March 9, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 82  

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Having faith in the new guy

With University Students’ Council president-elect Nick Staubitz in full ‘transitional,’ or as we like to call it, ‘USC indoctrination’ mode, what better time to help him on his way to becoming all he can be with some unsolicited advice from the campus newspaper.

Staubitz emerged as a preeminent dark horse candidate. The Gazette slammed two of the candidates in last month’s presidential election race as inept, declared another two as the front-runners and virtually ignored Mr. Staubitz. He then shot to victory, the very definition of dark horse.

The victory made at least a few things clear. Staubitz is capable of mobilizing people and bringing them together. He’s personable, friendly and his campaign made him a proven leader.

Also, an important note: he was the only candidate who spoke with members of The Gazette about the paper’s relationship with the USC prior to the election campaign. Clearly, he’s a leader who likes to be well prepared and has the foresight to consider factors others don’t.

The best thing about all these characteristics? They reflect exactly what Staubitz pledged throughout his campaign.

He promised to reach out to students and listen. His five-point platform included soliciting student feedback through surveys and focus groups. He also said he would strengthen the Student Caucus on Governance to make lobbying the university administration more effective. His other three points included restructuring the clubs system, developing closer ties to the London community and reviewing the USC’s Strategic Plan.

With all this praise, why didn’t The Gazette have the foresight to endorse Staubitz instead of another candidate, you might ask.

Hindsight doesn’t necessarily matter. We felt two of the other candidates had more initiative. But we are heartened the campaign itself proved Staubitz has the genuine qualities needed to be an effective USC president.

The message we would like to send him now is to make sure he takes advantage of the time he has.

We urge Mr. Staubitz to not only seek to achieve his platform points, but to finish them by the fall. Listening to students is fine — what’s more important, however, is finding out what they want and then pursuing those goals.

We think you can restructure the clubs system and review the Strategic Plan this summer. We think you can get student feedback, strengthen the USC’s lobbying and build solid foundations with the city during the fall.

Then, with your platform points completed, it’ll be time for the real work to begin. The only question remaining is if you have as much faith in yourself as your (record number of) voters do.

We’ll be watching.



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