SU By-election forum "Exposing" says my News Editor

MacEwan Hall Expansion topped the issues at a Students’ Union by-election forum, held in the MacEwan Student Centre food court Monday.

The SU hosted the noon-hour event in an attempt to present the four Operations and Finance Commissioner candidates to the general student populace for the Oct. 6 to Oct. 8 by-election.

Each candidate displayed their platform and answer a few questions about their portfolio.
“I think that with Mac Hall expansion a lot of students are confused,” said candidate Jeremy Barretto. “They don’t know how much has been spent, and where that money is going.”
Following Barretto, the other candidates detailed different plans for the SU and the student body.

“I want to spend all the money that is available to make sure that clubs have a good time,” said candidate Nick Vuckovic.

Expansion around the university and student involvement was a major focus.

“The SU needs to involve its students more in its operations, in its day-to-day procedures,” said candidate Tyler Brekko. “For instance, you can see redevelopment going on around here, but there has been very little student consultation.”

Aside from the platforms given, each candidate was thoroughly tested with knowledge-based questions relating to the role of commissioner. Although not every question was put forth in a serious manner, the candidates were kept on their toes. Some questions, mostly from the audience, challenged the candidates to explain in depth their plans for the school and student body.

“Basically all the planning and budgeting has been done for this year,” said Fouad Jomaa. “Because club money has already been decided to the specific groups, we can only allocate the money more wisely.”

The candidates felt however, that more planning had to be made about the kinds of questions that were asked and how the forum was run.

“I would suggest that they [the SU] concentrate more on the issues and platforms rather than acronyms,” said Barretto, referring to university bodies and
lobbying groups on which he was quizzed.

“The forum does not capture all aspects of the election,” added Jomaa. “You have to have other means for the students to interact such as an open house or a one-on-one session.”
The time and the place of the forum was another issue which both the students and the candidates felt needed to be changed. Every candidate agreed the location had its strengths and weaknesses.

“The forums are a very valid means for the candidates to get out and meet the public,” said Brekko.

“The forums went well in addressing the issues and identifying our platforms, but I think it was hard for people to hear us,” added Barretto. “I just think it was the wrong venue. Speaker’s Corner would have been much better.”

Despite noise problems at the forum, the general opinion of the candidates and students on hand was that everything went fairly smoothly. In the end, the forum came down to one thing, which Vuckovic put nicely in his platform speech.

“Just vote for me.”

Or a candidate of your choosing.

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