Volume 94, Issue 76

Wednesday, February 7, 2001


USC prez suitors enter the clubhouse

UBC engineers under fire for prank

Frosh issues come up at Elgin forum

Deadly virus could hit London, health officer warns

Greenall says he's not so green

Tribal council gives their two cents

Prez candidates invade cyber-space

Planet Me

Frosh issues come up at Elgin forum

By Colin Butler and Chris Lackner
Gazette Staff

The questions were fast and furious at last night's University Students' Council presidential forum at Elgin Hall.

Six of the seven candidates addressed numerous questions concerning the USC's role in the lives of Western's first-year students. The only absentee candidate was first-year social science student Tin Maung Htoo.

Third-year political science student Dave Braun said he felt first-year students have three main concerns – social integration, academic performance and money. "I'm the guy to deliver," he said.

Braun said pairing off-campus students with a floor in residence in order to provide them with a direct connection with campus activity could integrate them better. He added off-campus students could also be invited back to continue their connection with a residence throughout the year.

First-year political science student Geoff Greenall said food was the major concern for first-year students at Western.

He suggested the concepts of USC-sponsored pubs and social events, as well as a carnival week involving USC clubs and student bodies, as initiatives which could help bind the campus together.

"We need to invite off-campus students to get out there and meet people from rez," he said.

Third-year history student Mike Lawless stressed the need to develop a USC long-term strategic plan, public opinion polls to gauge student concerns and to develop an annual evaluation of the USC by the students.

"There is so much potential which has been untapped in the USC over the last year," he said. "The USC, as a large body, is lacking in heart."

Lawless also said the USC needs to campaign for the continued security of Orientation Week. "I don't believe it is secure. Every two or three years it comes up again."

Josh Morgan, a third-year political science and economics student, said it is the USC's role to get frosh more involved and help them discover the opportunities available through council. "It's very important," he said. "We're educating the next generation of leaders."

Morgan cited one of his main initiatives as being the creation of a full-time VP-communications, which would assist in developing and ensuring the information network which exists between councils, affiliates, faculties and other campus bodies.

Tim Shortill, a fourth-year political science student, said the USC must play an educational role in the lives of first-year students. He said a USC information tour would be an essential component of making the council relevant to first-year students. "I've given the last year of my life to first year students in my position as orientation officer," he added.

Ryan Windsor, a second-year psychology student, said he recommended that USC volunteers be readily accessible at every residence to ensure two-way communication between the council and its constituents.

Windsor also stressed the importance of closer ties between off-campus and on-campus first-year-students. "We need to build bridges to meet both of their needs."

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