Unseat v.p. Vlad Vasilko

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The Eyeopener Editorial

The RyeSAC vice-presidents’ office in Jorgenson Hall can be divided down the middle, one side neat, the other cluttered.

Clutter gives the impression that things are happening, that important work is being done and goals are being reached.

Least year the office was a mess, and one could barely find room to sit on a blue futon usually covered with mounds of paper work. RyeSAC’s executive accomplished a lot that year.

This year one half of the office, where v.p. education Erin George and v.p. administration Jason Power work, continues the tradition of being a busy and messy work environment.

The executive has performed fairly well together, with the exception of one obviously weak link — Vladimir Vasilko, v.p. development and finance.

Vasilko, whose pay was increased over that of his predecessor, draws the same salary as his fellow v.p.s but has done little to justify his pay hike.

Next Wednesday, his name is the only one that will appear on the ballot when RyeSAC’s executive elections are held.

Vasilko will probably be acclaimed because no one is running against him for his position. He will likely continue to do little and get paid for it from your money — unless you vote against him.

If Vasilko is given the mandate to occupy his neat, uncluttered desk for another year, all accountability will be lost.

Vote no for Vasilko and force RyeSAC’s board to hold by-elections where more eager candidates may run for the job.

Vasilko has not demonstrated his eagerness throughout his term or this election campaign. He has made no effort to campaign or publicize his goals. He’s coasting through elections just as he has coasted through his nine months in this position.

His pathetic track record looks even worse when compared with the accomplishments of previous v.p.s.

What might explain the different in office environments this year may be the fact that last year’s executive worked closely together to accomplish many initiatives around the campus — opening the Ram in the Rye, revitalizing the campaign to build a student centre, organizing a mid-winter protest march that became an overnight sit-in at a downtown bank.

Last year’s v.p. development and finance, John McGowan, said the position involved little number-crunching. The greater focus is on developing initiatives — which have been markedly absent from Vasilko’s term.

Vasilko has not taken on any noteworthy projects. He has developed a tax clinic over reading week that will help students file their income tax returns. He and a RyeSAC commissioner are looking into implementing a dental plan for students, but that wouldn’t be put to a referendum until some time next year.

Vasilko has been a passive member of the planning surrounding the student campus centre. Minor renovations were made to the Ram in the Rye pub last summer, but he has taken no initiative there either.

When Vasilko, a third-year engineering student, ran for a RyeSAC position last year, it was in a slate with two other engineering students. He and his two friends pooled their campaign money to throw a beer party.

(When RyeSAC voted last September to ban alcohol as a campaign tool, Vasilko told an Eyeopener reporter he didn’t spend any campaign money on alcohol, then backtracked on the comment and said he must have been mistaken when presented with the evidence.)

RyeSAC’s board of directors voted last July to increase Vasilko’s salary to $16,700. Why? Based on McGowan’s recommendation.

McGowan spent about 40 hours a week at his job but was paid for working only 20 hours a week, which amounted to $3,600 less than the other v.p.s. The board followed his advice to increase the number of paid hours to 32 for his old position.

“I haven’t seen [Vasilko] do any real ground-breaking work,” said v.p. administration Jason Power, whose desk sits on the cluttered side of the v.p.s’ office, across from Vasilko’s. “Maybe he learned this year and he’ll actually implement what he learned next year.”

But why should students take that chance?

It would be easy to say yes to Vasilko’s nomination and give him the 50 per cent plus one of the vote that he needs to stay in office.

Vote no, because when another year passes with Vasilko coasting by and accomplishing little, who loses out but you, who gave him a mandate to spend your money wisely.

Vasilko’s work space is on the neat half of the RyeSAC office. It looks empty most days, with no visible stacks of “ToDo” items around.

It’s as if the position didn’t even exist — it’s not like anyone would notice it anyways with Vasilko still around.

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