Online Exclusive: SU op-fi commissioner forum

Students will have to think long and hard before submitting their choice for vice-president of operations and finance if the op-fi Candidate’s forum was any indication.

Held Thur., Feb. 8, the forum spanned the major issues that will face the next elected VP Op-Fi. All three candidates, Kyle Olsen, Michael Prang and Fraser Stuart, were in attendance and subject to questions regarding the reduction of student fees and levy packages, CJSW’s move into their new space and the best use of quality money.

It was on this latter issue that the candidates found little common ground while discussing where the money should be spent and where too much has been spent in the past.

“With quality money, we can take that money and put it towards some of the projects we already have going on,” said candidate Fraser Stuart, whose platform concentrates on clubs and development. “A place which has received funding, but hasn’t moved is student development. But until we have a clear goal and a clear timeline set out, quality money should stay with the quality money rather than being funneled directly out to the black hole of development.”

Fellow candidate Michael Prang, alternately, cited the Students’ Union’s efforts to construct a student’s commons as one of the best uses for quality money. His platform consists of a 25-step system to deal with clubs and putting the Students’ Union back in the hands of students.

“[Quality money] should go towards something that tangibly affects the quality of student’s experiences on campus,” said Prang. “As for what makes the least amount of difference, it’s class size, simply because it is such a huge issue, so it’s a drop in a very big bucket.”

Past op-fi commissioner and current VP candidate Kyle Olsen, however, listed partnerships with the university to reduce class sizes as one of the most important uses of quality money.

“The quality money is to provide a class-instead of 50, or 20,” said Olsen, whose platform focuses on reconciling the SU with business operations, student focus and sustainability. “To create extra lectures of very large classes and to let everyone in the major take them. The project that is of least impact is international travel. It’s a small part of the quality money that I believe should go forward, but I don’t believe it has a dominant impact.”

The candidates rounded out the forum with a skill-testing mathematical question and comments about Stuart’s characteristic argyle-sweater-infused wardrobe.

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