External commissioners come out

By Peter Stein

With a panel of seven students vying for four external commissioner positions and a large group of spectators, it did not take long for the similarities and differences of the candidates to take center stage at Speaker’s Corner in MacEwan Student Centre.

Each candidate began by outlining their vision and aspirations. Many similar issues were discussed by the majority of the candidates, with tuition, lobby groups, student awareness and student aid as key focal points in the various campaigns.

First to speak was Jasdeep Chahal, who quickly emphasized tuition issues, student awareness and participation.

“We [must] get our voice heard, students are the future of this country and this community,” said Chahal.

Shoaib Rasheed addressed similar issues.

“Affordability, access and quality of education are issues that are important to all of us,” explained Rasheed.

Next to speak was current Events Commissioner Jennifer Smith, who enforced the need for stronger school spirit and the importance of public awareness while touching on the other major issues.

“It’s essential to make people feel as if there’s a viable alternative to the current state of affairs, because I know there is,” said Smith.

The Barski’s Cabinet external commissioner candidate, Matthew Jenkins, elaborated on the importance of the provincial government’s support in resolving key issues, and claimed a slate would allow for maximum efficiency and collaboration.

“We have a [strong] provincial focus,” said Jenkins. “We feel that we can get a lot more done provincially than we can federally.”

Michael Prang also made tuition his primary concern, raising the importance of coping with current tuition rates by providing better support systems to students and raising overall student awareness.

“How can we fight tuition effectively?” questioned Prang. “By using the support that’s already there and convincing [the government] with correct arguments on both the provincial and federal levels.”

Slatemates Kevin Kurtz and Matt Solberg, both with the Action Party, also spoke to party efficiency and cohesion while emphasizing reduced students fees, university services and quality education.

“Why am I an authority on this issue?” asked Kurtz. “Because I’m a student. These are my issues and these are your issues.”

“I think tuition comes with a lot more than just the money we are spending,” added Solberg. “Tuition would not be such a problem if we were receiving the quality of education that such high [rates] should provide.”


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