President: Gilbert Bong

A concise understanding of the post secondary funding issues plaguing Alberta and a knowledge of the best solutions to those problems cannot be replaced by good intentions alone. Enter Gilbert Bong, an undoubtedly friendly and sincere candidate who unfortunately doesn’t seem to grasp the role of an effective SU President. Campaigning on a platform of financial accountability to students and fighting for equal access to the U of C for all students, regardless of changes in program as it is for those coming from high school, Bong’s lobbying strategy is thin at best.

Although he speaks of strengthening ties to CAUS and lobbying the government if new funding fails to materialize in this year’s budget, education isn’t built on hope alone. Bong’s lack of a proactive and sustained lobbying strategy with the provincial government carries over into his strategy for working with university administration.

An SU President must be able to negotiate and work with the administration to always uphold students’ interests. Bong endorses an SU undergraduate fund and increased private funding to the U of C, neither of which solves the bigger problem of insufficient core funding.

Although he seemed to understand the implications of ongoing U of C budget cuts and reallocations, Bong’s strategy is to wait until budgets come down and then fight them if necessary. This is simply not good enough in an effective leader. His obvious drive and ambition, but lack of SU experience, maks Bong an ideal candidate for an external or op-fi commissioner, but not for president.

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

“If they don’t fulfill their promises I want to increase cooperation with all post-secondary institutions to create a unified movement. We need lots of media attention.”

How will you communicate with students?

“I want to take at least one time per month to walk around and talk to students about the issues. I want to take a more personal approach to it.”

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

“The relationship has to be cooperative in order to be effective, but it has to voice the opinions of the undergraduate population first. The Students’ Union has to stand strong.”


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