The President of the Students' Union is expected to lead both the SU executive and students at large. This includes lobbying on behalf of students, making important decisions with their input, and representing University of Calgary students to the outside world. The president must also guide elected student representatives toward both individual and organizational goals, solve problems that emerge within the organization, guide the legislative process and mediate internal conflicts within the organization. Also expected of the president is an ability to communicate effectively with students.
As the default candidate in the election, the default leader has done a default job with a year that provided many opportunities to do a great job. He's done so, sort of.
Two accomplishments define President West's term in office thus far.
The first, Political Action Week, has come and gone with what could be construed as a great deal of success. Planning started off very late for the event, but in the end, the SU pulled off a week with a healthy dose of successful events, while Calgary was graced with three Liberal seats.
'He tried hard on the external front, but failed to exploit many of his opportunities. This was both an election and a surplus year in which West could have demanded and received much more from administration and the Alberta government.
While West is a good public speaker, the content of what he says is often more slick than substance. He has, however, managed to keep solidarity and peace within the executive so far, resulting in a more effective SU.
West's non-descript "overriding policy 'bucket'" with a focus on "quality" which his election platform promised, has done well as a catch-all for anything and everything he has accomplished so far. But the policies he has brought forward himself have been scant, and we do not yet know in what form the $1.5 million of quality money promised by the university will appear.
As for his other promises, the three-year plan is done, SU fees and levies are destined to decrease, West has been a visible second SU VP External, and yet again, U of C 101 happened.
There's nothing special here, except for steady, uncontroversial leadership.