Volume 94, Issue 63

Tuesday, January 16, 2001


Editorial Board 2000-2001

A new GM for the USC

Editorial Cartoon

A new GM for the USC

As of yesterday, the University Students' Council began a new chapter in its ongoing history. A new general manager was named in Mark Sellars. And with the newly named GM comes a host of duties and responsibilities in serving the interest of students at this campus.

It's the new year of a new millennium and the USC now has a new GM, one whose role within the USC is undoubtedly large. The GM, who in effect acts as an overseer and adviser to the Board of Directors, has a lot to learn before the academic year is done, but whose influence will be felt before we know it.

The GM acts as a sort of glue that provides continuity to a Board that changes each year. One board's goals could, in theory, be scrapped altogether the following year, but the GM is there to ensure that the USC is fiscally responsible to the students year-in and year-out.

And yet despite the overwhelming importance that will be placed on his shoulders, the position of GM is not one that has historically been known to have a high profile among students. Ask your average Joe or Jane Western if they know the names of anyone employed by the USC and they'll be more likely to name the USC president, if anyone at all.

Seeing as how it's the GM who acts as a provider of continuity to the USC, and how Mr. Sellars will more than likely be around for a substantial amount of time, it is in students' interest to find out more about the role he'll play. The new GM doesn't necessarily need to raise his personal profile within the student community, but the USC should create some sense of awareness of this position.

Students should take a keen interest in this position, because it is one that can have a profound influence on the ultimate decisions made by the board. The GM may weigh-in heavily on everything from legal matters to what sorts of services the USC offers.

The USC can be a very complicated organization – a Board of Directors that is completely fresh-faced is ushered in every 12 months, a relationship with the school's administration that can blow up at any given moment – are things that make the tasks of the GM critical, to say the least.

Add to this a duty to help maintain fiscal responsibility and a commitment to the bottom line, but all the while encouraging quality services for students. The GM has a daunting task to perform, and must do it with the savvy of a politician and the skill of a businessman.

It's a role that's easily overlooked in the grand scheme of things. But students must not leave the GM stone unturned when they endeavour to find out more about their USC. Sellars' influence will be felt for years to come and its up to the students who pay his salary to make sure the corporation under which he is employed is steered in the right direction.

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