Felix Baumgartner
Dawn Muenchrath/the Gauntlet

SU midterm review: VP External

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The U of C’s SU is a devoted group of students who advocate on behalf of the student body. They sit on many decision-making and administrative groups at the university.

This year’s executive team have set out attainable goals, but with only four months left in their positions, time is slowly slipping away for them to finish what they set out to do.

Raphael Jacob is the SU vice-president external who dreamt big at the start of his term and is working diligently to achieve his goals. 

Jacob had three main platforms when he was elected: eliminate market modifiers, regulate non-instructional fees and increase student representation on decision-making bodies.

Jacob hit the ground running as soon as he came into office. Immediately, he started talking to the right people in order to pursue his goals. He ran for the Council of Alberta 
University Students chair and won. Closing the market modifier loophole is CAUS’s main priority. However, Jacob’s goals were overly ambitious from the beginning and he admits that it’s unlikely the loophole will ever be closed, but CAUS will continue to lobby on the issue.

“A huge and frustrating obstacle is the glacial pace at which government and the administration move,” said 

Changes to the Elections Act, which happened this year and will allow more students to vote, is the product of five years of lobbying.

Jacob has started projects that will need to be taken on by successors. He is working on a framework for student consultations for fee increases that will take many years to come to fruition. 

Jacob has also created a list of committees that deal substantively with student affairs that need student representation, however, he is behind in this area.

Overall, Jacob has represented the student voice well on external issues, but he must continue to work hard in order to fly at the speed of sound.