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Drilling the candidates
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Drilling the candidates
By Mark Brown
University Students' Council presidential candidates faced their most intense interrogation last night, but none left in tears.
The presidential candidates expected the worst going into last night's forum, held at the USC meeting. VP-campus issues Peter Hill presented one of the most challenging and complex questions, asking what candidates would do if a student approached them complaining about a hate group handing out material in front of the University Community Centre.
Emily Chung caught Hill on his question, noting people are not allowed to hand out material without permission. "If you haven't booked the space you're out," she said.
The shortest but most direct answer came from Perry Monaco who said, "I would ask them to leave."
Stephen Zolis, Joey Hammill and SzeJack Tan each took similar positions saying they would seek advice from other sources such as the equity services office.
Tan added he would also check to see if the group Hill referred to was breaking any laws.
Although Zolis said he would have to consult other authorities before making a decision, he also said he would have to consider free speech on campus and that students at an institute of higher learning can make their own choices.
Nurup Naimji said he would assess the issue in the context of the motto of the USC and against the policies of the university.
Kalev Suurkask said it would be difficult but he would try to reach a compromise between the two parties.
Only Hammill and Naimji received questions during the forum which were directed at them specifically.
Hammill was challenged by one council member about his idea to create a voting observer seat for the council next year. Hammill responded this seat would give council a way to gauge student opinion and encourage people to attend USC meetings.
Another councillor asked Naimji to explain how he intends to allow students from affiliated colleges to use their meal plans on any location on Western's campus. Naimji explained why he wanted to make this change.
Due to an exam, John Botting could not attend last night's council forum.