BOG hopefuls debate - minus audience
By Dan Perry
WHY DOES JAGJIT GET THE VODKA? BOG candidates Julie Cassidy
(left), Jagjit Saini (centre) and Brian Whitmore (right)
debate in The Wave yesterday.
The race for the sole, vacant undergraduate seat on the Board
of Governors changed tunes yesterday, as a media forum was
held in The Wave; and the crickets played on.
Despite dismal attendance, three of the four BOG candidates
- Julie Cassidy, Jagjit "Jag" Saini and Brian Whitmore
- answered questions from TV Western, The Gazette and CHRW
94.9 FM. The fourth candidate, Jennifer Yach, was absent.
Many pressing post-secondary issues were raised, including
financial aid, faculty hiring and retention and new students'
preparation for the university system.
Each candidate was given a two-minute window in which to introduce
themselves and was allotted one minute per response to each
question, with a clarification option of 30 seconds if the
question was not adequately answered after their first chance.
The debate also allowed each candidate a one-minute closing
The discussion centred largely around how to increase BOG's
visibility on campus and the event's turnout was invoked as
evidence the issue of student voter apathy is important to
In response, Cassidy said she would largely address issues
affecting students personally, like financial aid and tuition,
adding a guarantee she would attend as many faculty council
and University Students' Council meetings as possible and present
information in the hopes of it being disseminated to students.
Saini suggested bridging the gap between students and what
he called a "normally distant" BOG by attempting
to get more BOG coverage in The Gazette. "We could hold
open forums," he added.
Whitmore's plan to inform students included a campaign which
he compared to the USC's to let people know what's going on,
with BOG posters and the Web site. "While I can't give
opinions [if elected], I can inform students," he said.
Many new ideas came from the forum as well, including Whitmore's
proposition of a closer co-ordination between secondary schools
in London and Western to ensure students have the required
skills when they enter university.
Cassidy proposed a reform in BOG's presentation to the USC,
in which the BOG representative would have a more independent
and in-depth role when presenting information. "I think
student representatives should be dispersed and not sitting
on [several] committees," she said.
This was the last chance students had to see the candidates
spar before the election, which takes place Oct. 22 and 23
online at www.uwo.ca.