President: Christopher Blatch

Chris Blatch is an idealistic candidate. With campaign pledges to fight for GST-free textbooks, more affordable student housing and reduced prices in SU-run businesses, while simultaneously launching new and improved media campaigns against the provincial government, Blatch shows a determination to improve student life. Unfortunately, the devil may be in the details. Although each of these goals are noble, Blatch didn’t or couldn’t elaborate on exactly how he plans on implementing most of them.

That said, his sincerity about these initiatives can hardly be questioned. Blatch comes off with an easy confidence. Although his strategy on how to change SU business plans to a more student friendly model included interesting ideas, such as variable prices for students and non-students, Blatch could not offer concrete information on how proposed revenue cuts would hinder current or new SU plans. New and improved media campaigns don’t come cheap, and to launch effective ones while simultaneously cutting prices at SU businesses will be no easy task. At the bare minimum, it would require the consent of the Executive Cabinet. Although he said he would be willing to compromise with his cabinet, a president whose ambitions rely on an exec falling in line with his interesting, but perhaps unpopular ideas, may end up floating with no back up plan.

It is also debatable how much influence the SU President has over City Council in regards to creating affordable student housing. However, Blatch’s other proposals include more realistic goals like giving rez students choices in their internet and telephone providers. As the only candidate to mention textbooks, his ideas for battling GST are refreshing, but again lack the details. His understanding of the President’s lobbying role reflected his research into the subject, but not the nuanced understanding that comes with direct SU experience.

Blatch could do the job as President, and possibly do it well, but would only be effective in it if he were to drop some of his loftier ambitions and focus more on the things he can change.

How will you hold the provincial Government to its promises to make PSE its first priority?

“What you have to understand with government is that they listen to voters. In order to get government to listen to us it is important to reach out into the greater community. We have to utilize the media.”

How will you communicate with students?

“It could be something as simple as putting up a sign to say this is when SLC is, please come and share your opinion. We have to break down this bubble syndrome where people sit in their office and don’t really have any connection to students.”

What should the relationship be between the SU and university administration?

“I wouldn’t say we have to be friends, but being adversarial with them is not going to get us anywhere. We can whine all we want, but they’re not going to do whatever we tell them. They need someone above them to pressure them, which would be the government.”


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