VP Academic hopefuls speak their piece at forums

By Ben Hoffman

The future of academics hung in the balance Tue., Feb. 3 as three political warriors battled.

Candidates for Students’ Union Vice-President Academic took the stage following the academic commissioners forum to discuss their platforms and respond to questions in Speaker’s Corner. Attending the forum were hopefuls Laura Schultz, Action Party representative Andrea Kettle and Mohamed El-Rafih. Barski’s Cabinet representative Aaron Baker did not attend.

Each candidate was given several minutes to discuss their platforms and were then asked a list of questions by current SU VP Academic Demetrios Nicolaides and the audience. The topics ranged from candi- date qualifications to ideas about current academic issues facing the SU and Student Academic Assembly.

Schultz kicked off the platform discussions.

“My platform is about quality,” said Schultz. “It’s about making the public aware of the lack of quality at the University of Calgary.”

“Education must be top priority,” said Kettle of her platform. “Recently, there has been a drive for research. I want your education to be paramount.”

“I feel like I can relate a lot more to the responsibilities of this position,” El-Rafih said, referring to his candidacy for SU President in the 2003 SU election. “Learning should be Moe fun. Less isn’t Moe, Moe is Moe.”

The three candidates were asked what they thought the most important issues to students were.

“Obviously, there’s the issue of tuition,” said Kettle. “Another issue that is interesting to the students is getting [a] Tim Hortons. The Action Party is interested in revenue generation.”

“The biggest problem is student apathy,” El-Rafih said, clarifying that lack of student interest when dealing with campus issues leads to loss of interest in academia.

“There are a lot of academic issues at this school,” said Schultz. “Things such as a focus on graduate students. It’s getting harder for students to get into the university. These are all issues that affect students in their everyday academic careers.”

The candidates were also asked why students should vote for them.

“Because I will make learning Moe fun,” said El-Rafih, who was the first to respond.

“I’m a student,” said Kettle. “I know what it’s like.”

“I’m dedicated, I’m compassionate, I have integrity, and I have honesty,” said Schultz.


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