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

Is it time to opt-in to the USC?

By Aaron Wherry
News Editor

While much of what takes place on the third floor of the University Community Centre may seem distant and meaningless to the average student, the next six to 10 months may be the most relevant months the University Students' Council has experienced in some time.

The book laid in front of new general manager Mark Sellars was entitled "The Dance of Change." A Hollywood screenwriter couldn't have placed that book any better.

As the University Students' Council elections dragged through the afternoon of last Saturday, Sellars' book seemed the perfect symbol for everything which will most likely occur over the next few months. The seizing of the reigns by a new general manager, perfectly coincides with the swearing in of a new USC Board of Directors. As soon as the new assistant general manager is officially signed on, all the pieces of the puzzle should be in place.

The USC's internal operations – the actual departments and employees who run the services students interact with, seem likely to be altered. A new coach almost always means changes to the team he manages.

New blood may be brought in, methods and procedures changed, services redirected, cancelled or added.

Don't think that will affect you? Consider the following:

– The USC health plan may very well become opt-in, rather than opt-out. Instead of lining up to get your money back, the relatively small number of students who use the plan may have to line up to get in. It's far from guaranteed, but don't let your chin hit the floor if it happens.

– The Wave and The Spoke will have a new manager and most likely a new direction. Will Rick McGhie be out of a job? Hardly. But we will see a new of way of doing business as the USC continues its push to cut costs and turn profits.

– The USC Used Bookstore could also see changes. The university's decision to buy back used books through the Bookstore and the subsequent success of that program should force the USC to reconsider how they run their operation.

– Daycare services and nearly everything in the UCC basement, will also be evaluated to ensure it serves the most number of people in the most cost efficient way.

– On the actual council level, new leaders like VP-education Erin McCloskey and councillor Nicole Nelson, have the skills and the perspective to make what happens every other Wednesday in council chambers meaningful to the average student, who just wants to pass his mid-term next week.

With change comes fear. Fear of the unknown and fear of disrupting the comfort levels many have become used to.

But change, if fair and well informed, can be a good thing. However, students must be ready to make their voices heard. Write letters to the editor, phone president Mike Lawless, go up to the third floor and knock on Sellars' door (it's the first one on the left) – he's tough but fair.

Student apathy this year has been understandable. But everything is up for grabs and it would be a shame if numbers and figures spoke louder than the actual students affected.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000