February 13, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 75  

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NEWS

Candidates’ last chance

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff

Poster shoppers and passers-by in the University Community Centre atrium were treated to the last official forum for the University Students’ Council presidential election yesterday.

The topic of the USC president’s relationship with Western administration played a prominent role in the forum.

“It is very much a compromise between when to take a strong stand on an issue — and when to butter them up,” said third-year French and history student Dave Molenhuis.

“They want something from the USC and you have to realize that — then you can lobby them better,” said fourth-year sociology student Kathy Robineau, highlighting her experience working with members of Western administration.

“When you’re lobbying anyone, there has to be an exchange, it can’t be one-way,” explained third-year political science student Patrick Harris. “That’s the way the world works.”

“You have to be able to go toe-to-toe with administration,” stated fifth-year biochemical engineering student Steve Learmonth. “I think we have to show administration what the students want, but they won’t do a lot unless you show them what the benefit will be.”

“I’m doing [the] research it takes to get what students want — keep the USC supporting [Student Caucus on Governance],” said fourth-year biology and geology student Nick Staubitz.

A question was asked regarding the possibility that the USC’s general manager and other full time employees exert too much power within the USC.

“Continuity is very important — you can rely on guys like [USC GM Mark] Sellars and [Entertainment Productions manager Mark] Wellington for institutional knowledge,” Harris said.

“They can carry over old ideas old presidents have had,” Staubitz noted.

“No, I don’t think they have too much power; they work for us, and I think they’re doing a damn fine job too,” Learmonth said.

“It’s important to challenge them, I think they get set in their ways,” Robineau remarked.

“Think freely, act freely, represent students freely,” Molenhuis noted, explaining the drawbacks of the corporate presence in the UCC.

The candidates also took the time to insult one another.

“Comrade, no hard feelings, I hope,” Learmonth said to Molenhuis.

“What, did you spend like 20 seconds on your platform? It’s like a paragraph,” Molenhuis said to Learmonth.

“Patrick doesn’t care about the USC,” Robineau said, referring to Harris.

—With files from Mike Dewar, Ljubica Durlovska, Dan Perry and Sarah Prickett

 

 

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