Reaching for the top in first forum
By Kevin Gale
The show got off the ground yesterday for this year's University Students' Council presidential elections as the nine candidates were introduced in the University Community Centre's atrium marking the first forum of the campaign.
Candidate Scott Graham said he wants to balance the corporate and political sides of the USC by doing an external corporate review. He also said he wants to impose a mandatory 65 per cent academic average for all Orientation Week sophs to help the academic focus of O-week.
Increasing the power of students on campus through more representation on Senate and Board of Governors to help establish a vision for the university was what Ryan Parks outlined as a priority.
Parks also said he would push to have a student candidate run in the next federal election on an education platform.
Christina Gural said she wants to reduce the cost of eating on campus and continue to work on establishing a permanent 24-hour study location at the university.
"You can't get a decent meal for five bucks on campus," Gural said.
Mark Smiley said he would look at ways to establish student scholarship funds through the USC. One of the ways to do this is to apply for a license as a charitable foundation and run casinos and bingos, Smiley said.
[Name withheld by request] said he wants to re-assess student services and actively seek student input on issues because student opinion is important in establishing the direction of the USC.
"It's what I call the 'what can I do for you platform'," [Name withheld by request] said.
However, Brian Astl did not introduce his platform. Instead he focused on the candidate as a person.
He said students must decide who to vote for based on who earns their respect over the next two weeks and described himself as a person who is committed to the position of president. "The USC should run programs that affect students' everyday lives," he said.
Sean Martin presented what he called his 'before and after theory.' In view of rising tuition costs, Martin said he would like to make the university more attractive to high school students and improve employment services on campus to help students find jobs after graduation. "I don't want universities to become supermarkets where you just pick and choose," he said.
The regular student has been overlooked the last few years, said Saj Butt. he called for a more efficient use of resources as every day is a financial struggle for students between high food prices in CentreSpot and high book prices.
"In business school I've had the opportunity to study several mismanaged operations but none as bad as the USC," Roy Sproxton said. He added his goal, if elected, is to reduce student activity fees by selling advertising space on bulletin boards around campus.