Volume 95, Issue 5

Friday, September 7, 2001
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Western Pie - our cast of characters

The Gazette: covering everything that counts

Laugh, drink, smoke, study, spew...

How to be the best bunk buddies

Bitch List: Five w's of the last great art

Answers to all your UWO FAQs

Money? Kiss it all goodbye

Getting a 'piece' of Western pie

An outsider's guide to becoming a UWO insider

Can you say Operation Massive?

Academics, remember them?

Can you say Operation Massive?

Pretend government: A guide to the USC

Dave Van Dyck/Gazette
University Students' Council big wigs train for their future careers by clogging frosh arteries everywhere. From left to right are VPs Sera Vavala, Wes Brown, Erin McCloskey, Rob Irvine and USC president, Mike Lawless.

By Chris Lackner
and Kristina Lundblad

Gazette Staff

They may seem like some far-reaching secret society bent on taking over the world and eliminating its supply of chocolate, but the University Students' Council actually exists to help meet your needs and defend your interests throughout your tenure as an undergraduate at Western.

Charity Ball, Homecoming and Orientation week are only the beginning of a long list of events and services the USC provides on campus. Their hands touch almost everything and the politicos in room 340 of the University Community Centre always need a helping hand to pull off their magic. If you want to pad the old resume, become a USC volunteer.

The USC is spear-headed by a Board of Directors, which is composed of a president, four vice-presidents, a communications officer and a legal affairs officer, all of whom are responsible for overseeing the many councillors, commissioners and volunteers who make up the USC.

Mike Lawless is this year's USC president. He's the big man on campus; the king-pin of the student world. Including previous experience as the president of King's College, he is a music aficionado and will be playing at the Spoke for charity on Friday afternoons. Armed with a "Clintonesque" charm (minus the embarrassing intern scandal – at least up to this point), Lawless is the official student voice in dealings with Western's administration, staff and faculty, as well as municipal, provincial and federal governments.

In charge of keeping the peace between Western's multitude of individuals, clubs and interest groups, is Sera Vavala, VP-campus issues. Her position involves being calm, diplomatic and understanding in the face of the consistent barrage of itching, bitching and twitching which finds its home on campus each and every year. She's kind of like the United Nations – she's a mediator of disputes. We can only hope she's more effective than the real UN.

The VP-student affairs is Wes Brown – a non-stop comedy routine, with a contagious smile. His personality will serve him well in putting a little spirit and vitality into Western events such as Homecoming and Charity Ball. Last year, under VP-SA Chris Sinal, the USC lost $30,000 at a single event, so Brown has a lot to live up to. This year, we hear they're aiming for a $50,000 loss.

Erin McCloskey, VP-education, has a sweet exterior, but will be fiery and tough as nails when it comes to fighting for student concerns and post-secondary education. She's the gal who will go mano e mano with our MPs, MPPs and our OPPs. Her wealth of knowledge and prestigious position as president of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance will help enhance her profile and influence in the VP-education position.

The man in charge of the $65.80 you paid in student fees this year is Rob Irvine, the VP-finance. Also doubling as a poster-boy for a country club, it will be up to him to balance the books and make sure the dollars are going to all the right places. It's an integral role – no one wants to see all our student money being wasted on hookers and black-jack.

Tim Shortill is the communications officer on this year's council. He's the information backbone of the USC, serving as a network between all levels of council. Shortill finished second to Lawless in last year's USC presidential election campaign, so man, he's got to be bitter. To alleviate his pain, the USC has given his position a five-figure raise. Nice.

Shelby Anderson is the newly anointed legal affairs officer, dealing with all the legal and corporate issues the USC faces. Remember, just because she's in law, doesn't necessarily mean she's completely evil. She's there to protect the USC's interests, who are there to protect your own.

Further information on the USC can be found at www.usc.uwo.ca or give them a call at 661-3574.

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