Harris: experience, leadership
By Laura Katsirdakis
“I think I have the experience and ideas needed to be
[University Students’ Council] president,” said
Patrick Harris, one of five presidential candidates vying for
your vote in the upcoming USC elections.
Harris became involved with the Ontario Progressive Conservative
Youth Association when he was 16 years old and spent two years
as its president. “I have been a leader of students before;
I have experience as a chairman of an executive [and I have
experience with] advocating on behalf of students,” Harris
said, adding he has also served as an advisor to the Ontario
premier and minister of education on behalf of students.
“My platform has been well researched,” he said,
outlining his five main points. “[First], I want to raise
the level of debate on campus,” he said, explaining the
need to get students involved in discussing issues that matter
to them. Second, Harris emphasized his intention to support
Western’s varsity sports teams. Third, he explained a
need to reevaluate the USC’s strategic plan.
Fourth, he plans to form a coalition of university student
union presidents to lobby the provincial government to lower
the age of majority to 18. “[The government] sent students
to university one year earlier and didn’t think of the
consequences — all students should be able to socialize
together,” he said. “I think it’s ridiculous
that you can vote and serve in the military, but you can’t
go into The Spoke and have a beer after an exam.”
Fifth, he outlined a plan for campus-wide consultations to “get
a sense of where they think the USC should go.”
“[The current USC] laid the foundations for some great
things,” Harris said, adding that his only criticism was
that this year’s successes were not communicated well to
the Western community.
“I would ask [Western students] to put their faith in
me — I have a plan and it is doable,” he said.