Volume 94, Issue 80

Wednesday, February 14, 2001


NEWS

Presidential voting demands answers

Change of fortune for Napster

Online learning focus of new fed committee

Dyer predicts democratic China in 10 years

Students shocked by high hydro bills

Briefs

Couch potatoes get no respect: study

Students say credit is no good

School dress code could be the norm

His Royal Mintiness

Presidential voting demands answers

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

Western students are logging on and voting for the University Students' Council elections in droves, both to elect a new leader and tell the USC where it should be headed.

As of yesterday at around 5 p.m., approximately 2,100 students had voted in the USC presidential election, according to USC deputy returning officer Jordan Glick.

"It's been very positive so far and we're expecting an evening flourish," he said.

Included on this year's ballot is a pre-election survey compiled by USC communications officer Jaime Notman. The 32-question survey covers topics ranging from voters' involvement with the USC, their opinion of the university's services, and what they want from the USC.

The survey is part of the USC's larger long-term strategic plan, Notman said. "It's a really good place to start – to find out what people's wants and needs are," she said. "It will be a good collection of data with which to start next year's council. It should identify any problems, and focus the Board a little bit more.

"I hope people do it – it'll only take about three minutes to do," she added.

In addition to the 2,100 ballots cast, approximately 840 surveys have also been filled out, Notman said. Glick explained many students had contacted him to say the survey was too long, however, the overall response has been positive.

"I think it's a great tool for the USC to find out what students are thinking," he said.

USC VP-education and interim president, Jeff Sutton, said the survey is only the first step in the process of outlining a longterm strategic plan. As soon as elections have concluded, he said the USC will begin a listening tour – meeting with groups around campus to hear their concerns about the USC.

The listening tour, originally proposed by USC president Dave Braun, was postponed so as not to conflict with presidential campaigning, Sutton said.

Chair of the Student Caucus on Governance, Neil Kapoor, said he loved the idea of a survey to gauge the thoughts and feelings of students.

"I think it's fantastic that council is directly trying to find out what students think," he said. "I think the results of this survey will clearly convey the attitudes of the student body."

Polls close tonight at 8 p.m. and final results should be released to the public by approximately 10:30 p.m., at the official Election Night Party to be held in The Wave.


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