VP Op-Fi candidates cash in at forums

By Katie Hobday

The forum for the highly competitive race for the position of Vice-President Operations and Finance featured a quintet vying for a spot on the Students’ Union executive.

Though each candidate had different ideas on how to approach to the most important issues pertaining to the position, the high cost of tuition and SU budgetary concerns were stressed.

"We believe there is a lot that can be cut out of the current budget, and there are a lot of things that aren’t doing very much good for the students right now," said Action Party candidate Jason Brown. "We need more accountability of where the money is going and why it’s being spent the way it is."

Current Events Commissioner Greg Clayton said he believed in financial responsibility by looking through the budget and ensuring it is accountable and transparent. He added the University of Calgary is a quality institution, with many features students should be proud of.

"We operate a radio station that has more listeners than pretty much any other campus radio station," said Clayton. "That’s our voice to the public."

Fellow candidate Ian Smedly agreed CJSW, NUTV and the Gauntlet provided a sense of community and would not happen without a strong financial base.

"We want to make sure that services we’re providing keep being provided without charging students [more]," said Smedley. "We’ve got to maximize the revenue we’re generating from outside sources so that services are going to be going to the students."

Angus Campbell, the Barski’s Cabinet candidate, said he will look to the students to help guide the SU.

"We want to make the SU earn more of a profit to benefit students," said Campbell. "We want to hopefully help assist [students] with some of their costs. We want to look at stretching [their] dollars as best we can."

When asked about his most important campaign promises, current Op-Fi commissioner Jarrod Fuhr responded he would have prudent financial management to make sure money was not wasted and reduce levies and fees.

"This year we’re seeing some [fees and levies] brought before you as referendum questions," said Fuhr. "My intention is to do that next year, but it will be [students’] who vote on whether those fees go down or not."

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