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Feb 21 / kkrizka

SFU Student Senate Election 2008-2009

it is the time of the year again when SFU students log onto their computers to cast votes for who they want to represent them in the student senate and the board of governors. These representatives will then try to propose changes to current policies of the university in a way that benefits the general student population. You can read a description of their function on the SFU website, so I will not go into detail on that. Instead I want to focus on what I think about the current issues and the candidates’ statements on them.

First of all, I noticed that almost all candidates’ campaigns revolve around three issues:

  1. Better training and fundings for the Teacher Assistants and their tutorials.
  2. Better course availability.
  3. Better communication between the students and the faculty.

While all of the three issues are important, especially number 2, there is still a problem. Those three issues are the ONLY ISSUES that most candidates cover in their statements! If I only cared about them, then I could just as easily had checked off the first few candidates on the ballot and was done with it. There was only few candidates that stood out for me, and those were the ones that I voted for. The following is the list of two candidates that I fully support, although there are a few other eligible candidates like Amanda van Baarsen, Robin Steudel, Jason Chan and Haida Arsenault-Antolick.

Joe Paling

Paling is a current senate member, so he has some experience. But I think he is the best candidate because he is the only one that I saw so far put a stand on the issue of bursaries and student loans. The following is a direct quote from his statement:

“Reopening the Bursary Program to all students in need and not just us who apply for Student Loans. SFU should not be encouraging student debt.”

Since I am a student that was denied a work-study bursary because I chose not to borrow any money, this is a problem that needs to be solved. A bursary should not be a method to pay off loans, instead it should be used to avoid them. Because of this I support Paling regardless of the fact that I disagree with him on other issues, like I think that is a great service and the idea that it “violates our student copyright” is not enough, but more on that later.

Roberto Trasolini

Even though Trasolini’s statement does not look like that of an expert politician, I still support him. He is the only candidate that I saw “committed to excellence in science both practically and academically.” As a science student, I think this is another important aspect of university to focus on. Since there will be 14 senate members, there will be at least one fighting for improving course quality. So it won’t be a waste to elect someone that will also argue for science and academics.

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