A Day in the Life o' USC President
By Kelly Marcella
THIS HANDSHAKE I GIVE YOU FREE ACCESS TO THE BEER IN MY
OFFICE. Yeoman shakes hands with Russian exchange student
Antonina Tikhonova after an interview.
In order to best present my journey with University Students'
Council President Paul Yeoman, I have decided to give you a
rough timeline of my day.
9:30 a.m.: I head upstairs to meet Yeoman,
slightly afraid the windows in his office may burn out my retinas
(The Gazette office is windowless). I am determined, however,
not to let that deter me from my mission.
9:35 a.m.: Yeoman shows me his "To Do" list
for the day, which is a long, yellow legal-sized paper full
of meetings, appointments and other tasks. Sigh - I guess he's
not going to let me have any of his beer.
a.m.: As a former news junkie, I am thrilled to hear
we will be attending an Alcohol Policy Review Committee meeting
in 15 minutes. Perhaps this meeting will provide further fodder
for criticism of The Gazette's favourite policy.
9:55 a.m.: On our way to some unknown and
potentially sketchy room in the basement of the Stevenson-Lawson
building, Yeoman and I discuss whether or not we will have to
slay a dragon or sell our soul to get into the meeting.
10 a.m.: Oooh, free coffee, juice and muffins
- too bad I already ate breakfast. How come we don't get that
at The Gazette?
10:30 a.m.: I am very disappointed that this
APRC meeting hasn't proven to be as exciting as I originally
thought. Yeoman asks a question about non-student applications
- kudos to him for making sure not only students are subject
to the Alcohol Policy. On another note, I am shocked when Jane
O'Brien, current VP-administration, asks me for my opinion on
communication with regards to the policy. C'mon, Gazette reporters
don't think of ideas - we just criticize those of others.
11 a.m.: We return to Yeoman's office. I watch
him read The London Free Press for a few minutes, hoping something
more exciting will happen. At this point, if Yeoman decides
to read a better newspaper, my day would improve dramatically.
11:15 a.m.: Yeoman tells me he will be reading
over reports to prepare for his Board of Directors meeting at
noon. I decide to tear myself away from this "enthralling" event
to eat lunch and return to the fluorescent lights of The Gazette
11:45 a.m.: I head back upstairs to meet Yeoman
before the Board meeting. A member of the Western Mustang Band
stops by and asks Yeoman to film a birthday message for the
band. He does. I wonder if they go to "band camp"...
11:52 a.m.: On our way to the Boardroom, Yeoman,
lunch in hand, gets caught up in a fight with the napkins that
keep flying out of his hands. "Damn napkins, they win every
time," he yells.
CONSIDERS STRANGLING HIMSELF TO GET AWAY FROM THIS STUDENT.
As our leader shouldn't he be making alliances with our
11:54 a.m.: Yeoman tells me he wishes he had
a window that faced the Concrete Beach. I am quick to remind
him that none of the 22 Gazette editors have a window.
12 p.m.: The Board meeting is called to order
by Yeoman. The VPs present reports filled with acronyms I have
no desire to learn and names of people I'm not sure even exist.
It sounds like they are doing a fair amount of work, which is
good to know. I space out.
12:30 p.m.: Debate around the Board table
starts about the preamble in the USC Trips Policy. The banter
proceeds as follows: - I think we need to define councils. -
Well, how do we define them? - I think people know what councils
are. - Where should we put this definition of councils? - Should
we put it in the preamble or in the definitions? My reaction
ranges from "who cares?" to desperately searching outside hoping
that someone will see me and rescue me from this torment. Alas,
my hopes are dashed when I remember the windows are tinted.
1:05 p.m.: I am asked to leave the Board meeting
because they are going into a confidential session. Of course
they kick me out when something interesting starts to happen.
2:50 p.m.: Yeoman calls me at The Gazette
office to tell me the Board meeting is over - just when I was
beginning to think he had shafted me.
2:58 p.m.: Yeoman is interviewed by a Russian
exchange student for a piece in her university newspaper in
Russia. He admits this is the longest interview he's ever had
(it lasts about 40 minutes). I start to wonder if he would notice
if I looked in his fridge for the alleged beer stash.
3:44 p.m.: Yeoman almost has a heart attack
when USC general manager Mark Sellars tells him the construction
on Concrete Beach will cost an additional $450,000 and not be
complete until December. I try to keep a straight face as I
am aware this joke has been set up by Sellars and The Gazette's
Editor-in-Chief Emmett Macfarlane. Rumor has it Yeoman was later
quoted as saying, "I was shitting bricks."
3:50 p.m.: My day comes to an end as I have
to part ways with Yeoman to attend class. Yeoman is on his way
to the University Community Centre atrium to socialize with
students. I come to the conclusion that most of Yeoman's day
consists of being the "face" of the USC. Not a bad job if I
do say so myself.