Volume 96, Issue 76
Thursday, February 13, 2003

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A candidate who is not afraid to smile

By Emmett Macfarlane
Gazette Staff

If there's a University Students' Council presidential candidate with an up and at 'em style, his name is Neil Uttamsingh.

The fourth-year psychology student – whose name, when properly pronounced, sounds more like "you can sing" rather than "uh-tum sing" – said he feels his personality is what will attract the votes of students. "Basically, I'm running for USC president because it's the job of the USC to foster good relations," he said.

Uttamsingh said he feels he is an individual who will go above and beyond the call of duty, adding he will take a grassroots approach to the presidency by talking to various clubs and visiting on-campus residences. "I'm running for president because I want to reach out to the average student."

Although he is competing with five other candidates, Uttamsingh said he feels his ability for friendly, face-to-face communication outshines that of his opponents. "The thing that sets me apart from the other candidates is my personality," he said, adding he is both friendly and approachable. "I like to show people that I'm not afraid to smile and not afraid to talk to them.

"There shouldn't be boundaries on what the president does in regards to students," Uttamsingh said, adding he thinks a variety of factors motivate the actions of different presidents. As the chief spokesperson for Western students, the president is the front-line person to stick up for the interests of all the students, he stated. "When it comes to student issues, I don't think there should be limitations on the role of the president."

Next year has the chance to be a very exciting year, particularly with the arrival of the double cohort class, Uttamsingh noted. "The most important thing I would like to see come out of next year is for me as president to [reach out] and inspire others to care and get involved," he said, adding this approach was part of his basic philosophy.

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2002 THE GAZETTE