By Josh Rose
On Jan. 27, the Students’ Union hosted the first Calgary Leaders’ Dinner.
Vice-president external Matt McMillan initiated the event, bringing politicians and students together.
“Too often politicians make decisions based on papers in front of them without any human socialization. [The dinner] is both preventative and soft advocacy because a politician will think twice before cancelling a program that affects the student that pleaded their case while having dinner with them,” said McMillan. “We were able to attract politicians, not because it was within their constituency, but because they were going to get face-time with students from broad backgrounds.”
Most students chosen to join the dinner were heavily involved in political clubs. There were also several students from different faculty clubs across campus, and a few additional students to provide representation from all areas of student life.
“Not only was the dinner a good time, we were able to talk with MPs about reforming the Canadian Student Loans Program, to Alison Redford and MLAs about post-secondary education issues and to aldermen about transit and housing issues,” said McMillan.
MacMillan said students sometimes don’t see how they can have influence in Calgary and the campus community and this dinner was one way to do so.
McMillian will recommend continuing the event next year to his VP external successor.