Evaluating the platforms: are they realistic?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

University Students’ Council presidential elections are well under way. More important than who the candidates are is what the candidates stand for. Gazette News has evaluated each candidate’s campaign platform ideas.

*Candidate Josh Safer has yet to outline a platform.

UCC RENOVATIONS
One of the feature issues in this election is the future of the University Community Centre. Renovation proposals will be a major part of the president’s workload next year.

Reynolds " Reynolds provides an impressive array of buzzwords and ideas about ensuring student input. He needs to put forward real ideas so students can decide if they like his direction or advise him about going another way.

Stevenson " He provides concrete examples of how he would use the new UCC space. Ideas including office space and a large student lounge are excellent. However, Stevenson must provide more information about their feasibility.

Stevenson also says he’ll hold a student survey on the space to gauge student interest in his and other ideas. This balance between real ideas and student input is an effective strategy.

 

REACHING OUT TO RESIDENCES & AFFILIATE COLLEGES
There has been much discussion this year on how to make USC programming reach out more effectively to residences and affiliate colleges. Not all students pass through the UCC atrium regularly, but most programming is currently held there.

Reynolds " Reynolds proposes a “Western in your House” residence involvement fair. It’s a good idea and it’s easy to implement. It could even be extended to affiliates.

Stevenson " Stevenson lacks realistic ideas. He does suggest bringing SERT and Foot Patrol services out to affiliated colleges. However, this idea sets off alarm bells for cost effectiveness. Stevenson must back the idea with more information and research.

 

FUNDRAISING FOR WESTERN ATHLETICS
Reynolds " Reynolds believes a fundraising effort by the USC is unrealistic. Why? He should provide suggestions for how to improve sports funding or promotions. He also proposes having Mustang representatives on council. The idea of better communication between Mustang Athletics and council is interesting; athletes should already have avenues for bringing their concerns to council.

Stevenson " Stevenson proposes a special charity event to raise money for Western’s teams. The idea is solid, though he must provide more specifics.

 

OTHER IDEAS
The candidates have devised some intriguing ideas that could benefit Western students tremendously.

Reynolds " A London living link with information for students and a laptop loan program are good ideas, but they also require further explanation.

Stevenson " Stevenson must provide more information on his suggestion for a student job bank and a campus grocery store.

 

THE GAZETTE SAYS:
Reynolds has a flashier website but he’s shorter on achievable ideas. He must prove he can deliver on his ambitious ideas and provide real options instead of vague promises.

Stevenson’s platform also requires more details in many areas. He has a great starting point and has outlined a direction, but he too needs to show these ideas won’t fade away if he’s elected.

Hopefully, Stevenson and Reynolds will put aside gimmicks like “Coffee with Chris” and “Tea with Tom” and instead produce concrete ideas.

Safer needs to establish a platform to have any hopes of competing in the election.

 

Visit www.joinreynolds.com and www.tomstevenson.ca to find full platforms for both candidates. Presidential candidate Josh Safer hasn’t yet set up a website.

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