Almost-presidential apologies

Editor, the Gauntlet,

I would first like to apologize to all students for what appears to be my fourth absence from SLC. I do feel I was on official business on Jan. 15–meeting with Finance Minister Paul Martin as a representative of the University of Calgary Students’ Union. Some have also questioned my official absence from an "emergency" meeting called with eight hours notice. However, I will not make any excuses and will abide by any decision SLC decides to take. At least I have the opportunity to start fresh on May 3 when I take office as SU President.

I have learned many lessons from the past two years and am rather embarrassed to have been a part of the ridiculous debates the 59th Students’ Legislative Council has gone through. Although there were some notable individual efforts, as a whole we have been very ineffective. Please students, it is critical that you actually see how your government is working next year. We have a $7 million budget and are tasked with representing your interests. I have sat through a year in which most of our efforts were directed inwards, through personal rivalries and petty battles.

I am tired of people telling me the SU is a game. It is not. We have enormous responsibility when we accept public office, especially one with such a large budget. Elected officials need some rudimentary training in what a legislative body’s tasks are. Our executive needs some rudimentary training in what an executive’s tasks are. We need leadership and we need to remove our heads from our rears.

I will do all that is in my power to make next year a productive one for your SU. We have what appears to be a very capable council, and although there were many acclamations, it is still possible to keep us accountable. Write us e-mails, write letters to the Gauntlet, stop by SLC or stop by the SU office. Whatever you do, make sure we are representing your views, and not just basking in our own perceived power.

I do not pretend to have all the answers to the problems of this year. What I have is the will to make next year a great one for the SU. I personally apologize to all students for some of the actions of your SU this year. I would also like to express my optimism about what is going to be a great SU for the 2002/03 academic year.

Matt Stambaugh

SU President-elect

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