Meet Your New CSA Executive

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

  • Erika Gates

    Erika Gates

Written by Craig Norris

thecannon.ca asked each new executive member an identical question: ""What are the challenges and priorities of your new position?" Their answers appear in order of when they responded.

I'll start with priorities first. Buses, bikes, food, houses. Especially for those who lived off campus, I think it was obvious this winter that there are some problems with the transit system. Late buses, early buses, buses that don't come, buses that drive by you 'cause they're too full. Getting to school starts becoming more of a challenge than its worth...just joking:). I love school. That's why I ran for this job. Anyways, it must also be noted that most of these glitches (beyond badweather) are not just the fault Guelph Transit They're a dedicated and hardworking bunch. But with a growing city, you need a growing budget to keep the system operating smoothly, and it's mostly the city that decides on that. So, the point is, the city's conducting a transportation study this summer, and I want to make sure that it takes into account student needs and concerns. You should be recieveing an email soon asking you for your comments on the subject. I'll then give all your input to the transportation study. And then I'll work to put pressure on the city to address the issue. If things go well, school may be a little easier to get to next year. Yeahy!!

Ok, as for the rest of the priorities. They are all projects that past Commissioners have started up, and I want to get them up and running. First of all, there's a bike shop that will be opening up soon. It will do cheap repairs, tool sharing, and there will be resources on bike repairs, upkeep etc. I'd also like to run workshops too, and I would like to get it up and running this summer. And then there's the food bank, which was just passed through a referendum question. It will provide a student led and run initiative that confronts the issue of student poverty and hunger, and it's a great idea that I want to make sure is a success. And what's left?...houses. Yes. I want to set up a website where stuents can rate their landlords, so that in the future other students can have a better idea of what they're getting into when they rent. I also want to look into developing the Affordable Housing Initiative, which is a $0.87 fee that is meant for creating more affordable housing for students. There will actualy be enough money next year to do something with it, and those possibilities need to be looked into.

I've got so much more to say, but I'll move on to the 'challenges' part out of respect for those short attention spanners (which is often me, I admit). One challenge will be working with City Hall. Well, not City Hall necessarily. I guess I mean the Mayor, really. Please refer to the Guelph Mercury if you're wondering what I'm talking about. The other main challenge I can think of is the CSA working together as a team, because working that way we can get so much done. But I don't think it's going to be too much of a challenge, because we've got the start of a great CSA this year.

And that makes me excited for next year. I have so many ideas I want to put together, and I think I've got great people around me to help me do that. I hope you guys see the spark next year.

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