Volume 94, Issue 97

Friday, March 23, 2001


3-yr. degree revision hot topic at Senate

Literacy linked to income

London and Western communities get together at the breakfast table

Calgary wants photo IDs for panhandlers

USC promises a fruitful listening tour

McMaster measles scare prompts clinics


Is it time to opt-in to the USC?

His Royal Mintiness

USC promises a fruitful listening tour

By Lindsay Mattick
Gazette Staff

With the University Students' Council Listening Tour finally underway, USC brass is promising that what they hear while on tour will not fall on deaf ears.

According to Chris Sinal, VP-student affairs, the goal of the tour is to solicit feedback from students and to help give direction to next year's council. Several members of the current board, incoming board and various councillors will be participating in the forum, which will be open to all students.

Sinal emphasized he hopes the forums will focus on constructive criticism for the council. He said various groups on campus have been invited to hold forums during the tour, including clubs, commissioners, residence councils, faculty, and affiliated colleges.

USC president-elect Mike Lawless, said the tour's success will depend on how people see it. "If people see it as a venue to come forward and talk about past problems, then the tour may not be progressive – we want to hear where the USC should go based on the problems of the past."

"We hope to know where we've been and where we're going," Sinal said.

Lawless added it is also important the USC not use the tour as a platform for justifying all their actions. "We need to keep in mind that this is a listening tour," he said.

Andrew Kestleloot, the USC's charity commissioner, commended the council on its initiative, saying the tour is desperately needed. "The council is there to serve students, any input – positive or negative – is valuable."

But some students said while the tour may reach a handful of people, they were skeptical about the real usefulness of the idea. Sonia Genovese, a third-year biology student said she probably would not use the forum. "A lot of what is said to the council goes unheard anyways," she said.

Third-year health science student Anita Shah, said she questioned the format of the tour and said she suspects students may find it intimidating. "I think that having a public, open forum will make students less likely to speak out, they might not feel comfortable," she said.

But Lawless said he believes the timing of the tour is excellent. "It's great to have it at the end of the year, so the outgoing board can understand their strengths and weaknesses, and so the incoming board can have a base to go forward from," he said.

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