From a former USC prez
Amongst USC-types, I’ve
gained a reputation for being cynical and jaded. Six years
of watching University Students’ Council presidential
elections from the inside will do that.
However, this is the first year I’ve had the opportunity
to sit back and pay attention to what the candidates are saying
and to really decide whom I will vote for. I don’t care
about platforms and I could care less about the politics involved — I’m
looking for the person that espouses the qualities I think
are important in a USC president.
Here’s what I’m looking for:
Above all, the president must have a vision and set of beliefs
that should influence everything they do. A candidate’s
platform should embody what it is they believe in and what
they want to see the USC become during their term. On average,
the meat of platform promises are accomplished by September.
With a candidate that stands for something, I can be confident
that, even with their initiatives under way, they will continue
to work to bring their vision to fruition.
A good candidate, just as a good president, must be a strategic
thinker. They need the vision, but they also need to know how
to accomplish it through long-term planning, delegation and
leadership. Once a president is in office, they will need to
take their vision and communicate to the Board of Directors
and Council how to make that vision a reality for both current
and future Western undergraduates.
Sound naive and unrealistic? Probably, if you’re looking
for a president that will run things thinking one day ahead.
I want a president that can use the machinery of the thousands
of people and millions of dollars the USC possesses to accomplish
something, and that requires a plan beyond, “I’m
for accessibility, affordably and alliteration.”
Lastly, the candidate ought to demonstrate they can work well
in a team (preferably leading it), and not fall apart like
a philosophy major in a real job under pressure. This usually
shows through experience.
Really, that’s about it. The rest — media savvy
(bullshitting) and political skills (lying) — usually
take care of themselves. A vision that demonstrates strategic,
big-picture thinking and the ability to implement it through
leadership is what I’m looking for. If a candidate doesn’t
possess these qualities and can’t answer these questions,
the world won’t explode. I just think things can be better.
That, and I want a candidate that will lobby for a milkshake
machine at the Harvey’s in CentreSpot.
— Chris Sinal was USC president in 2002/03. If only
he knew then what he knows now...