President: Nick Vuckovic

Nick Vuckovic’s pledge to lobby for Harvey Weingarten’s impeachment is certainly a polarizing stance. Our own panel was fairly evenly split, with some agreeing Harv has done nothing to better the undergrad experience, while others see Vuckovic’ s campaign pledge as a publicity ploy and an unrealistic goal. Vuckovic himself played down his vow to fight for a new U of C president, saying it wasn’t the lynchpin of his campaign, but an important goal nonetheless.

He also emphasized establishing stronger roles with other members of university administration. Mentioning his previous experience as VP External in 2002-2003, Vuckovic believes most of administration is on the students’ side, but are unable to act outside of Harvey’s ill-defined Academic Plan. It is unclear, speaking to Vuckovic, how he plans on establishing effective relations with university administrators who will not publicly defy Weingarten if he is unsuccessful in his impeachment effort.

Beyond his ambitions regarding Harv, Vuckovic has a clear understanding of the relevant issues facing a SU president, including Bill 1 and university budget cuts. His experience as VP External has prepared him well to grasp the full responsibilities of the president job, including the ins and outs of lobbying both on the provincial and federal level. He takes a stronger stance on smoking issues than any other candidate, including a pledge to make the Black Lounge smoke-free. His ideas for the SU taking over business space currently rented out to private tenants upon the expiration of their leases seems like a definite way to increase revenues and make the SU more self sufficient. However, implementing such a plan may prove more difficult and require the tacit consent of SLC and the VP Op-Fi.

Vuckovic has a comprehensive platform and is able to address questions clearly and mostly to the point. As one of the stronger presidential candidates, he deserves a closer look by students, especially in an all-candidates forum atmosphere.

How will you hold the provincial Government to its promises to make PSE its first priority?

“Bill 1 is pretty vague. What I want to do is put pressure on the government with a coalition lobby group with all stakeholders in education on side.”

How will you communicate with students?

“Have a full-page president’s report in the Gauntlet with a VP report. I want to make sure my door is always open. Also, town halls and surveys.”

What should the relationship be between the SU and university administration?

“I do not believe Harvey Weingarten is student friendly, but I want to work with each member and get to know them very well.”