Better late than never, right? In the case of Nick Vuckovic, it's not much better.
By his own admission, he took until September to find his niche, and while the external portfolio is arguably one of the hardest, a four-month stall is one hell of a slow start. The same belated action marks the Vuckovic-organized tuition battle. While he has many varied events planned for next semester, it's only because the tuition decision date got pushed from November to March, giving Vuckovic extra time. Granted, he appears to be making good use of that gift and we may actually have a tuition battle this year, but all other projects have been shoved to the background until then, leaving Vuckovic only a few weeks to make good on his other, untouched platform promises.
That's not to say he's done nothing, at least in his own mind. He claims some responsibility for the extension of the C-Train service, honestly believing a two-minute conversation with Mayor Dave Bronconnier over pancakes at a Stampede breakfast actually influenced the decision. As well, he claims credit for the province's decision to not deregulate tuition--a decision made in early summer. Even if Learning Minister Lyle Oberg did base that decision on student lobby work--which is unlikely--it wouldn't be the work of Vuckovic, but his predecessors.
Vuckovic's lobbying activities have mostly fallen to CAUS, an organization which has proved mostly useless this year due to internal problems. It would have been nice to see more diversity in Vuckovic's lobbying strategy. On the upside, he didn't buy into CAUS' most impressive failure of the year, a big-ticket advertising fund. The U of A SU did participate, to the tune of $24,000. So, regardless of what else Vuckovic does or doesn't do this year, with that one decision he saved students the equivalent of his salary.
And, hopefully, he'll use some of that salary to purchase a few non-Fiji shirts, at least for interviews with Global TV. While Vuckovic is correct that thousand-dollar Gucci suits make a student lobbyist look hypocritical, shirts emblazoned with "Who's Your Daddy?" look much worse. Representing students properly is important, but so is professionalism. No one will take Vuckovic seriously if he doesn't take himself--or his job--seriously, too.