PSE students take on the government

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Unsatisfied by the previous regime and concerned that post-secondary education has taken a backseat in the current provincial campaign, student organizations from around the province are banding together to have their voices heard.

The Alberta College and Technical Institute Student Executive Council launched a campaign to bring issues of post-secondary education into focus during the election campaign. The new campaign is similar to the one undertaken during the last provincial election.

"We have both TV and radio ads, as well as a couple billboards across the province and a website that brings everything together," said University of Calgary Students' Union vice-president external Mike Selnes. "The theme of the campaign is Imagine Alberta. That's the name of the website as well."

Selnes explained ACTISEC's campaign had two main goals. The first is making PSE an issue in the campaign.

"As we have seen in the past weeks, post-secondary isn't as much of an issue as health care or the environment," said Selnes.

The second goal is to have the incoming government commit to some of the ideas that the SU and its partners are pursuing. As well as improving the viability of student finances with more scholarships and lowering interest rates on loans, Selnes also identified a number of things that need to be addressed at the university itself, including helping fund residence construction, increasing university operating grants and dealing with deferred maintenance issues on campus.

Selnes noted the SU was not overly impressed by the outgoing Progressive Conservative government.

"More could have been done for post-secondary," he said. "With an election happening we can convince whatever government comes in to commit to making a better post-secondary system in Alberta."