Lister forum more of the same, but Larsen shines through

President: It’s still close, but Larsen won Lister

The Lister forum was the last chance for presidential candidates to make themselves stand out in a neck-in-neck race. They all want residence to be more affordable. They all lived in Lister. They all made jokes about dodgeball.

The only candidate who stood out for me at the Lister forum was Reed Larsen. He spoke very candidly about his time in Lister, when students were evicted with 45 minutes’ notice and no one got their deposits back. He emphasized the importance of including people living in residence on campus in the Residential Tenancies Act, which he has been advocating for since he first ran for the executive. Despite not having a lot of experience with residence issues, Larsen had thoughtful, articulate things to say about them. I especially like his idea to have Students’ Union executives spend a night in each of the residences so they can understand what it’s like. Obvio, sly there’s more to living in a place than one night on a foam mattress, but it’s a start, and it would at least make a funny video. Honestly, even if they’re no more than publicity stunts, that kind of gimmicky stuff would at least raise awareness about the SU amongst students, and that would be great. Larsen had some really good ideas yesterday, and in this forum, he came out on top.

That being said, Ushakov and Scott aren’t out of the running. This race has been very close all along, and despite giving a few non-answers, the two of them mostly performed pretty well yesterday. The presidential campaign has been close all along, and it’s still anyone’s game.

I was also floored to hear from an audience question that Residence Assistants aren’t allowed to carry naloxone kits on shift, and I was glad to hear that all three presidential candidates took the issue seriously and want to do something about it as soon as possible, because no matter who you think should win this election, I hope this is an issue we can all get behind.

Student Events Initiative “Yes” Referendum: Thank you for listening!  

Daria Nordell, the Yes campaign representative, heeded The Gateway’s advice at the Lister forum and used the exact numbers to describe the fee in her introductory speech. That was awesome! Thank you! The SEI continues to be a really good idea, and so long as students are aware of what they are getting into, I’m hoping it will pass.

Board of Governors representative: Close, but no cigar 

Like I’ve said a million times, the BoG race continues to be unimpressive. Flaman told us that “many students don’t want the meal plan” in Lister, which is the understatement of the century. Chen did not really speak about residence in any detail, despite living in Lister. Neither of these candidates would be apocalyptically bad in the position, especially if they have support from a strong SU president and GSA president, but I am still not excited to vote for either of them.

Emma Jones

Emma is the 2020-21 Executive Director, and is going into her final year of Political Science with a minor in Comparative Literature. When she isn’t busy making a list or colour-coding her agenda, you can find her at debate club, listening to trashy pop music, or accidentally dying her hair pink. She formerly worked as the Opinion Editor at the Gateway and the Student Governance Officer at the Students’ Union.

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