March 16, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 86  

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Staubitz less lonely, VPs picked

By Marshall Bellamy
and Laura Katsirdakis

Gazette Staff

Next year’s University Students’ Council Board of Directors has taken shape as council elected four new vice-presidents in votes decided on the first ballots.

Eric Johanssen, a fourth-year political science student, was voted in as VP-campus issues over fourth-year media, information and technoculture student Toben Alexander and fourth-year geography student Mark Baird, 59-16-24, respectively.

“[There will be] less awareness weeks and more awareness,” Johanssen said, explaining that his intent is to change the way the campus issues portfolio operates by taking awareness campaigns out of the University Community Centre. “A lot of times the mentality is we put on programming and [the students] come to us. I want to bring the programming to them.

“I am probably one of the most open and approachable people you will meet; my door is always open,” Johanssen said. “I would like to reach more students and fight for their concerns.”

Fourth-year geography and environmental sciences student Alison Forbes defeated fourth-year philosophy student Mandy Madill, fourth-year French and history student Dave Molenhuis and first-year social science student Rob Testa for VP-education, 62-15-19-2, respectively.

“I’m excited for the transition with [current VP-education Dave Ford],” Forbes said.

“I don’t want to do anything quickly,” she added, citing the upcoming federal election that will take up a lot of her time.

The VP-finance position went to fourth-year economics student Bryan Szemenyei — with 67 votes — over fourth-year administrative and commercial studies student Clifford Seto’s 28.

“There’s a story behind every number; each tells the story of an event,” Szemenyei said, explaining his campaign slogan: “reading a budget is like reading a good book.” He went on to say that if the USC’s finances could be compared to a book it would have to be A Tale of Two Cities because of the two sides to the USC, corporate and not-for-profit.

“I hope students feel comfortable coming to talk to me,” Szemenyei said when asked what he would like students to know about him.

He described next year’s board as “stellar,” adding “each VP is a perfect [fit for their position].”

“I’m collecting myself, letting it sink in and then getting right to work,” said fourth-year film student Giovanni Paola, who defeated fourth-year psychology student Natasha Collia 70 to 27 to become the new VP-student affairs. “It’s all about keeping your feet on the ground.”

Paola explained he is looking forward to his transitional training period. “It’s so much different now; you have commissioners, you have the Board of Directors, you have council,” he said.

“I’m absolutely thrilled; the table is set for next year,” said USC president-elect Nick Staubitz.



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