February 13, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 75  

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Lord of the USC: Part 2

After hours of scrutinizing the endless candidates’ debates and forums for University Students’ Council president, and spending even more hours analyzing and double-checking the candidates’ platforms, The Gazette presents the annual candidate evaluations. Five candidates’ each questing for the most powerful, most coveted title of Lord of the USC.

The candidates were evaluated in four categories. Experience is a measure of the candidate’s involvement with the USC, residence councils, clubs, community organizations and others. Leadership is an all-around measurement of the candidate’s demonstration of their ability to lead the USC. Quality of Ideas examines the strength of the candidate’s platform under scrutiny and their practical feasibility. Presentation is a gauge of the effectiveness of the candidate’s campaigning, visibility and general public persona.

Peruse the results and remember to make that critical vote on Feb. 17 and 18. These five hopefuls are taking on this treacherous quest for the Ring of the USC, but only you can decide if they’re worthy of it.

Patrick Harris

Experience — 3.5/5
- past president of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Youth Association
- an advisor to a former premier of Ontario and minister of education
- minimal USC experience and involvement on campus
Leadership — 4/5
- he’s running a very strong campaign and so far has no demerit points
- outside of Western, his leadership is tested and proven
- was supposed to be a USC commissioner, but left before starting the position because of a political job opportunity
Quality of Ideas — 4/5
- lowering the age of majority has been the most talked about idea on campus and is appropriately attracting the most attention
- supporting varsity athletics and raising the level of debate are worthy and achievable; but how exactly?
- campus-wide consultations to find out what students want is not the most original idea
Presentation — 4/5
- in debates and forums, he stands out as the best speaker
- he comes off a bit harsh and is not particularly charismatic
- a big, well-oiled campaign team has students seeing Harris all over campus

TOTAL: 15.5/20

Dave Molenhuis

Experience — 2.5/5
- has been both a residence and off-campus soph for Saugeen-Maitland Hall
- has plenty of community experience with political and social groups, but Western students don’t necessarily identify with those organizations
Leadership — 2/5
- a decent campaign but is still not as visible as other candidates
- a member of multiple groups make him involved, but not a leader
- comes off as a political ideologue
Quality of Ideas — 1.5/5
- ideas are tried and repeated, such as improving the volunteer network and developing connections with the London community
- placing a lower priority on corporate interests may see some USC services shut down due to lack of funds
Presentation — 3/5
- has some charisma and is a solid speaker
- well versed in the issues and responds well to questions
- his campaign team is small and not very visible
- unable to spark wide interest

TOTAL: 9/20

Nick Staubitz

Experience — 3.5/5
- solid campus experience as science head soph, USC councillor, and a residence soph at Saugeen-Maitland Hall
- no outside involvement and not as much USC experience as some others
Leadership — 3/5
- being a head soph is demanding and difficult and shows he can handle a big group
- campaign demerit points count against him
Quality of Ideas — 2.5/5
- empowering councillors is noteworthy, but throwing around focus groups and surveys may not accomplish much
- many platform points do little to change the status quo, such as reviewing the USC strategic plan and restructuring the clubs system
Presentation — 3.5/5
- campaign team is loud and colourful and everyone loves the panda mascot - posters are slick and effective and are highly visible around campus
- a poor speaker and a lacklustre performance at forums leaves much to be desired

TOTAL: 12.5/20

Steve Learmonth

Experience — 2/5
- lots of residence experience as president of Saugeen-Maitland Hall and as a residence soph, but involvement pretty much ends with the Zoo
Leadership — 1.5/5
- no campaign, no presence, no spending
- for what it’s worth, he was the leader of the biggest residence on campus
Quality of Ideas — 0.5/5
- “cutting the fat” just doesn’t cut it with student voters, though he does “stand for something”
- no actual platform, only vague values
Presentation — 0.5/5
- without any campaign to help drum up support, he lacks any visibility on campus
- his presence during debates as a rabble-rouser has been mostly unproductive

TOTAL: 4.5/20

Kathy Robineau

Experience — 4/5
- by far the most USC experience of any candidate; senator-at-large, Charity Ball commissioner, soph and two years as a social science councillor
- no external involvement leaves something to be desired
Leadership — 3.5/5
- a proven leader with strong experience in different capacities on campus
- highest accumulation of demerit points hurts her image as a responsible leader
Quality of Ideas — 4/5
- framework to solicit students’ thoughts and opinions is commendable and achievable, especially with the backing of the university registrar
- revised communications plan is a bit of a rehashed idea
- finding students employment is worthwhile, but how attainable?
Presentation — 4/5
- a polished and well-organized campaign ensures the red shirts are out in full force every day
- visible and noticeable but campaigning not very creative

TOTAL: 15.5/20



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