Volume 95, Issue 58

Wednesday, January 16, 2002
Search the Archives:
Tips for searching
Campus and Culture
Submit Letter
Contact Us
About the Gazette


The poor taste store called, they're all out of you

Politics - a la Jimmy Osap

Politics - a la Jimmy Osap

Unabridged Unexpurgated
Marcus Maleus
Opinions Editor

Ever since I learned it involved power, 20-year-old interns, Cuban cigars, fancy wine and unnecessary smiles, I was interested in politics.

Then I went to university.

My first week of school I discovered this thing called 'University Students' Council.'

I found it was the sort of place where people learned all about politics, in a 'Monopoly' sort of way – everything is pretend. You have pretend power, pretend friends, make pretend decisions and have pretend respect from administration.

It reminded me of the time when I was four and I dressed up my kitty-cat like former United States president Ronald Reagan.

"Ronald, stop meowing! We're trying to make a budget here!"

"Ronny, cut it out, those are Vice President George Bush's balls, not a scratching post!"

Being in my fourth-year of a politics degree, I've learned that handshakes and "I owe ya one's" are a lot more powerful than promises and principles.

I must, however, admit that I have a soft spot for student politics.

I would hate to see a university run solely by administration. In order for the governed to be happy with their governors, they must have a say in how they are governed. Capiche?

Unfortunately, student politics at Western has become more about portfolio padding and drunken, "no, let me jerk you off" pubs than worrying about what's going on in Jimmy Osap's mind on Monday mornings.

If anyone understands what I'm saying, it's engineering students. Administration has shown time and again that a few drunken lolligaggers are more than capable of shitting on the reputation of an otherwise well-behaved, fun-loving faculty.

How about CentreSpot prices? No student politician wants to take initiative in cutting back the price of cream cheese. Why would they? Why reduce the prices in administration-run food outlets when that means increased competition with USC-food outlets?

As much as The Gazette, makes fun of student government mishaps such as Operation Massive, I have to respect those politicians that don't just dilly-dally around the University Community Centre not taking any risks, studying for their LSATs, ironing their ties and waiting for their laminated resumes to come back from Inprint.

Let's face it – student politics should be about learning about politics. And the best way to learn about anything is to screw up big-time. As long as student politicians write detailed final reports after their mishaps, I think screw-ups are great.

Let me remind you – Operation Massive's $30,000 mishap equals about $1.40 per undergrad student (that's about half a beer per year kiddos).

The worst-case student politics scenario we could have is some pretentious, egomaniac bullshitter who pretends to do anything, while in reality, doing nothing for one year just so he can go work at General Motors for the rest of his life.

To Contact The Opinions Department:

Copyright The Gazette 2001