Quebec students pay for health
By Donna MacMullin
Big promises, big promises, no whammies stop!
Approaching the final round, University Students' Council presidential candidates are promoting campaign ideas which some members of the university community see more as potential whammies than concepts which are right on the money.
Recognizing students are primarily in university for academic reasons, candidates have proposed various ways to contribute to the academic success of undergraduates.
In an effort to enhance convenience for students while studying, one of Christina Gural's campaign initiatives is to open the UCC 24 hours to create an all night study area.
"The USC did this over the Christmas exam period and it was a great idea," said Scott Sullivan, USC VP-student affairs and former student senator. "I don't know if this would be feasible all year round though." Considering financial costs, security and safety concerns, he is not optimistic the idea would be successful.
Gural also plans to improve the tutorial matching system. "I don't think she has really looked into the idea she has been very vague about it," Sullivan said. It would be an elaborate project which would require a lot of work to get volunteers with proper qualifications for tutoring, he added.
Similarly, Kevin Mol discusses the idea of developing a university-wide shadow program where students can couple classroom knowledge with hands-on experience. Sullivan argues this is a very labour-intensive initiative and doubts whether it is feasible at all.
"From what I see it's not possible," he said. "There aren't any programs like it at other schools and it would be hard to find academic volunteers willing to donate their spare time to do it."
Sullivan is also concerned with other ideas on Mol's agenda. The concept of providing course professor evaluations on-line is an initiative which was already taken by the USC, he said. "He can't claim that as his own idea."
Mol's plan to develop academic programs during Orientation Week is also a concept which was already in place. "It's a done issue," he said. "We already laid the groundwork and [Mol] was not involved in it one bit."
An academic promise which is looked upon more favourably by Sullivan is one by Mark Smiley to use student senators and increase ties with faculty associations to accomplish academic goals. "It's a good idea. It's been done before and it worked well," he said.
In general, Sullivan said he would like to see candidates focus on fresh initiatives which they can accomplish realistically and work with the provincial and federal lobby groups on these goals.