SU Election Dissection 2024: Vice-President (External)

The panelists agreed that both candidates have their own strengths and unique perspectives, but disagreed as to who should win.

Every year, The Gateway hosts a panel to discuss the Students’ Union (SU) election. This year’s panelists provided their insights on the candidates running, student politics, and who students should vote for in the 2024 SU election.

Opinions expressed by the panellists do not reflect those of The Gateway.

The Panel

This year’s panel included:

  • Haruun Ali: fourth-year political science student at the University of Alberta, former SU open studies and arts councillor, and presidential candidate in the 2022 and 2023 SU election
  • Pia Co: The Gateway ’19-20 director of marketing and outreach, ’20-21 online production editor, ’21 editor-in-chief
  • Jared Gordon: third-year finance and economics student at the U of A, current treasurer of the U of A Conservative Club.

The Candidates

Abdul Abbasi, a third-year biology student and former Augustana councillor on Students’ Council.

abdul abbasi at myer horowitz 2024
Lily Polenchuk Abdul Abbasi, vice-president (external) candidate, Myer Horowitz forum.

Logan West, a fourth-year film studies student.

logan west at myer horowitz 2024
Lily Polenchuk Logan West, vice-president (external) candidate, Myer Horowitz forum.

Both Ali and Gordon especially liked West’s branding when it came to posters and social media. However, Ali noted Abbasi’s lack of posters on campus. He mentioned that because Abbasi is from Augustana Campus, the SU “robbed [him] of an opportunity to fruitfully engage in this election.”

Co said that Abbasi communicates his ideas directly, which is something the vice-president (external) (VPX) needs to be able to do.

As well, Co said that West brings an interesting perspective to the role, with “fascinating” ideas such as incentivizing students to come to protests. Ali agreed, and added that while both candidates highlighted key things, West highlighted more.

Gordon didn’t agree with the idea of incentivizing protests. However, he also didn’t think that Abbasi’s goal of pressuring the government to fund a bus-line between Augustana and North Campus is feasible.

“But, one thing I did really like is that Abbasi said mental health is still stigmatized in a lot of international households,” Gordon added. “That’s a very underrated point that I think is noteworthy.”

For Co, both candidates bring a unique perspective to the role. Abbasi is an Augustana student, while West brings the perspective of a motivated, average student.

“West talked about how she used to be an average student who didn’t care. But because of things shifting, that mobilized her own desire to get involved in student politics,” Co said. “In the way that Abbasi talks with numbers, I think West does a good job talking narrative.”

In Ali’s opinion, Abbasi did a great job of recognizing students’ needs. However, he said that West’s points were great too.

“Abbasi’s clearly done a lot of research. But I also think it’s more than just numbers,” Ali said. He explained that it’s about rebuilding campus community, which West “highlighted excellently with incentives … to come engage with the SU.” On the other hand, Abbasi didn’t elaborate on the execution behind his goals, Ali added.

Gordon shared that having a woman VPX, especially since there hasn’t been one in years, would be valuable to the executive and students.

“I really think that having somewhat of an outsider perspective and having a woman in the role would be really refreshing,” Gordon explained.

Ali added that the SU is “almost at a breaking point, where broken promises aren’t giving confidence to students.” West’s presentation of how she would achieve her vision will be important to address this issue, Ali said.

Co said she was instead drawn to Abbasi’s answers on lobbying for Campus Saint-Jean and international students. She added that with his experience of going to Augustana, his “perspectives would be invaluable to the SU executive.”

“That isn’t to say that West doesn’t deserve to be on there either.”

Who will win: three votes for West

Who should win: one vote for Abbasi, two votes for West

Lily Polenchuk

Lily Polenchuk is the 2023-24 Managing Editor at The Gateway. She previously served as the 2023-24 and 2022-23 News Editor, and 2022-23 Staff Reporter. She is in her second year, studying English and political science. She enjoys skiing, walks in the river valley, and traveling.

Related Articles

Back to top button