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USC grills hopefulls
By John Intini
With saliva dripping from their mouths, the University Students' Council seemed to transform into wolves last night nine of the USC presidential hopefuls provided the fresh meat.
One of the tougher questions came from Scott Belton, Saugeen-Maitland Hall's USC representative, who questioned the students on the recently completed first-year caucus report. The report surveyed the pulse of this year's group of first-years and made a number of recommendations for council. Belton asked the candidates to choose their favourite part of the report and explain how if elected, they would implement the idea.
Third-year political science student Dave Braun described the report as an eye-opener. He said the most important thing he took from it was the issue of off-campus representation. However, he did concede the difficult nature of the problem. "It's a very complex issue to implement and takes the Board sitting down to talk about it," he said.
First-year honours business administration student Dave Brebner identified four main points in the report. One of which was the importance of keeping orientation week a week. His solution was to ensure the USC remained on the same page as administration on the week's importance.
Jeff Brown, a third-year English student, said the importance of school cohesion regarding affiliates and councils was a vital part of the report. He said there is not currently a liaison for the three affiliates."We have to encourage people in first-year and in second-year to sit on these councils," he said.
Fourth-year kinesiology student Mitch Chiba said the O-week portion of the report tied in nicely with his platform. "We have to let administration know what we have is a really good thing," he said, adding he would use surveys to illustrate how important the first-years found the experience.
Neil Kapoor, a fourth-year administrative and commercial studies student, said there were two main issues he took from the project the importance of implementing a long-term plan for off-campus students and improving the promotion of services offered by the USC.
Ray Novak, a fourth-year political science student\, said the most important thing in the report was the underlying tone of increasing information. Novak spoke of the importance of implementing a number of the cost-effective and simple ideas in the report, including "to-do" checklists for first-years to ease the transition. "It is small but yet so crucial," he said.
Luke Petrykowski, a second-year biology student, also noted the issues of the report were similar to many in his campaign. He said his plan for an office of the student advocate would make students aware of the resources available.
Taylor Pressey, a fourth-year political science student, took a step away from the political soap box and conceded his lack of knowledge on the topic. "You busted me with my pants down and I am not going to stand up here and lie to you."
Fourth-year ACS student Jeff Sutton said one of his solutions to this problem of bringing affiliates closer was his buddy system plan in which members of the USC match with similar positions on affiliate councils.
Fraser Connell was not in attendance at the forum.