Volume 93, Issue 24

Wednesday, October 13, 1999


OPINIONS

Saugeen no longer a democracy

Suspensions mean a lot less cash

Envious of Western's school spirit

The absolute last word on clubs week

Who's running this show?

Who's running this show?



While campus buzzes about the recent actions of the administration overlords, the student body may be ignoring problems at the other major level of campus authority.

While administration's faults and unfair actions have been well documented, some fundamental problems within student controlled bodies, remain unnoticed. By looking at the University Students' Council, one could determine the student voice is on shaky ground.

Some light has been shed on the USC's problems recently with the council's request for the resignation of VP-student affairs Steve Zolis due to his violation of a USC by-law stating he must be registered for classes at Western.

Of course the "request" is anything but, as the VP is left with no other option but to step down – which Zolis did.

The fact that a high ranking member of the USC would be asked to resign is not completely abnormal. Last year, the communications officer, Warren Tilston, was more or less forced out of his position shortly before the end of the academic year.

What is most disconcerting is that a supposedly reliable, upstanding member of the student government would only be around a little over a month after the school year has begun. What does this say for the quality of the people we are putting in power?

On a more basic level, such a move lends itself to some extreme instability within the USC. The process must now begin to determine how to replace Zolis. In the meantime, his portfolio and all which falls under it will be neglected and will suffer. One would hope and assume the USC is busily working to prevent any major problems, but at least some chaos is sure to result.

What becomes even harder to determine is who the majority of the blame should fall upon – the USC or Zolis himself?

From one point of view, it was Zolis' responsibility to know the USC by-laws and make sure he was registered for classes and met all other USC guidelines.

On the other hand, his election to the USC was by way of an internal vote. This means the USC should share some part of the blame for electing someone who apparently was not responsible enough to fulfill their duties.

No matter what the case, the Zolis situation is a glaring example of how easily mistakes can fall through the cracks. As a result, students suffer.

The reason such mistakes occur stems from the fact that the USC, in many cases, is not scrutinized enough by students and members of the Western community. Even though members of the USC would surely argue otherwise, there just isn't enough pressure and attention paid to the hugely powerful and important body.

Federal politicians are battered by analysis from the media and voting body and the same tactics should be applied to our student politicians. Their power on this campus easily equals that of the average politician in his or her own riding. The USC should be prepared for the same kind of conditions.

The problems shown in the USC should concern to all students and while we openly blame administration for their faults, we should, even more so, explore the bodies most within our power to change.

Zolis and the USC have let the student body down and even though more scrutiny might not completely prevent such a mistake from happening in the future, it would at least improve the chances that any undue student suffering might be avoided.


To Contact The Opinions Department:
gazette.opinions@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1999