Academic commissioners make the grade

By Ben Hoffman

Academic Commissioner candidates showed their election smarts Tue., Feb. 3.

Independent candidates and members of the two slates spoke at the Students’ Union election forum, sharing their platforms to students in Speaker’s Corner.

Eight of the 11 candidates appeared. Independents in attendance were Ashley Martin, Eli Akbari and Natalie Logie. Barski’s Cabinet members attending were Krishna Gandhi, Harman Toor, Lauren Arab and Raj Sangha. Read Fenton represented the Action Party.

Topics of the forum ranged from candidate’s qualifications to current academic issues. The candidates presented their platforms and answered questions posed by the audience.

Fenton’s platform centered on reallocating funds and combating accessibility issues. The key issue he mentioned was students’ difficulty approaching and learning from non-English speaking professors.

“I’m pretty good at figuring out what the bottom line is of what people are saying,” Fenton responded to an audience question why he would make a good commissioner.

Martin’s platform called for more faculty specific career resources, less sessional instruction and more student influence over budget decisions.

“I always research things, and make sure that I know things before I act on them,” Martin said.

Logie’s platform dealt with professor and TA accountability to students in issues like grade curving and creating more career-based services.

“What will help me as a legislator is my experience at St. Mary’s College,” Logie said, referring to her two years in student government at StMC.

Akbari supports inquiry-based learning, encouraging student involvement in classes and improving tutor services offered by the SU.

“I have a strong interest in representing students,” Akbari said.

Barski’s Cabinet members presented the cabinet’s platform, with goals like lowering tuition and improving the university’s standing in Maclean’s.

“We are unified, we come together for more of a business situation,” said Gandhi for the cabinet. “As one individual with many ideas, you’re not necessarily going to be able to make your voice heard.”


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