliffe plans to address is awareness of SOGS among graduate students. Only 92 of 2,122 graduate students voted in the presidential election on the weekend and Barrowcliffe said this demonstrates the need for greater involvement of graduate students with SOGS.
Barrowcliffe said she would also like to continue to work with the undergraduate students to promote a united front on issues which concern all students. The University Students' Council and SOGS teamed up in January to host the National Day of Action rally to protest tuition hikes.
"We're fighting the same battle and we should work together to make our voices stronger the administration and the government sees weakness in dividedness," she said. Barrowcliffe added she looks forward to working with USC president-elect Ian Armour on initiatives concerning both undergraduate and graduate students.
Armour said he agrees it only makes sense for both groups to work together on issues affecting all students.