Volume 96, Issue 16
Wednesday, September 25, 2002

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EDITORIAL

Solid USC start

As if Orientation Week and Homecoming weren't enough, this year's University Students' Council wants more – and it's only September.

For the first time in a number of years, the USC Board of Directors recently announced a list of council initiatives and projects for their pending term in office.

In an attempt to determine the feasibility of such initiatives, The Gazette questioned the board on several of their ideas and, accordingly, published our findings.

The results? Surprisingly, so far, so good.

From creating a Queer Services Peer Support Line to lowering soph fees, from negotiating the use of the Western 1 meal card in The Spoke and The Wave to reforming the USC Education Policy, the USC is already acting on several of their "to dos" for the year.

This year's USC board has developed a list of concrete ideas which will, if put into effect, make a positive impact on the average Western student.

Why is this so surprising?

To an outsider, this action by a students' council should seem normal – after all, isn't this the type of thing a council is supposed to be doing all the time?

That's what one would think.

However, after years of "calculated fluff" and broken promises, this is the most action the typical Western student – who pays hefty student fees to the USC – has seen in years.

After current USC President Chris Sinal was elected, the future looked far from secure. Looking back at Sinal's election campaign, no one would have ever seen this coming.

Sinal ran a lacklustre campaign with few new initiatives and barely any researched ideas within his platform. Despite his impressive council and Senate experience, Sinal ran an effortless campaign based on name recognition and typical ambiguous ideas.

Having previously sat on the USC board as VP-student affairs, Sinal was expected to use his knowledge and first-hand experience to assume leadership from day one with no excuses.

Thus far, he's had no reason to offer any.

Sinal has chosen simple, yet effective, issues to deal with. What all these initiatives have in common is that, for a refreshing change, they will actually affect students in a noticeable way – unlike meaningless bylaw changes from days of yore.

The USC is always getting criticized for never getting anything done, but, so far, this year's board has raised the bar. Now, the big question is whether they can keep it there?

With many "to dos" still on their list of initiatives, we can only hope the current USC will accomplish – or at least try – everything they've set out to accomplish and hopefully more.

The fringe benefits for the USC could be substantial if students take notice of their actions. Visible results provide no better way to entice students to get involved with the USC.

A council that actually does stuff... nice.

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2002 THE GAZETTE