VPSL candidates at yesterday’s forum started strong but finished disappointing

Let me preface by saying the Myer Horowitz is a perfect analogy for the state of the Students Union. Most students don’t know about it, it promises a lot but delivers little, and it is functionally broken. It needs work. The only difference is that, right now, someone is trying to fix it. I can’t say the same for the SU.

Andre Bourgeois spoke first at this forum. He was immediately mad as hell. Bourgeois’ speech entirely focused on sexual violence on campus. Now, past VPSL candidates have mentioned sexual violence while never backing it up with actions, but this was not completely the case for Bourgeois. He condemned the University for not hiring a sexual assault response and prevention coordinator — the only remaining recommendation of the 46 the University committed to in 2016. This is the type of hard-hitting platform you need as a VPSL.

Stephen Raitz and Michelle Kim followed and, oh man, they not only failed to read the room but they regurgitated their platform points. They had the chance to ride the wave of Andre’s words and possibly even add to the conversation, but that was not the case.

I was weary of Andre’s pitch. Did he take a page out of Kim’s recent emotionally charged speech? I don’t know, that’s for you to decide. I don’t think it’s my place as a man to say which actions on sexual violence are the good enough or not. I do know that if he wins I’ll be keeping close tabs to see if he’s full of shit or not.

Next, a student asked how the VPSL would get rid of the atrocious inefficiencies of the sexual assault reporting to the university. How are they going to make this already traumatic experience as painless as possible? Bourgeois jumped back to hiring a sexual assault response and prevention coordinator to do this very thing. Andre’s answer was not as strong as his speech but it was still more action-based than the two others’ combined.

Honestly I was pretty unimpressed with everyone at this forum. Bourgeois started strong then quickly died out. Michelle Kim kept telling us what’s on her platform. Stephen Raitz remained as unanimated as always.

What makes me sad is that these forums probably don’t matter in an apathetic student body. If Raitz is as big a deal in Lister as people tell me he might win. Who the hell knows. Does anyone even read these?

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