Volume 96, Issue 8
Wednesday, September 11, 2002

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The USC gets its own Ally
Could mean elimination of student position

By Kelly Marcella
Gazette Staff

The hiring of a lawyer by the University Students' Council could lead to the elimination of a position held by a student official.

This past summer the USC hired Bev Greene to act as general counsel to oversee all of the USC's legal work. According to Greene, her portfolio includes issues of risk management, liability and contract law, as well as dealing with Western administration.

The new position affects the portfolio of the legal affairs officer, a part-time USC position held by a law student.

With the hiring of a lawyer, it is likely the position of LAO will be re-evaluated over the next year, said USC general manager Mark Sellars.

"Right now, the LAO is quite busy and if this is any indication as to the importance of the position, it doesn't appear to have changed dramatically," Sellars said, adding it is too early to determine the future of the position.

Sellars said the general counsel and LAO have different aspects to their portfolios and there is enough work for both positions.

Although he said he felt the hiring of a general counsel could make the LAO position redundant, current legal affairs officer Anatoly Dvorkin said his position has only been affected minimally.

"It really hasn't affected my position because there's enough work for us to do," Dvorkin said. "It's a transition year for the position, but it seems it has made the position more involved."

Dvorkin said the legal aspect of the corporation still falls under his portfolio and, thus, he and Greene have been working closely together.

According to Dvorkin, the position of general counsel has had a positive impact on the LAO because it has given the opportunity for a law student to work with a mentoring lawyer.

"USC bylaws, Wet/Dry [cards] and USC elections are still my responsibility," Dvorkin said, adding the general counsel is doing work the LAO normally would not.

"I don't really see the role of the LAO [diminishing], but to be frank, I don't know," said Chris Sinal, University Students' Council president, noting the appointment of the USC general counsel could affect the future of the LAO position.

Dvorkin said the future of the position is likely to be evaluated within the next year, however, he doesn't foresee any major changes.

Greene graduated from the University of Toronto and completed her law degree at the University of Windsor. She has worked at Western previously in legal services in Housing and Ancillary Services, as a lawyer and as an executive assistant to VP-administration Peter Mercer.

"It's terrific. It really rounds out what you can learn and do since I'm working with the students," Greene said of her new position.

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2002 THE GAZETTE