SU Midterm Review: Alex Vyskocil

By Gauntlet

Vice-President Events Alex Vyskocil has a reputation as a laid-back, genuinely nice guy and both elected officials and Students’ Union staff enjoy working with him. To complement this, his second term means Vyskocil has a year of experience under his belt, and knows how to run the show and get things done. It also means he’s become a bit complacent and bored with SU politics.

Vyskocil is laid-back. In the halls or in the Den, it means he’s approachable, friendly and sarcastic. In SLC, it means he’s still sarcastic, but practically a non-participant. Though his position is traditionally not focused on student issues, he could at least pretend to care.

As for campaign promises, Vyskocil has delivered on most of them. He’s kept the good times of last year going. MacEwan Hall is the premier medium-large venue in Calgary, and Vyskocil has helped secure that standing with a steady stream of in-demand acts–though a busy concert season is also responsible. There’s still free live music every Friday in That Empty Space and a variety of blockbuster movies in Cinemania. That Empty Space has expanded to accommodate other events and will likely continue to. Vyskocil has also delivered on promised social awareness events including Alcohol Awareness Week, Enviropolooza and Shanti Day. This year also marks the return of Snowpants Day, and notable speakers like The Corporation author Joel Bakan have made a trip to campus. As for ambiguous new events Vyskocil promised in his platform, like a “special event each semester that will showcase student talent and work,” his autopilot mode seems to have caused amnesia.

The only significant criticism marring Vyskocil’s performance last year was his inability to use his commissioners to their full extent, apparently unsure of what they should be doing. This year, he has got the machine greased nicely, with commissioners handling the day to day operations of events like Cinemania. Though his leadership style still seems to be more about giving his commissioners freedom rather than guidance, the results have been good.

Vyskocil openly admits that as his sixth year of university draws to a close, he’s looking at his options and ready to leave the university and SU council chambers for good. This attitude means Vyskocil will do what is required to finish out the term, though likely without any big surprises. If he can bust out of his rut next semester he can do great things. If not, students can expect him to plan a few more speakers, a few more bands, and a solid, well-organized Bermuda Shorts Day to crown an excellent run as VP Events.

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