Volume 93, Issue 31

Tuesday, October 26, 1999


Students can reform the USC's role

LSAT isn't all about intelligence

Students can reform the USC's role

To the Editor:

Several weeks ago, the University Students' Council massively defeated a resolution put forth by a social sciences councillor to limit the power of executives to raise their own pay.

Although most of the arguments put forth at the meeting amounted to nothing more than insults, several arguments need to be addressed.

The USC executive argued that the resolution was unnecessary because this sort of thing hardly ever happens. In reality, the USC has raised its own pay several times in the last few years (sometimes retroactively).

They were always done at the end of the year at a time when students had no chance to respond and they were always justified by the argument that so-and-so had done a good job. If this executive claims to have no intention of repeating such behaviour, why does it object to resolutions that give students the power to stop them?

The executive argued that they are elected to make these sorts of decisions. This is only partially true. USC councillors are indeed elected to make decisions, but these decisions are supposed to be about serving the students, not themselves. USC types have to realize that they are, in effect, employees of the students.

In the real world, it is bosses who decide if their employees will get a pay raise or bonus for a job well done. The employees don't vote up their own salaries! But perhaps the most revealing argument about the attitude that is prevalent in the USC executive offices is that students aren't "informed" enough – that they are too "busy" to deal with such issues.

Such attitudes are not only typical of political elites, but really only disguise the fact that they are afraid to be judged for their actions.

They know that when students see their student fees increasing year after year, the huge amount of money the USC keeps losing and the increasing irrelevance of the USC to average students, that they might not get that bonus they so obviously deserve. As students, you now have a chance to respond to this attitude in next week's by-elections.

Today and tomorrow during the social sciences elections, you have an opportunity to send a message to the USC that accountability is important to you. Take the opportunity to talk to your candidates and vote for those who are willing to stand up for greater accountability, lower student fees and a USC that serves you.

Pablo Frank
UWO Reform Club

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Copyright The Gazette 1999