Volume 93, Issue 77

Wednesday, February 16, 2000


Cesspool of information

The only constant in life

The only constant in life

"Change if necessary, but not necessarily change."

Leave it to ex-presidential candidate Fraser Connell to encapsulate this year's University Students' Council presidential elections.

Apparently, the student body decided major changes weren't necessary. Among all the candidates, Dave Braun proposed the least amount of USC remodelling. His postition as the representative of the status quo, actually served to make him a unique candidate this year. He'd already seen the top of the mountain and to him, things didn't seem all that bad.

His antithesis came in the forms of the fiery Ray Novak and the Jim Baker-esque Luke Petrykowski. They set the tone for the entire campaign. Novak's well-researched and borderline radical ideas, along with Petrykowski's befuddling, sometimes angering, performances influenced every other candidate. Well, almost every other candidate.

Instead of approachability and accessibility, we had cries of challenge and change. All the long shot candidates tried to carve their own niche, proposing their own changes or their own take on someone else's proposals. Suddenly everyone saw "the change that was necessary." Except, of course, the eventual victor.

Braun's refusal to bend from his easy-going, "Things aren't that bad" stance made him unique. This, coupled with a strong résumé and an incredibly charismatic nature, made him your next USC president.

So now what? Vice-president elections will soon follow and it would seem Braun's victory signals the winds of change will not blow so hard in these elections. Petrykowski and Novak have already declared their lack of interest in VP positions and with their spirits removed, "the change movement" loses almost all power. With the leaders gone, the followers are left to find their own way.

The 5,600 students who voted, decided change wasn't necessary. The other 23,000 decided things were good enough they didn't have to worry about voting. The buses are still running, the Spoke still serves lunch and Orientation Week still exists. Everything is fine here on planet Gap, so why mess with the system?

There's a better question we should be asking ourselves right now – how long can we carry on smiling and patting ourselves on the backs before our status quo's flaws prove the whole structure to be in disrepair? The status quo is a dangerous thing – the flaws in the USC which this campaign pointed out must be addressed.

So, Mr. Braun, to you, a hearty congratulations for a well-deserved victory. You now have your work cut out for you. Sixteen hundred people voted for you, but another 4,000 voted otherwise. Shortly after your victory was announced you told me that addressing the concerns of those 4,000, in addition to those who did not vote, would be a priority.

Don't forget that. Change may not be necessary now, but, eventually, it will be.

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