Print Edition: November 16, 2011
How to increase student awareness, open communication between clubs and associations and create a more cohesive student body were major points of debate at the SUS by-election all candidates’ meeting on Monday at UFV’s Abbotsford campus.
Candidates for VP Social, Clubs and Associations Rep, Residence Students Rep and Rep-at-Large all had the chance to illustrate their platforms and distinguish themselves from their competitors. Jhim Burwell, SUS Communications Administrator, acted as the time keeper and moderator.
All candidates had similar stances on many of the issues; the main difference between candidates were in how they framed their ideas. VP Social candidate Wyatt Scott said he thinks UFV is the greatest school of all time, and that we’re lucky to have so many different cultures on campus, but he sees UFV as a “teenager” that is experiencing very quick growth, and said we are experiencing issues related to this. He also believes that the SUS needs to be talking with every club and association.
With regards to events, fellow VP Social candidate Soderstrom believes that we need to see more consistency. He also believes that the SUS needs to do more in reaching out to student organizations, as well as to co-sponsor events with other associations. His support on the new Student Union building is based on contingencies, but he sees it as an important investment.
Final VP Social candidate Tuong Thai feels that it’s important for the expectations of clubs and procedures regarding the SUS to be more well-known. When the question of support for the new Student Union building came up, he pointed out that the current space with which the SUS, CIVL, and Cascade now occupy – as they would move to the new building – could be freed up to make new classrooms. This would help ease the wait-list for students, as new space could be allocated for them.
The sole Residence Student Rep candidate Christian Doyle feels that simple communication is a great way to increase student involvement. A new idea that he floated was the possibility for students in residence to receive a second card, in addition to the U-Pass. Some possibilities for the card could be benefits at the local movie theatre, and more restaurant deals as well.
Rep-at-Large candidate Anne Franklin brought up ways to increase student communication and awareness. One such way is to have small events like hot chocolate in the hallways as students pass by. The students who stop by can tell the SUS their thoughts, and dialogue for improvements can begin. Franklin would also like to see a new rail between Chilliwack and Abbotsford.
Rep-at-Large candidate Cleal Harvey believes the new student building is to be a legacy of the future. He wants to take it as far as he can while at UFV. The U-Pass is also an issue with him, as he would like to see it changed – he feels it should include extended areas towards Vancouver.
Rep-at-Large candidate Shane Potter is running on being a counter-voice. Oversight is significant with him and he wants to stand up to deficits that take money away from students. While still supporting the Student Union building, he acknowledged that the possible $10 million mortgage is a significant amount and needs to be scrutinized with regards to every cost.
The point that set apart Rep-at-Large candidate Greg Strickland was his call for a stronger web presence between the SUS and students. While it’s great to talk to students in the hallway, he noted, the web is always on. He believes that possibilities such as establishing a YouTube channel that can act in an interactive way will help inform students of upcoming events and help to create a more cohesive student body.
Rep-at-Large candidate Jeannette Laberge was absent, as was Clubs and Associations rep candidate Cody Willems-Kutz.
Want to make your voice heard in student government? UFV’s SUS by-election is an opportunity to choose between candidates for VP Social, Clubs & Associations Representative, Residence Representative, and Reps At Large. Polling will be conducted via myUFV between November 17 and November 23.