Volume 94, Issue 9

Thursday, September 14, 2000


NEWS

USC elections could get facelift

Frank sets sights on UWO prof

Council hops aboard new campaign

USC and Health Unit target drinking

Student leaders fight for more federal support

Briefs

USC elections could get facelift

By Chris Lackner

Gazette Staff



A new University Students' Council initiative was proposed at last night's USC meeting which, if passed, would eliminate some of the restrictions placed upon candidates during USC elections.

Shelley Black, assistant legal affairs officer for the USC, said the proposal is based on changes to USC Bylaw 2, which pertains to the elections.

"The first thing we'd like to accomplish is a re-structuring of the document," she explained. "It needs to be clearer and logically flowing. It also has to be updated due to the new on-line voting procedures. The third proposal concerns campaigning rules. They still need to be regulated, but candidates need more flexibility."

Black said the proposal took into consideration the election policies of student councils at other universities, combined with the concerns and problems expressed by previous elections candidates at Western.

"Previous elections have been restricted to the point of being ridiculous," she said. "We need a structure more consistent with the spirit of Western. These proposals will make it easier for candidates to get their message out."

Black said some of the issues the proposal hoped to address were the elimination of restrictions on advertising, poster size and campaign teams. She added council members would vote on the proposed changes at next week's meeting.

"Candidates need more flexibility in selling themselves," Black said. "We're just changing some of the details that have hindered candidates in previous elections."

USC president Dave Braun said the changes would make election campaigns more effective. "We're taking the strait-jackets off candidates," he said.

Jeff Sutton, USC VP-education, said he was in full support of getting rid of the various electoral restrictions. "Speaking as a former presidential candidate, the old policies were extremely restricting. They were so tight they didn't allow candidates any creativity unless they wanted to suck up their allotted points and fines."

Jeffery Clayman, the USC legal affairs officer, explained the document had to be updated to increase voter turnout. "We'd like to get things in place before the upcoming October elections for the Senate and Board of Governors. We need to allow candidates to really get access to the students."

"This proposal will bring about a more liberal approach to campaigning. It's something refreshing that this university needed," Black said.




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