Volume 96, Issue 56
Thursday, January 9, 2003

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Council speaks, Board listens?

By Chris Webden
Gazette Staff

Last night, the Board of Directors of Western's University Students' Council addressed councillor reports, which critically examined several USC policies and procedures.

Councillors spent several days examining USC policies and procedures at the USC member retreat held early in December and subsequently created a document outlining their findings, said USC President Chris Sinal. At last night's meeting, Sinal made a 45 minute presentation outlining the Board of Director's responses to the document drafted by the councillors.

"Having a retreat [for councillors] was an open way to bring up issues that aren't always feasible to bring up during regular council meetings," said Meghan Houlihan, a media, information and technoculture councillor, who stressed the importance of idea exchange between council members and the Board of Directors.

Among suggestions made by the councillors, the USC Web site was targeted as an area in need of heavy improvement, as well as the USC Front, and the overall presence of USC members on campus.

Sinal eased the concerns of the councillors, explaining improvements to the USC Web site are currently underway. Sinal also outlined a poster program that is to be unveiled tomorrow, in which posters of USC members faces and names will be posted in relevant buildings, providing students with the opportunity to see who their USC representatives are.

"Once we have specific goals and purposes agreed upon, we need to create an action plan [for the USC Front]," Sinal explained, noting that currently the exact use of the USC Front has not been outlined.

Also discussed in the councillors' document were the roles and responsibilities of the councillors themselves. Sinal said that, currently, the roles and responsibilities of council members are well defined in the USC bylaws should councillors wish to spend the time to read them, and that a review committee may be set up in the near future to examine particular aspects of a councillor's responsibilities.

Pat Giles, a social science student councillor, echoed Houlihan's opinion on the worth of both the council retreat and the response made by the Board of Directors.

"If there is one thing this Board has shown us, it is that they can accomplish what they set out to do," Giles said. "There is no doubt that these recommendations [made by councillors] will be put into place."

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