VP Academic

By Jamie Hellewell

There are three candidates in the race to represent you as Vice-president Academic of the Students’ Union: Drew Brown, Heather Clitheroe, and Kerry Parker.

The official job description of the VP Academic includes advocating student rights on academic issues, coordinating and chairing the Student’s Academic Assembly, and developing policies and services to aid students. However, each candidate has a unique vision of the key issues for the upcoming year and how students will be best served.

Andrew Brown emphasizes bringing the SU closer to the students it serves.

"We need to make the SU more accessible to students; that means avoiding going into in-camera during meetings," said Brown. "We also need to devote a larger portion of the budget to areas that will meet student needs directly, such as library funding, ensuring that the U of C is able to keep high level professors, and keeping class sizes small."

Brown added that the SU must set realistic goals to fight for.

The second candidate is Heather Clitheroe.

"I believe that the issues for the upcoming year are centred around the training of the newly created Students’ Rights Advisor, ensuring that they are fully prepared to counsel students on academic rights and freedoms," said Clitheroe. "I hope to develop comprehensive information packages and campaigns that will keep students informed of the SU’s work. I will also work with students, preparing academic appeals [and] taking their concerns to the university administration."

The third candidate up for the position of VP Academic is Kerry Parker. Parker sees three main issues important for the upcoming year.

"First and foremost, I see the university library as an urgent issue for all students the Undergraduate Curriculum Redesign is also looming on the horizon; the pilot project is coming to a close and the new undergrad framework is taking shape. I strongly feel that student concerns must be voiced amidst faculty agendas [Thirdly] the Students’ Rights Advisor is being introduced this year for the first time and changes the role of the VP Academic significantly," said Parker.

What are the qualifications of the candidates?

"I have been an Academic Commissioner, I’m student-focused, I’m a good negotiator, and I have strong people skills," said Brown. "I’ll be out there to see students; I don’t believe in hiding in an office."

"In the 97/98 academic year, I was the English Department’s student representative. In this, the 98/99 academic year, I have been the elected representative for the faculty of the Humanities," said Clitheroe.

Parker describes herself as someone who understands academic issues.

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