President: Bryan West

Bryan West has done a good job as SU president during his current term. Succesful projects include the negotiation of at least $1.5 million from the university Board of Governors for use on SU chosen quality initiatives and the successful implementation of Political Action Week during the run up to the provincial election. PAW, which included a series of SU sponsored television commercials highlighting the plight of PSE, was at least partly responsible for the election of education supportive candidates in both university ridings.

Campaigning for reelection on a platform of more of the same, West’s understanding of his role as president is unsurprisingly thorough. With ambitious but well thought out plans to implement a full time lobbying department within the SU, West proposes setting aside a yearly sum of $25,000 to pay for an expensive media campaign in the next provincial election. His support of the SU’s continued membership in lobby groups like CASA and CAUS on top of his proposed SU lobby department signifies his desire to follow traditional routes, but critics would argue the job of a permanent lobbying department is a duplication of presidential and VP External portfolios.

Although some students would like to see a more confrontational approach, West’s ability to focus his energy on well thought-out projects within existing power structures has been proven. His proposed Campus Core Project would see a major overhaul (probably for the better) of the current structures of SAA and the responsibilities of elected Faculty Representatives. The project would establish Student Faculty Councils to better coordinate faculty specific concerns and would go a long way to clarify the purpose of SAA. His platform is planned to specifics of detail not seen in other candidates, though it is unclear how much of it is simply a rehash of current SU projects. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, as the current Executive Cabinet have worked well together on a number of well planned initiatives.

Though whether this has been primarily do to strong leadership on West’s part or an unusual confluence of like-minded individuals is unknown. West is a good candidate to provide rationale leadership and follow thorough on complicated projects, but will undoubtedly stick with the status quo.

How will you hold the provincial government to its promises to make PSE its first priority?

“There’s two parts to that. Internally, we’re setting up meetings with the minister, premier, Calgary Conservative Caucus, and the Liberal Caucus as well. Externally, if they don’t do what they say they’re going to do, the SU is in a position where we now have the resources to put on mid-term campaigns.”

How will you communicate with students?

“We’ve been using the beat board this year, the mass mailing system. We’ve tried to be consistent with our articles in the Gauntlet. I think I’ve been active wherever there’s been a need for our prescence, on the ground physically and digitally we’ve been out there too.”

What should the relationship be between the SU and university administration?

“I think that we work together when we can work together and we work apart when we split on differences. For instance, we worked together quite well going up to the provincial election, but when it came to tuition time we split. It’s not our role to make the administration happy.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.