The first of two SUBstage forums kicked off Thursday afternoon with discussion about residence security, tuition costs and the supposed dangers of Grant MacEwan University.
Presidential candidates Petros Kusmu, Saadiq Sumar and joke candidate Horse with a Gun, along with uncontested candidates Adam Woods for Vice-President (External) and Dustin Chelen for Vice-President (Academic), presented their platforms and answered questions during the hour-long event.
Now vying for his second term as VP (Academic), Chelen elaborated on the broader initiatives he’s looking to implement next year.
“Last year, we worked on things like extending the withdrawal deadline, clarifying the grading policy and rebuilding academic relations. But I think (running again) gives me an opportunity to solve some bigger problems, in particular cheaper textbooks, better professors and a non-bureaucratic university,” he said.
VP (External) candidate Adam Woods delivered a speech outlining his goals of mental health, student employment and addressing mandatory non-instructional fees for the upcoming year.
During the question and rebuttal period, presidential candidate Sumar asked his fellow competitors what their plans were to increase residence safety, particularly in HUB, in the wake of the June 2012 shooting.
Kusmu acknowledged the potential dangers of HUB Mall and highlighted the importance of supporting residence administration.
“We have to make sure that we’re properly supporting our residences,” Kusmu said.
“Students are endangered. There have been sexual assaults happening, people who feel like they are not safe in their own home ... and I feel like that is a big issue.”
In his own rebuttal, Sumar agreed with Kusmu’s statement. “I think the first thing is working with the HUB Community Association, working with residence associations, making sure that our residence is safe,” he said.
Joke candidate Horse with a Gun, however, focused on threats outside of the university.
“One of my main incentives is to add one mandatory year for all students for a campus military ... to protect us from Grant MacEwan University,” it stated.
The second SUBstage forum, showcasing the other half of the election races, will take place Friday at 12 p.m. in SUB.
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