February 3, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 68  

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Harris: experience, leadership

By Laura Katsirdakis
Gazette Staff

“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.



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