I just got back from the President, VP External and VP Finance debates and I have to admit that most of the candidates are quite something.
My favorite? -The Invisible Man (not that I saw or heard him…)
The good news are that I’ve made up my mind and I know who I’ll be voting for. Still, I’d like to share my notes on all the candidates, maybe I can give you an idea of what they are all about.
I’m pretty sure that no one is interested in reading the eight pages of notes that I took during the debates. So, I’ll choose one or two questions for each candidate, the ones that I think best exemplify what they represent.
Please note – I’m not a very fast typist, so this is not a word-for-word but rather a get-the-main idea review of the questions and answers.
(in the order in which they introduced themselves)
– What are the key objectives of an AMS President? Build and maintain constructive and productive relationships with the university, the government and the students. Support the executives.
– (Student Question) Can you identify how you are different from the rest of the students running for president? I’ve been here 11 years, I’m a commuter student and I have been a student in three faculties. My record is one of getting things done for students when they have a problem with the university.
– What are the key objectives of an AMS President? Team-building. Ensure a positive relationship with the students and the university. Be a representative and a spokesperson and advocate for students.
– (Student Question) As a president how will you make sure that the executive voices are heard, especially when they disagree with your voice/opinion? As a team we have to identify why each one is there, the principles and the goals. We each have to become more flexible because there is a common thread that we can all navigate. In essence, be flexible to all perspectives.
Pak Ho Leung
– (Student Question) What will you do to ensure that gender violence is an important concern of the AMS and what will you do to support the cause? I, Pak Ho Leung, am against sexual assault. I will allocate more money into services that are against sexual assault.
– (Student Question) Can you identify how you are different from the rest of the students running for president? I’m a commuter student and see issues that many students see. I would bring a lot of change. Yes we can.
– (Student Question) As a president how will you make sure that the executive voices are heard, especially when they disagree with your voice/opinion? I will work with the opinions of all the members of the council. There will be no dictatorship in the AMS.
– (Student Question) Can you identify how you are different from the rest of the students running for president? I know what students need. Now all education is done online. We need to take our learning to the next level.
– The AMS membership with CASA is ending in 2010. How can the society work with other student unions? Currently we spend about 50,000 to 70,000 on CASA membership fees. I will take that money to lobby provincial government for reduced tuition, protecting the Upass and championing the federal government for an education ministry to have a go-to person in the federal stage.
– Financial hardship is a pressing issue, what are the root causes? How can the external office fight this? Tuition fees are very high. However, tuition is here and will remain here because we are a top level university and our degree has value. Since students loans are incredibly difficult, my main focus will be to work on a student loan system that is accessible and easy to manage.
– (Student Question) What is your philosophy on lobbying, towards the next step or the end goal? How will you get the AMS to back you up? You can’t take the next step unless you have an end goal in mind. In a one-year time frame the next step has to be the priority. The external office will take direction from the council.
– What is the most important issue based in the relationship with translink and how will you tackle it? The Upass smacks of socialism. I say build a freeway to where there is cheaper housing for students. I’m offended that no one else thought of this.
-Accountability and transparency are increasingly in demand. How will students know that funds are being managed responsibly? I will work for increased communication with students, accountability. I’ve worked with the AMS and I know which parts of the funding are necessary and which are wasteful.
The Invisible Man
– (Student Question) If the AMS were to come to $60,000 due to a person miswriting something in their will, how will you use that money?