A forum for student voices
By Sara Marett
Today marks the first-ever Board of Governors election forum where students can quiz candidates hoping to fill the two available student positions on Western's highest governing body.
There are two undergraduate student positions and one graduate student position on the Board. Next week, students will vote for two positions during the by-elections. Today's forum will feature questions to the candidates and is open to all students.
Running for the one available undergraduate position are fourth-year economics student Sam Castiglione, third-year business student Joel Adams and third-year political science student Michael Rubinoff. Battling for the graduate position are graduate students Christina Gural and Ryon Bateman.
Castiglione said he would bring extensive experience to the position. "As current VP-student issues for the USC I have a large knowledge base on academic and external issues of the university," he said.
He added he has proven his ability to lobby administrative members through his efforts to preserve Sydenham Hall and Medway Hall as single-sex residences.
Rubinoff said he has recently been an active voice for student concerns. "In running for Member of Parliament, I did my best to display to the community and the country the needs of students," he said.
It is crucial to have student representation on the Board, but it has to be effective representation, Rubinoff said. "It must be an individual who is competent in discussing issues and acts in the best interest of students."
Adams said he wants to spread awareness of the Board and Senate through the position. "I'm concerned about issues like keeping Sophs in residences. These issues must be discussed in a more pro-active manner," he said.
All candidates said the student positions are important because most Board members are physically removed from the university community. "There seems to be a lack of information surrounding student issues on the part of the Board members," Adams said.
University Students' Council President Ryan Parks, who is concluding his two-year term on the Board this November, said the student positions are important as the Board is the ultimate decision-making body of the university and student concerns must be heard when these decisions are being made.
Tim Morris, chief returning officer for the USC, said the event will be an important step in further involving students in the up-coming council elections.
The forum begins at noon in the atrium of the University Community Centre. Look for profiles on the graduate candidates in tomorrow's Gazette.