President: Mike Corbiell

There is no question about the lack of student spirit at the U of C campus, but it is extremely debatable whether this is the reason for our problems or rather a symptom of far greater ones. According to Mike Corbiell, boosting school spirit is actually the solution to our problems. Running on a platform of uniting undergrads beneath a banner of interfaculty competition, a December Snow Fest to rival Bermuda Shorts Day and large-scale student rallies, Corbiell’s ideas for refocusing the presidency on students are perhaps justified, but should not be at the exclusion of everything else.

The possibility of electing a president too focused on issues technically falling under the VP External and Academic positions is a very real pitfall. Unfortunately, Corbiell’s platform is at the opposite extreme. Duplicating the VP Events is just as bad for students as duplicating other positions. The president must be responsible for leading every SU initiative. Although his SU experience as an Events Commissioner is a plus, it is also a weakness. Corbiell’s willingness to act in more of a figurehead capacity, rallying school spirit to intimidate administration and the government alike is not leadership, but cheerleading.

Corbiell should be greatly commended for identifying student apathy as a very real problem on campus and one not addressed by presidents in the past. He also would likely be good at battling it, but SU presidents must do more.

Students lack school spirit because faculties and departments are losing teaching capacity yearly as basic needs go unmet by lukewarm increases in provincial funding. One more mid-year party and increased competition between faculties here at the U of C aren’t going to combat this. Student rallies are a contentious issue and may hold merit if organized effectively, but Corbiell seems content to leave the gritty details of real external and academic policy to his VPs.

At a time when students need a well informed and professional SU president to combat deteriorating quality, Corbiell would be an irresponsible choice.

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

“I feel that student rallies are a lot of fun for students. It gets us in the public spotlight and it holds the government accountable.”

How will you communicate with students?

“I just want to get out there and hugely promote the SU. My really big idea is an interfaculty games week, in order to bolster school spirit.”

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

“We should try to maintain a friendly working relationship with the administration. A strong student spirit and a strong student body will make admin cave to us instead of us caving to them.”