President: Fadi Guirgis

As one of the stronger presidential candidates, Fadi Guirgis seems in tune with some pressing education issues. However, with a lack of adequate funding currently under-fueling Alberta’s post-secondary education, Guirgis regrettably identified the most pressing student issue as the proposed decrease in Dinos’ funding.

While athletics are certainly important to any institution, Guirgis’ solution is for students to pay this year and then lobby administration to pick up the slack in the next. This is an idealistic approach at best, hoping a university administration known for making hard decisions will re-shoulder a burden they have successfully relegated to students. The Dinos provide a crucial element to the well-being of this institution and would be funded adequately by any administration who valued that contribution.

The chronic loss of quality at the U of C and increased provincial funding should rate higher. With plans to hold a large scale protest on the LRT bridge, Guirgis is not unaware of the importantce of lobbying. To his credit, he supports an increased coalition with the U of C Faculty Association since under-funding affects their jobs as much as it does students.

Guirgis is also strongly committed to withdrawing the SU from the federal lobby group CASA and reinvesting the money back into provincial lobby campaigns. This is a very worthy idea, depending on who you talk to. Some would say CASA has drained SU funds away from where it could actually make a difference, while others argue CASA’s far reaching influence on federal ministers exerts a positive effect. Either way, Guirgis’ commitment to provincial lobbying shows his clear understanding of the need for improvement in Alberta’s PSE system, as well as his ability to take a stand. Further, Guirgis strongly supports rez students, their rights and the creation of a rez representative on SLC.

Guirgis is a friendly candidate exuding the professionalism required of an SU president. Well versed on important issues including access and quality, Guirgis is one of the few potentially effective presidential candidates. Unfortunately his priorities may result in good effects for select groups on campus such as the Dinos and rez kids, but might jeopardize the best interests of students as a whole.

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

“By lobbying them and getting right in their face. By holding a student protest on the LRT bridge accompanied by a media campaign. We can show the world we’ve had enough.”

How will you communicate with students?

“By going into large student gatherings, face to face announcements at Cinemania, big classes. My door will always be open.”

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

“Hopefully it will be cooperative but it can’t just be all buddy-buddy. It shouldn’t be adversarial.”