Volume 96, Issue 71
Wednesday, February 5, 2003

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Al Sabawi calls for change

By Paolo Zinatelli
Gazette Staff

Mohamed Al Sabawi, one of the six candidates running for next year's University Students' Council president, believes his outside perspective on the USC will aid him as a candidate.

The third-year political science student said that, although he does not have any direct USC experience, he did serve as the Web site co-ordinator on the Income Tax Committee last year. Al Sabawi has also been a member of the Muslim Students' Association for the past three years.

"I felt we needed a change," he said, explaining why he is running for the presidency. Sabawi said he feels there needs to be more representation on the USC to reflect the proportionality of different students that go to school at Western. At the moment, Al Sabawi said, he does not see representation.

"I'm looking for the opinions of students," he said, explaining his main concerns for next year are with the double cohort, the opt-out USC health plan and proposed opt-out USC dental plan.

"[I want to] ensure there is enough space and faculty," Al Sabawi said, in regards to the double cohort, adding he does not want students to be forced to take classes they do not want, just because there is not enough room in the classes they want to attend.

Al Sabawi is also worried that a proposed opt-out dental plan – to go along with an opt-out health plan – may not work. "You can't have an opt-out for everyone, because that kills the premium," he said. The premiums will skyrocket if no one is using the plans, he explained. There should either be a plan, or there should not, Al Sabawi added.

In addition, he feels Orientation Week needs to be addressed. "It needs to be organized better than in the past," he said.

When it comes to the position of USC president, Al Sabawi said he brings a knowledge of what people want and what they are looking for. You do not need to currently be a member of the USC to know what the problems are around campus and what solutions are necessary to fix them, he added.

"I want to do the work that regular students do not have to worry about."

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