VP External: Michael Soron

Without a doubt, Michael Soron possesses the qualifications necessary to take on the VP external position. He had a chance this year to get some first-hand lobbying experience on a recent trip to Ottawa as an external commissioner. This background should help him execute his comprehensive platform, which focuses on getting the provincial government to shell out the bucks for the upcoming tuition increase and hold them to their commitment to a holistic review of the student financial-assistance system. He is also looking to review the status of relationships with CAUS and CASA, feeling they have not been acting in a lean or efficient capacity, yet still believing in their power to persuade in Parliament.

Soron is driven and intent on being an effective promoter of undergraduate students’ rights. However, his last year as an external commissioner was marred by increasingly bitter and public quarrels with an SU executive. Regardless of who was right and who started it, the in-fighting crippled the external commission this year and was a black-eye for the SU. Soron must ensure nothing like this happens again if he is to be a successful VP external.

This incident aside, Soron is an articulate and confident speaker­–slick even–and will make a very good impression in Ottawa, Edmonton and right here at home. Soron is a smart guy too, and that certainly comes across when speaking with him, although some may be put off by his confidence.

Soron is definitely the politician in the VP external race. His slick style is a different tactic than Labonte’s friendly attitude. It’s hard to tell which method will prove more fruitful in the portfolio. Both would be good.

Soron is informed and concerned about post-secondary issues and would make an intelligent and capable VP external.

What do you see as the distinction between the roles of VP external and president?

“There is a tremendous opportunity, this next year in particular, for the vice-president external to step up and take a dominant role in government relations and relating to the public as well through community outreach. The president has more of a leadership role as the face of the organization.”

What is the SU’s role in CASA and CAUS?

“I personally have a very positive impression of CASA. I think that they can get things accomplished. They do face challenges within themselves. I don’t feel that they are a particularly lean organization, I don’t feel that they are as efficient as they could be, and they may not be delivering the value that students expect.”

What is your current relationship with external stakeholders and how do you plan to build upon it?

“I want to take a good long look at the way we consult with university administration leading up to the tuition decision.”


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