Volume 92, Issue 71
Wednesday, February 3, 1999
Suurkask hopes to sweep council clean
By Neil Malhotra
Sweeping up and cleaning up is what self-proclaimed pragmatist Kalev Suurkask would like to do with the University Students' Council should he be elected as council president.
"I'm going to come in and clean house," he said, adding his proposed schedule is based around a triple-A team plan of approachability, accountability and adaptability.
In researching his platform, Suurkask said he found it hard to gain information as a typical student. "If you're not on the inside, you cannot get information," he said, adding an approachable council is important in determining the direction of the USC as a corporation. "People need to be comfortable talking with the council student input is important."
For instance, Suurkask said he is opposed to a single-source beverage deal where only one beverage company would supply the university with its products, but would like to hear feedback from the student body. "I'd support it as long as the student interests are seen above corporate interests," he said.
Suurkask also said he would like to see USC meetings rotate venues around campus to promote attendance, but he said he felt better promotion is needed to make the system more effective. "Nobody knew about [the meetings] the USC's job is to get [that information] out there."
In addition to this, he said he believes accountability could be increased by publishing an itemized budget on the internet. He said he hopes having the information available and accessible will help spark public debate on where the USC needs to increase spending or make cut-backs. He has pledged to take the first step by promising to return 20 per cent of his presidential salary to the operating budget.
The final "A" of Suurkask's platform is to have an adaptable council. He hopes to assess problems by taking in different consideration for each one. In addition, he would like to see special interest groups have better representation in decision making.
Suurkask, a first-year student, said he feels his lack of experience on campus is what helps him stand out from the other candidates. He added it is important that he will be here for several years after his presidential term would be up.
In addition, Suurkask said he believes he has not been a student at Western long enough to be influenced by the current USC status quo. "I'm coming with a new perspective and I'll move in a new direction."
Copyright © The Gazette 1999