Phil Barski is by far the most intriguing candidate in the presidential race. He is fielding a near-complete slate of candidates (VP Events being a notable exception), is the face of a well-organized and energetic campaign, and is the definition of an outsider.
Barski and his cabinet have two things in common. First, they are fed up with what they perceive as an isolated, ineffective and woefully inefficient Students’ Union. Second, they are all external individuals, with varying types and amounts of life experience but nothing related to the SU–and they feel this is their greatest strength.
When it comes to policy, Barski is all vision and no substance. He makes broad statements about what’s wrong with the status quo, but offers no specific, concrete ways of improving the situation no matter how hard he was pressed.
He sees the SU as a business, not a political unit, and seeks, by all indications, to repackage the role of President into a role of Chief Executive Officer–a direction with serious, probably negative, ramifications when it comes to politically representing students to administration and government.
While Barski is running on his ability to rally support as a strong leader and a likeable, “nice” guy, he came off as being overly aggressive and intimidating. Perhaps it was a product of nerves–a definite factor during the 20-minute interview–but a number of the panel members were put off by his in-your-face style.
On his own, Barski is one of the weakest candidates in the race, as his radical vision of a reconfigured SU wouldn’t jive with non-sympathetic executives and commissioners.
If Barski’s Cabinet can win a majority of seats on Students’ Legislative Council, however, Phil Barski could become an effective leader. If his cabinet cannot accomplish this, Barski is dead in the water–win or lose.
How will you effectively represent students and the SU to the general public?
“For me, it comes naturally. I have been a leader and a representative of this
school for three years as a hockey player. Now, I want to take it a step further
and represent all students passionately and honestly.”
What is your strategy when approaching tuition?
“We’ll look in the mirror and we will fix the problems with the SU and within
Mac Hall. We’ll run this as a business and run it efficiently.”
How will you effectively communicate with students?
“I know a lot of the students and the students know me. During elections people
try to make friends for selfish reasons, to get their votes–I have them.”
How will you lead the SU?
“Passionately and enthusiastically. I will be approachable and accountable. That
is one thing no one has ever been here.”