October 15 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 25  

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NEWS

Student politics season begins
BOG candidates try to make splash

By Anton Vidgen
Gazette Staff

Matt Prince/Gazette
BOGGED DOWN. Among other things, Board of Governors candidates debated how to operate a microphone at the BOG candidates debate in the UCC atrium yesterday.

Candidates vying for an undergraduate student seat on Western’s Board of Governors — the university’s highest governing body — strutted their stuff yesterday at an open debate in the University Community Centre atrium.

Moderated by former University Students’ Council president Chris Sinal and USC elections committee member Charlene Naft, three of four BOG candidates talked about issues they felt were important.

Julie Cassidy, the current USC deputy speaker, said she would hold the Board of Governors accountable and would stress the importance of fiscal responsibility. “Balance needs to be found between keeping costs low — and quality of education,” she said.

Brian Whitmore, actively involved in the residence council system, said he wants to see increased co-ordination between Western and nearby secondary schools as well as ensuring Western is accessible to minorities. “Essentially what’s important to me is that students get more bang for their buck,” he added.

Jennifer Yach, a current USC councillor, said a critical look is required for deregulated concurrent programs at Western and a tuition forecasting model is absolutely necessary for students to be able to plan their education. “My position has always been that students need to pay less,” she stated.

On the relationship the student BOG representative has with the rest of the Board, Cassidy said her first responsibility as a BOG member is to the university. “Once a decision is made by the Board of Governors, you support that decision,” she said, but added she would talk to students and listen to their concerns.

Whitmore said as a BOG member he would make sure students’ voices are heard on financial issues. He also said it was important “tuition is managed [properly] so that students can actually come to Western and have a good education.”

“The key for the student representatives on the Board of Governors is to work together,” Yach said, adding acting alone is not strong enough to make a statement.

Jugjit Saini, the fourth BOG candidate, was not in attendance.

—with files from Paolo Zinatelli

 

 

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