President: Mark Armstrong

Each year there is at least one disenfranchised candidate who runs for SU president because he or she is pissed off at the way the university is run, and desperately wants to do something to make things better. Mark Armstrong is that candidate.

After transferring from Mount Royal College, Armstrong said he feels the U of C is ignoring undergraduate students with its dirty facilities, indifferent administration and general student apathy. Armstrong believes he’s the “new blood” the SU needs. Unfortunately his “new blood,” including his lack of experience and blunt manner could leave the SU more bloodied than rejuvenated.

The finer details of Armstrong’s platform are unclear, but he promises to listen to each and every student on campus. He plans to tell Dr. Harvey Weingarten–in a nice way of course–that he is apathetic to the needs of undergrads and his convocation speeches are boring.

Armstrong also wants to improve facilities across campus by ensuring washrooms are cleaned, and old classrooms, like the science theatres, get fixed up. What he fails to realize is multi-million dollar projects like renovating old classrooms lay under the jurisdiction of university infrastructure, not the SU. This shows a general lack of knowledge of how the university, including the SU works. Armstrong also didn’t know the SU has a general manager and, if he wants to be taken seriously, he should have done his homework first.

Armstrong’s goal of listening to students is noble but is overshadowed by his idealism and lack of experience required to keep the SU coherent. His passion for change may be better suited to a commissioner role, where he would have a chance to learn the ropes under the careful supervision of a more knowledgeable leader. Then again, maybe someone who openly calls Weingarten’s convocation speeches boring, apathetic “garbage” during a recorded interview with a panel of six Gauntlet staff should be kept as far away from the SU as possible.

Where do you see the role of the president in relation to other vice-president positions?

“I see the president as the leader. He keeps everyone together and makes sure the SU works. In a group of 20 people, not everyone is going to get along and it’s his job to make sure that no matter what, everyone is getting along. He provides the common vision and goal.”

What are your plans to use the quality money and how will you take student opinion into account?

“I’ll talk to the students more. Last time they just made a survey and put five things on it and they didn’t really go around and talk to people. You really have to go out and talk to people, and then it disappointed me that they didn’t even follow it.”

What are your plans for your relationship with administration over your term?

“The role with administration is a tightrope. A lot of people want to be really aggressive and stick it to the man, but that will get us nowhere. But, the SU represents students and now the administration isn’t working for us. We need to take more of an aggressive stance. “